Paul McCartney says there’s nothing artificial in new Beatles song made using AI

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In a recent announcement, legendary musician Paul McCartney has shed light on the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of a never-before-heard Beatles song. Addressing concerns about the impact of AI on artists’ livelihoods, McCartney clarified that the technology was employed to “extricate” John Lennon’s voice from a 1970s cassette demo.

This revelation has sparked intrigue among Beatles fans and the music industry at large. McCartney took to social media to further elaborate on the process, emphasizing that no artificial or synthetic elements were introduced. Instead, AI was employed to enhance existing recordings.

While the specific title and lyrics of the song remain undisclosed, it is widely believed to be a John Lennon composition from 1978 called “Now and Then.” The highly anticipated release of this song is scheduled for later this year.

Utilizing AI to Preserve Lennon’s Voice

Paul McCartney’s exploration of AI technology aimed to extract and restore John Lennon’s voice from an old cassette recording. Through the use of AI, Lennon’s vocals were successfully purified, allowing for subsequent mixing of the track in a conventional manner.

This innovative approach granted McCartney and his team the flexibility to work with Lennon’s voice, ensuring an authentic and cohesive sound. While some speculation and confusion have arisen surrounding this process, McCartney clarified that no artificial or synthetic elements were introduced during the AI-assisted restoration.

Instead, the focus was on cleaning up existing recordings, a process that has been ongoing for years. McCartney expressed hope that listeners will embrace the final result with the same enthusiasm as the artists involved.

The Mysterious Song: “Now and Then”

The upcoming release, shrouded in secrecy, has generated significant excitement among Beatles enthusiasts. Although details about the song remain under wraps, it is widely believed to be a composition by John Lennon titled “Now and Then.”

This particular piece was part of a cassette labeled “For Paul,” recorded by Lennon shortly before his untimely death in 1980. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, later gifted the cassette to the surviving Beatles during their work on the Anthology project—a comprehensive retrospective featuring three albums, a documentary, and a book that chronicled their illustrious career.

Unveiling Free as a Bird and Real Love

Within the Anthology project, two songs from the aforementioned cassette, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love,” were officially released. These tracks featured the Beatles incorporating Lennon’s original voice recording, resulting in a unique blend of his posthumous contributions and the collaborative efforts of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

However, the song “Now and Then” was deemed unsuitable for release at the time, and subsequent attempts to record it were swiftly abandoned by the band. In a candid 1997 interview, McCartney shared that George Harrison had dismissed the song as “fucking rubbish.” Despite its potential, the Beatles’ democratic decision led to its shelving.

AI Influence and Controversy in the Music Industry

The concept of using AI in music production has recently sparked considerable debate and divided opinions within the music industry. Notably, an AI-generated song titled “Heart on My Sleeve,” which simulated the voices of Drake and the Weeknd gained widespread attention.

Universal Media Group, the label representing both artists, successfully advocated for the removal of the song from streaming services. This incident triggered extensive discourse surrounding ethics and intellectual property, highlighting the complexities associated with AI-generated music.

Several instances of AI-generated covers of popular songs have also made waves across the internet. These covers mimic the voices of renowned artists such as Harry Styles, Rihanna, and Kanye West. While some musicians have embraced AI technology, inviting others to create new songs using their voices, the industry as a whole grapple with the implications and potential consequences of this emerging trend.

McCartney’s Reflection on AI

During the BBC interview, McCartney shared his mixed feelings about AI, describing it as both “scary” and “exciting.” Acknowledging that AI represents the future of music production, he expressed the need for ongoing exploration and adaptation.

Paul McCartney and his contemporaries recognize the importance of navigating this technological landscape and its potential impact on artistic expression and the music industry as a whole.

Paul McCartney’s innovative use of artificial intelligence to resurrect John Lennon’s voice in an unreleased Beatles song has captured the imagination of music enthusiasts worldwide. By employing AI technology to enhance existing recordings, McCartney and his team have ensured the authenticity of Lennon’s contributions.

As the release date approaches, fans eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the mysterious track titled “Now and Then.” This development reflects the ongoing dialogue surrounding AI’s role in music production and its implications for artists, raising essential questions about the future of creativity and collaboration in the industry.

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