The Beatles to release new music as artificial intelligence creates ‘final record’ says Paul McCartney
The Beatles will released their ‘final record’ later this year, thanks to artificial intelligence
and live on Freeview channel 276
Sir Paul McCartney has revealed he has employed artificial intelligence to create "the final Beatles record". He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the technology had been used to "extricate" John Lennon’s voice from an old demo so he could complete the song.
"We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year," he explained. While Sir Paul did not name the song, it is likely to be a 1978 Lennon composition called Now And Then.
The record had already been considered as a possible "reunion song" for the Beatles back in 1995 while they were creating their career-spanning Anthology series. Sir Paul received the demo a year earlier from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono.
The tune was one of several songs on a cassette labelled "For Paul" that Lennon made before his death in 1980. The tracks were mostly recorded onto a boombox while Lennon was in his apartment in New York.
Cleaned up by producer Jeff Lynne, two of those songs, Free As A Bird and Real Love, were produced by Jeff Lynne. The records were completed and released in 1995 and 1996, marking the Beatles’ first "new" material in 25 years.
The Beatles also attempted to record ‘Now And Then’. However, the session was quickly abandoned.
Lynne said: "It was one day - one afternoon, really - messing with it.
"The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish."
Sir Paul later said George Harrison declared the song as "rubbish" and refused to work on it.
"It didn’t have a very good title, it needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it," he told Q Magazine.
"[But] George didn’t like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn’t do it."
Talking about the AI record, Sir Paul told Radio 4’s Martha Kearney: "He [Jackson] was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette," Sir Paul told Radio 4’s Martha Kearney.
"We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI. They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar’.
"So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles’ record, it was a demo that John had [and] we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI.
"Then we can mix the record, as you would normally do. So it gives you some sort of leeway."
The musician then went on to admit other applications of AI gave him cause for concern. He explained: "I’m not on the internet that much [but] people will say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a track where John’s singing one of my songs’, and it’s just AI, you know?
"It’s kind of scary but exciting, because it’s the future. We’ll just have to see where that leads."