Paul McCartney admitted that he used AI to “extricate” John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo to complete a long-lost song.
Paul McCartney has revealed that he’s used AI technology in a non-creepy way.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, McCartney admitted that he used AI to “extricate” John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo and complete a long-lost song he’s calling The Beatles' “last record”.
While McCartney didn’t name the final Beatles song, the BBC reports that the song could be Now And Then, a song Lennon recorded in 1978 and was touted as a Beatles “reunion” track in 1995. McCartney revealed that he’s finished with the track and plans to release it later this year.
Answering a question about “efforts that have been made — through technology, through artificial intelligence — to recreate the early Beatles”, McCartney responded (as transcribed by Stereogum):
“Well, it’s a very interesting thing. It’s something we’re all tackling at the moment, trying to deal with what’s it mean?
“I don’t hear that much because 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 isn’t. It’s just AI. So all of that is kind of scary but exciting because it’s the future.”
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McCartney continued to mention the technology Peter Jackson used in his Get Back documentary, which tracked The Beatles as they made Let It Be. “He was able to extricate John’s voice from a rumpy little bit of cassette that had John’s voice and a piano.
“He could separate them with AI, and he could tell the machine, ‘That’s a voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.’ And he did that, so it has great uses.
“So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo that John had, that we worked on. We just finished it up. It’ll be released this year. We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure, through this AI, so then we could mix the record as you would normally do.”
You can listen to the full interview here and check out John Lennon’s piano demo of Now And Then below.
McCartney’s future release couldn’t be more different to a video of The Beatles covering The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows with AI vocals, which surfaced on YouTube last month.
The video featured John Lennon and Paul McCartney reunited with Ringo Starr and George Harrison to take on the classic – you can check that out here.