A yet-to-be-named track built from the demo tapes of the late John Lennon with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) has been completed and is slated to be released this year.
“We just finished it up, it will be released this year,” said the Beatles’ bassist and co-vocalist Paul McCartney in an interview with BBC.
He shared that this will be the “last Beatles record,” and explained how they brought the project to fruition with AI, “We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI so that then we could mix the record as you would normally do — it gives you some sort of leeway. So there’s a good side to it and then a scary side and we’ll just have to see where that leads,” he said.
McCartney also mentioned the Lord of the Rings trilogy director Peter Jackson, who also worked on the band’s documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” in 2021, and said that Jackson is the one who showed him how AI could be used in the studio.
“He was able to extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette, it had John’s voice and a piano,” he said. “He could separate them with AI, they could tell the machine, ‘That’s a voice, this is a guitar, lose the guitar,’ and he did that. So it has great uses.”
However, Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon clarified in a tweet how they used the AI, and said that it was only for ‘de-noising’ the tracks.
That is not happening. All we did was clean the noise from the vocal track. People are completely misunderstanding what occurred. There have always been ways of ‘de-noising’ tracks but AI just does it better because it learns what the vocal is and is able to very precisely remove…
— Seán Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) June 17, 2023
Sean further commented on the project saying, “I shouldn’t speak too much on this yet but I’ll just say the track turned out beautifully and I think everyone will be very happy.”
Hey Carolyn…I shouldn’t speak too much on this yet but I’ll just say the track turned out beautifully and I think everyone will be very happy.
— Seán Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) June 18, 2023
This is not the first time the band had worked on other Lennon’s incomplete demos. In 1994, the group reunited to work on Lennon’s demo of “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”, which were released in 1995 and 1996 on their Anthology 1 and Anthology 2 compilations.
McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr are the only remaining alive members of the band after guitarist George Harrison died in 2001, and co-vocalist Lennon was shot and killed in 1980.
Now 81-year-old McCartney recently released a book “1964: Eyes of the Storm” containing photographs taken by the English musician “from the end of 1963 through early 1964, in which The Beatles became an international sensation.”
Other POP! stories that you might like: