Sir Paul McCartney has announced that he will release a new Beatles song later this year, using artificial intelligence (AI) to reconstruct the voice of his late bandmate, John Lennon.
The song, which McCartney has not yet named, is a demo that Lennon recorded in 1978. It was one of several songs that Lennon gave to McCartney shortly before he died in 1980. The track is rumoured to be Now and Then, a Lennon composition from 1978.
McCartney said he was inspired to use AI to complete the song after watching Peter Jackson’s documentary, “Get Back.” Jackson’s team used AI to separate the Beatles’ voices from background noise in the documentary, and McCartney said that he was impressed with the results.
“We just finished it up, and it’ll be released this year,” McCartney said in an interview with BBC Radio 4.
“[Jackson] was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette. 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,’” McCartney added.
“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.”
A Fitting Tribute to John Lennon –
McCartney said that he is excited to share the new single with fans and hopes it will be a fitting tribute to Lennon.
“It’s a beautiful song,” McCartney said. “It’s a love song, and it’s a song about redemption. I think John would be proud of it.”
The release of the new Beatles song will surely be a significant event for music fans worldwide. It will be the first new Beatles material since the release of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” in 1995. Those songs were also reconstructed from Lennon demos and were both major hits.
The release of the new song is also a sign of the growing power of AI in the music industry. AI is already being used to create new music, and it will likely play an even greater role.