The surviving members of The Beatles have announced their so-called final song “Now and Then” is set to be released November 2. But the lead-up is being overshadowed by their decision to use artificial intelligence technology to provide the late John Lennon’s voice — though not through “generative” AI.
“Now and Then” will feature contributions from all four of the original band members. In addition to Lennon’s vocals, which were recorded in the late 1970s, the song will also include guitar parts recorded by the late George Harrison in 1995.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr touted “Now and Then” as an emotional experience in their joint announcement on Thursday.
NOW AND THEN. THE LAST BEATLES SONG. OUT 02.11.23.⁰
‘#NowAndThen‘ is the last @thebeatles song – written and sung by @johnlennon, developed and worked on by Paul, @GeorgeHarrison @ringostarrmusic, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) October 26, 2023
“There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear,” McCartney said in a statement. “It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023, to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing.”
Starr called it “the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out,
Producers used AI technology to isolate Lennon’s vocals, eliminating audio from a piano recorded on the same track — a challenge that has delayed the project for decades.
The same AI technology was used in Peter Jackson’s Disney+ documentary series Get Back.
Jackson’s series relied on AI-assisted software to disentangle certain pieces of audio and video from the 1970 documentary Let It Be, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
“Now and Then” is available for pre-order on various streaming platforms.
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