The British rock band from the 60s previously cleaned up John Lennon demos to create 'new' songs such as 'Free As A Bird' and 'Real Love.'
The Beatles have finished a new recording using an old demo tape by John Lennon! They did this with the help of AI, which isolated the late singer's voice. "We just finished it up, it'll be released this year," Paul McCartney, Lennon's former bandmate, told the Today program on BBC Radio 4. The technology helped "extricate" Lennon's voice from an old demo so he could complete the song, he shared. McCartney, 80, and Ringo Starr, 82, are the last two surviving band members of the group. It will be "the last Beatles record," said McCartney.
The British rock band from the 60s previously cleaned up John Lennon demos to create "new" songs such as "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love," according to BBC. They were completed and released in 1995 and 1996, marking the band's first "new" material in 25 years. While McCartney has not announced the name of the new record, it is likely to be an apologetic love song titled "Now And Then," which Lennon wrote in his retirement era. Producer Jeff 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."
McCartney later claimed that band member George Harrison refused to work on the song and blamed the sound quality of Lennon's vocals as "rubbish." "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."
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, reportedly gave McCartney several of the late singer and songwriter's home demo recordings. McCartney revealed that a demo recording that Lennon made before his death in 1980 was used to create the upcoming song.
"We were able to take John's voice and get it pure through this AI so that then we could mix the record as you would normally do. So, it gives you some sort of leeway," he said. McCartney added that the inspiration to use tech came from director Peter Jackson who resurrected archival materials for "Get Back," his documentary about the band making the "Let It Be" album.
"He was able to extricate John's voice from a ropey little bit of cassette which had John's voice and a piano," McCartney said of the director, reports NPR. "He could separate them with AI. They could, they'd tell the machine, 'That's a voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.' And he did that."
Paul McCartney has announced a new Beatles song will be released this year.— The Beatles Earth (@BeatlesEarth) June 13, 2023
Paul called it “the final Beatles song”.https://t.co/UTkgwNFezy
Other applications of AI gave the artist cause for concern, but he is hopeful about the recording's release. "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," he said.