A half century hence from the Fur Lads from Liverpool’s final studio album, the group’s erstwhile lead singer Paul McCartney announced Tuesday that he has used artificial intelligence to create what he calls “the last Beatles record.”
“We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year,” McCartney, the sole survivor of the group, told reporters, explaining that AI technology was used isolate the voice of John Lennon using an old demo tape. Lennon dies in 1980 after being shot outside his New York apartment.
“He was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropy little bit of cassette where it had John’s voice and a piano,” McCartney said. “We were able to take John’s voice and make it pure through AI and you were able to mix the record as you would normally do.”
Although McCartney did not reveal what song was, but insiders said it was likely to be a 1978 Lennon composition called “Now and Then.”
Between 1962 and 1970, Lennon, McCartney and fellow Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr produced 12 studio albums and dozens of hit singles.
The band broke up in 1970, with each member subsequently enjoying own solo successes and McCartney forming the band Wings in 1971.
During a headline show at last year’s Glastonbury music festival, McCartney also used technology and clips taken from the band’s last live performance in 1969 to create a live duet of “I’ve Got a Feeling” with Lennon. The original recording of that song was on the roof of their record company’s headquarters in London in 1969.
McCartney said this new venture using AI in musical artistry was !both exciting and scary.!
“It’s something we’re all tackling at the moment, trying to deal with what it means,” he said.
“When we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo that John had that we worked on and we’ve just finished it up. We’ll see where that leads.”