Paul McCartney casually drops word of final Beatles x AI album

The Beatles “final record” is on its way, infused with the cutting-edge power of AI. Get ready to experience a whole new dimension of Beatlemania.

The Beatles, one of the most iconic bands in history, are set to strike back with AI. In what could be the ultimate musical encore, Paul McCartney is set to release a “final record” later this year, and what makes it even more extraordinary is that it has been created with the help of artificial intelligence. Paul McCartney, the legendary musician and former member of the Beatles, revealed this exciting news during an interview with the BBC on Tuesday.

McCartney, who will celebrate his 81st birthday next week, shared that the upcoming release is based on a demo that his late bandmate John Lennon had worked on. According to reports, the song in question is likely to be a Lennon composition from 1978 called “Now And Then.” This particular track was part of a cassette that Lennon had recorded for McCartney a year before his untimely death in 1980. The cassette was a gift from Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, in 1994.

the beatles
Composing ‘I Feel Fine,’ George V Hotel, Paris 1964. Image by Harry Benson.

Back in the mid-1990s, two songs from the cassette, namely “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” were brought to life with the assistance of producer Jeff Lynne and released to the world. The goal was to recreate the unfinished Lennon demos with the remaining Beatles’ input. However, the project hit a snag due to background noise on the demo of “Now And Then,” and it was subsequently abandoned.

Fast forward to the present day, McCartney revealed that AI has provided him with a new opportunity to complete the song. Working alongside acclaimed film director Peter Jackson, known for his work on the 2021 documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back,” AI technology was employed to separate Lennon’s voice from the piano accompaniment on the original recording.

Explaining the process, McCartney stated, “They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.'” Through this approach, the team was able to extract Lennon’s pure voice and mix it with the other instruments to create what McCartney referred to as “the last Beatles’ record.” This innovative use of AI technology allows for greater flexibility in the production process.

While some may find the incorporation of AI in music creation a bit unsettling, McCartney expressed both excitement and apprehension about the future of this technology. He described it as “kind of scary but exciting because it’s the future” and acknowledged that its implications for the music industry are yet to be fully understood.

The Beatles’ enduring legacy has captivated fans across generations, and this upcoming release is sure to generate considerable anticipation. McCartney himself continues to captivate audiences with his live performances, as demonstrated by his two-hour set at last year’s Glastonbury festival, where he delighted the 100,000-strong crowd with timeless Beatles classics. In a virtual duet with Lennon, McCartney delivered a heartfelt rendition of “I’ve Got a Feeling” from the Beatles’ final album, “Let It Be.”

As the music industry grapples with the increasing presence of AI, the debate surrounding its use continues. While some raise concerns about potential copyright issues, others recognize the technology’s remarkable capabilities. Just last month, musician Sting cautioned that defending human creativity against AI would become a significant battle in the years to come.

For now, fans eagerly await the release of the “final Beatles record,” a collaboration between the band’s timeless artistry and the cutting-edge possibilities of AI. It serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the Beatles and their continued impact on music, even decades after their split.