Sir Paul McCartney could compose Beatles’ ‘last’ song thanks to artificial intelligence

He used artificial intelligence to help create what he calls “the Beatles’ final record”, Sir Paul McCartney says, He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that the technology was used to “extract” John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo so he could finish the song. “We just finished it and it’s coming out this year,” he explains.

Sir Paul did not name the song, but it is probably a Lennon composition from 1978 called Now And Then.
It was considered a possible “reunion song” for the Beatles in 1995, when they were compiling their career-spanning Anthology series.

Sir Paul had received the demo a year earlier from Lennon’s widow gave Sir Paul the demo a year earlier(Yoko Ono). It was one of many songs on the tape titled “For Paul” that Lennon wrote shortly before his death in 1980.
As the musician sat at the piano in his New York apartment he recorded on boomboxes tracks like Lo-fi and embryonic.

Two songs, Free As A Bird and Real Love, compiled by producer Jeff Lynne, were completed and released in 1995 and 1996, the Beatles’ first “new” material in 25 years.  The band also attempted to record Now And Then, an apologetic love song  fairly typical of Lennon’s later career, but recording was quickly abandoned. Lynn recalls.

“The song had a chorus, but very few verses. We did a backing track, a rough job we couldn’t finish.” Sir Paul later said that George Harrison refused to work on the song, saying that Lennon’s vocal quality was “bullshit”.

The title wasn’t good, reworking was needed, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it,” he told Q Magazine.
“George rejected it”. The Beatles being a democracy, we did it.”

Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Sir George Martin

The three remaining Beatles (L-R Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, pictured with producer George Martin) re-entered the recording studio in 1995

There were also said to have been technical issues with the original recording, which featured a persistent “buzz” from the electricity circuits in Lennon’s apartment.

New version of the demo, without the background noise, was released in 2009, on a bootleg CD. Speculation by fans was that this recording may not have been available in 1995, suggesting it was stolen from his apartment, along with other personal effects, after his death. Over the years, Sir Paul has repeatedly spoken out about his desire to finish the song.

In a 2012 BBC Four documentary on Jeff Lynn, he said “it’s still going around”. “So I will stick with Jeff. Please finish it today.”

Ropey Cassette

It seems now that technology has given musicians the opportunity to achieve this goal. The turning point came with Peter Jackson’s documentary The Return, in which dialogue editor Émile de la Rey taught the computer to recognize the Beatles’ voice and separate it from background noise and its own tools that produced a “clean” sound. It is.

The same process allowed Sir Paul to “duet” Lennon on his latest tour, as well as create a new surround sound mix for the Beatles’ upcoming “Revolver” album last year. “He (Jackson) was able to extract John’s voice from a crude tape.” Sir Paul told Radio 4’s Martha Kearney.

“We had John’s voice and piano and he was able to separate them with AI separated John’s voice and piano which we had .They talk to the machine. “It is a voice. It’s a guitar.” lose your guitar “So when we came to work on what would be the last Beatles record, it was a demo John had, [and] we were able to make John’s voice clear with this AI. “Then you can mix the record as usual. That’ll give you some space.”

But the musician acknowledged that other applications of AI cause him concern. “I don’t have that much access to the internet [but] people say, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a track where John sings one of my songs,’ and it’s just AI. “It’s a little scary, but exciting because this is the future. We just have to see where it leads.”

The star told Radio 4 before launching a new book and photo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Entitled Eyes of the Storm, the project features portraits taken with Sir Paul’s camera between December 1963 and February 1964, when the Beatles achieved worldwide fame.

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