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AI Plays a Key Role in The Beatles’ ‘Ultimate’ Album Release

by Ryan Lee
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AI technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) has paved the way for what is being touted as “the final Beatles album,” leveraging an old demo to resurrect John Lennon’s voice, long after the band’s dissolution. This was revealed by Paul McCartney in a Tuesday conversation.

During an interview with the BBC, the 80-year-old McCartney detailed how AI was implemented to isolate the individual voices of the Beatles from the background noise in the process of making Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back.” The revamped song is slated for a release later this year.

According to McCartney, Jackson was able to “detach John’s voice from a slightly rough snippet of cassette tape and a piano using AI. He would instruct the machine to identify and separate elements like voice and guitar, eliminating the latter.”

“As we proceeded to craft what is to become the last Beatles album, we utilized a demo from John,” he continued. “We successfully purified John’s voice through AI, which facilitated the record’s mixing process. It provides a certain amount of flexibility.”

The title of the demo wasn’t specified by McCartney, but the BBC and other sources speculated it to be a 1978 incomplete love song by Lennon, titled “Now and Then.” Reportedly, the demo was part of a cassette labeled “For Paul” that McCartney received from Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow.

McCartney expressed his feelings towards AI as being “somewhat eerie yet thrilling,” and noted, “We will have to wait and see where this takes us.”

This technology was also instrumental in McCartney’s “virtual duet” with Lennon, who was assassinated in 1980, on the track “I’ve Got a Feeling” performed at last year’s Glastonbury Festival.

The accomplished singer-songwriter plans to inaugurate an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London later this month. The exhibit, titled “Eyes of the Storm,” will display never-before-seen photos captured by McCartney during the Beatles’ rise to global prominence in the early days of the “Beatlemania.”

The exhibit will feature more than 250 photographs, taken between 1963 and 1964, including portraits of Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Lennon, as well as the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein.


Note: A correction has been made to the title of McCartney’s upcoming exhibition – it’s “Eyes of the Storm,” not “Eye of the Storm.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Artificial Intelligence in Music

How was AI used in creating the final Beatles album?

AI technology was used to isolate John Lennon’s voice from an old demo, separating it from background noises. This allowed the band to create a new song decades after their dissolution.

What is the new Beatles song?

The title of the new song wasn’t revealed, but it’s speculated to be a reworked version of John Lennon’s unfinished 1978 love song, “Now and Then.”

How does Paul McCartney feel about the use of AI in music?

Paul McCartney described the use of AI in music as “somewhat eerie yet thrilling.” He expressed an open-minded view, stating, “We will have to wait and see where this takes us.”

Where was this AI technology previously used?

The same AI technology was used in Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back,” to separate the Beatles’ voices from background noise.

What is the “Eyes of the Storm” exhibition?

“Eyes of the Storm” is an exhibition featuring over 250 previously unseen photographs taken by Paul McCartney during the early days of the Beatles. It is set to open at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

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