The Beatles are still massive: In 2022, of albums that were released 20 or more years ago, the group’s 1 compilation was the fifth-biggest on Spotify. They’re not exactly releasing new music these days, though, but that is actually set to change later this year: Paul McCartney has revealed that thanks to AI, he has finished work on “the final” Beatles song and it’s set for release in 2023.
In an interview on Radio 4’s Today Programme (as NME reports), McCartney spoke about how for the Get Back documentary, Peter Jackson and dialogue editor Emile de la Rey used AI technology to isolate vocals from old audio clips. He said:
“[Jackson] was able to extricate [John Lennon’s] voice from a ropey little bit of cassette. We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI. They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar’ So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles’ record, it was a demo that John had [and] we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI. Then we can mix the record, as you would normally do. So it gives you some sort of leeway. We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year.”
McCartney didn’t say what the song is, but NME speculates its an unreleased song from Lennon in 1978, titled “Now And Then.” McCartney previously explained why the track was never released, saying, “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. [But] George didn’t like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn’t do it.”