Come Together Over AI – The Beatles’ Long And Winding Road Leads To ‘Now And Then’

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The Beatles are back… thanks to AI?

In an era when many prefer the vinyl scratch of nostalgia and the depth of warmth the sound offers when compared to a streaming service, The Beatles are back?
Some might argue that this is less The Beatles and more in vein with Marvel’s “What If…” series.
Regardless, the past and present and future meet at this crossroads, with what is being called the final song from The Beatles.

‘Now And Then’, was released last week to much fanfare… and concern.

As we now know, this isn’t just something dug out of the archives at Abbey Road Studios, but a Frankenstein of a song created in an AI-induced laboratory (and made with peace and love… peace and love).
It’s a song that might have been… or might never have been… but has been given life in the digital age.
What we have here is a crafted demo of John Lennon tweaked and amplified by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin (son of famed The Beatles producer, George Martin).

The details?

A John Lennon vocal track with piano recorded in the late 1970s at his home in the Dakota building in New York City (John was assassinated outside of this home in 1980).
Yoko Ono (Lennon’s wife) passed several demo songs over to Paul McCartney in the mid-90s.
Two of those songs: ‘Free As Bird’ and ‘Real Love’ were touched up and used on The Beatles Anthology (which was a multimedia retrospective project consisting of a television documentary, a three-volume set of double albums, and a book describing the history of the Beatles) in the mid-nineties.
At the time, ‘Now And Then’ could not be fixed, mixed or redone, so it was put back into the vault… until now.
When Peter Jackson started production on his amazing documentary about The Beatles, Get Back, he used a new AI technology developed to separate voices and instruments on recordings.
This was the magic key that would be used to unlock the potential of fixing up and releasing this final The Beatles song.
McCartney layered on his own bass lines and harmonies, while also unearthing George Harrison‘s guitar work from 1995 (Harrison passed away in 2001).
Drummer Ringo Starr brought back his backbeat drumming, while Niles Martin orchestrated new strings, and a dash of production modernity.
So… many tools.. much technology… and the last two surviving members of The Beatles have done it again…

Or have they?

This is what Elias Makos and I discussed on CJAD 800 AM. Listen in right here.

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