AI revives Lennon's voice in sensational new beatles track

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.02 - 2023 11:14 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com

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In an awe-inspiring breakthrough, the voice of the late John Lennon has been immaculately restored by artificial intelligence for the release of a never-before-heard Beatles song, titled "Now and Then".

This historic event brings together the Fab Four for one last harmony, over four decades after the track was originally recorded.

The song features the collective talents of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, and it originated from a tape Lennon had recorded in his New York City apartment roughly a year before his tragic death.

Fans around the globe are on the edge of their seats, as "Now and Then" is set to drop at 3 PM Danish time today, with an accompanying music video releasing on Friday.

The last Beatles song

McCartney, one of the two surviving Beatles members, now 81, unveiled the news of this final Beatles tune back in June, dubbing it "the last Beatles song." The sentimentality of the event is profound; as McCartney expressed, "It's quite emotional, and we all play on it. It's a real Beatles recording."

The journey of "Now and Then" began with a cassette Lennon sent to McCartney in 1979 from his Dakota building residence. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, passed it on to McCartney in 1994.

With the help of producer Jeff Lynne, famed lead vocalist of Electric Light Orchestra, the cassette was refined from a mere demo into a polished track.

Despite their efforts, "Now and Then" remained unreleased due to excessive noise on Lennon's vocal tracks.

It is here that artificial intelligence played its magic role, meticulously cleaning up the noise from Lennon’s vocals, ensuring that his iconic voice could resonate once again with unmistakable clarity.

McCartney recounts the moment the AI worked its wonders as a surreal experience where "John's voice was there, crystal clear."

George Harrison, who passed away in 2001, had contributed electric and acoustic guitar parts in 1995. Ringo Starr, now 83, added the drum tracks later, along with new bass recordings. McCartney, honoring Harrison's style, also recorded a slide guitar solo for the piece. Choral vocals were laid down to complete the soundscape.

Starr, moved by the experience, shared that it was "the closest we ever come to having him (John Lennon) back in the room, so it was hugely emotional."

The Beatles, composed of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, dominated the pop and psychedelic rock scene in the early 1960s and remain titans of the music industry. Though the group disbanded in 1970, each member pursued successful solo careers.

With the release of "Now and Then", The Beatles prove that their music is timeless, and even in separation, the spirit of their collective genius continues to thrive. This AI-assisted resurrection of Lennon’s voice is not just a step forward in technological achievement; it's a heartfelt homage to the enduring legacy of one of the world's most beloved bands.

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