Beatles legend Paul McCartney recently said that artificial intelligence has allowed him to create a “final” song by The Beatles — which is set for release later this year.
The legendary singer-songwriter and bassist discussed the prospect during a new interview with Radio 4’s Today Programme, and revealed that AI technology allowed him to “extricate” John Lennon’s vocals from an old demo track — meaning he could complete the song.
While Sir Paul did not mention which specific track he is now in the process of completing, it seems likely that the track will be one developed by Lennon back in 1978, titled ‘Now And Then’.
As reported by BBC, the Beatles bassist had received the demo from Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 1994. It was featured on a cassette that Lennon had made shortly before his death in 1980, and was titled ‘For Paul’.
The surviving members contemplated releasing the song on their career-spanning ‘Anthology’ series in 1995, although this idea was later scrapped.
The ‘Anthology’ series — cleaned up by producer Jeff Lynne — instead featured two other tracks from the cassette, ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’. Completed in 1995 and 1996, both songs were labelled as the band’s first “new” material in a quarter of a century.
The reason why ‘Now And Then’ failed to make it into the project was due to the extensive work it would need.
“The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish,” recalled Lynne (via BBC).
Speaking with Q Magazine, McCartney also said that the song was withheld from the compilation albums because George Harrison disliked it and there were a variety of technical issues in the original recording.
“It didn’t have a very good title, it needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it,” he told the publication. “[But] George didn’t like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn’t do it.”