Wait… What? A Beatles new song?
It’s pure nostalgia. The Beatles have released a brand new song thanks to the help of AI and for the most part, people are quite pleased.
The song — titled ‘Now and Then’ — features the voice of the late John Lennon and was developed using AI.
Filmmaker Peter Jackson, who directed the 2021 documentary series ‘The Beatles: Get Back’, said his team isolated instruments and vocals from the original home demo Lennon recorded in the 1970s using AI.
“That ultimately led us to develop a technology which allows us to take any soundtrack and split all the different components into separate tracks based on machine learning”, Jackson said in a video that premiered on The Beatles YouTube channel earlier this week.
So, how have fans reacted?
The ‘final masterpiece’
Rolling Stone said the song was a masterpiece, with many fans agreeing, so it’s no surprise the song shot to number one on iTunes shortly after being released.
But not everyone was convinced by the use of the new technology to bring The Beatles song alive.
Not the first time The Beatles made music using Lennon’s recordings
Whilst this was the first time the iconic boy band was using AI to create a song, they actually recorded ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’ in the mid-90’s using Lennon’s ‘Now and Then’ demo.
The Beatles surviving members Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr created the two tracks for their Anthology albums, layering full-band arrangements over Lennon’s demos, before Harrison passed away in 2001.
“In John’s demo tape, the piano was a little hard to hear. And in those days, of course, we didn’t have the technology to do the separation,” McCartney said in a mini documentary about the new song.
“Every time we wanted a little bit more of John’s voice, this piano came through and clouded the picture.”