Photo: Bernard Gotfryd = Public Domain

Paul McCartney Announces New Beatles Song

On Tuesday (6.13) during his appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Sir Paul McCartney confirmed that his creative team has used artificial intelligence (AI) technology to “extricate” his late bandmate John Lennon’s voice from an old demo, stating “We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year.”

Though the iconic British musician didn’t reveal which song will be released, it’s widely believed to be a 1978 Lennon composition called ‘Now and Then,’ a demo track that appeared on a cassette Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono once gave to McCartney, recorded by John and labeled “For Paul” prior to his untimely murder in 1980.

The idea of using AI came from Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary The Beatles: Get Back, for which dialogue editor Emile de la Rey used the technology to separate the band members’ voices from background noise and create clean audio from old archival footage.

About the forthcoming project, McCartney stated “He (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.'”

“So when we came to 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.”

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: Bernard Gotfryd – Public Domain