English rock band The Beatles released “Now And Then” which is dubbed as their last song. It used AI to incorporate the late John Lennon’s voice.
Universal Music Group (UMG) announced that The Beatles recorded a new song “Now And Then.” The English rock band released the song on November 2.
Record company UMG made the announcement on October 26. “Now And Then” became the last song that The Beatles’ recorded.
The song incorporated the late Beatles’ member John Lennon’s voice through artificial intelligence (AI) which also included late member George Harrison’s parts. The band’s surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded verses for the song too.
McCartney said working on Beatles music and releasing a new song is an exciting thing to do in 2023.
‘Emotional, genuine’ Beatles’ recording
Lennon recorded “Now And Then” through a home demo in New York City in the late 1970s. Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono gave a set of the song recordings to the other Beatles’ members where they added their own parts to.
Technology was not advanced at the time so Lennon’s vocals and piano couldn’t be separated to produce a clear mix. This became the reason why the song wasn’t finished back then.
Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series The Beatles: Get Back prompted the idea to revive “Now And Then.” The documentary managed to “isolate instruments and vocals using AI.” The Beatles’ applied the same technology in their new song.
McCartney described the endeavor as “quite emotional” as John’s voice was crystal clear on the mix. He added that all the members are heard in the song, making it a “genuine Beatles recording.”
Starr expressed as well that the song was the closest that the members will come to having him back with them. “It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out,” Starr said.
“Now And Then” has a short film and an official music video
The song “Now And Then” made itself known to the public on November 2. The Beatles’ YouTube channel premiered a short film titled Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song ahead of the release.
The 12-minute clip featured footage and commentary from the band members, The Beatles: Get Back documentary director Jackson, Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon. Oliver Murray directed the short film.
Jackson explained in the clip how his team separated the instrumentals and vocals from the recordings with AI.
Jackson added that the technology allowed them to take a soundtrack and split its components into separate tracks based on machine learning.
The Beatles released an official music video as well of the song and ran for more than four minutes.
A touching culmination of The Beatles’ music
Reuters reported that “Now And Then” will be released in a doubleA-side single. UMG added that this paired the track with the band’s 1962 debut UK single “Love Me Do.”
The song paved the way for technology to make its mark in the music industry. It also became a wonderful tribute to the beautiful and harmonic sound of The Beatles.
The song reunited the four members somehow and made an endearing culmination of their musical careers.
Banner photo via Instagram @applemusic and @thebeatles.