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Artificial intelligence helped create the "last Beatles record"

The fab four face the press at Delmonico’s Hotel, in New York City, on Aug. 29, 1964. From left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison
The fab four face the press at Delmonico’s Hotel, in New York City, on Aug. 29, 1964. From left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By hannah gore
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Paul McCartney says artificial intelligence helped create the “last Beatles record”, calling the new technology “scary” but also “exciting”.

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Artificial intelligence seems to be capable of just about anything nowadays, including raising the voices of the dead to recreate their music. As Euronews Culture reported in June, AI has been working to resuscitate The Beatles’ music, even going so far as to create new music with all the members’ vocals.

After appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Paul McCartney revealed that the technology was even used in order to create, in his words, “the last Beatles’ record”.

“There’s a good side” to AI, says McCartney

Online creators like YouTuber Dae Lims have been using existing Beatles music to isolate the artists’ voices, sometimes creating new songs altogether. As we reported earlier in the month, some of these productions have been removed due to copyright complaints. Dae Lims, for example, currently no longer has any Beatles songs adaptations on their channel.

YouTube user TLM reposted one of Dae Lim's AI creations.

Despite the controversy, McCartney stated that artificial intelligence has “great uses”. He added that AI was nonetheless “kind of scary, but exciting because it’s the future”. “It’s a very interesting thing, it’s something we’re all sort of tackling at the moment.”

McCartney explained that similar technology had already been used in the making of the 2021 documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” directed by Peter Jackson. The filmmakers at the time separated John Lennon’s vocals from a cassette they had on record.

When working on the record set to be released later this year, AI helped to “purify” Lennon’s voice for a new song. “So, there’s a good side to it”, said McCartney.

The BBC reported that the song set to come out will likely be “Now and Then”, composed by Lennon in 1978.

Never-before-seen Beatles’ photos to be made public

2023 is set to be a big year for McCartney.

In addition to the new music release, the singer-songwriter will also reveal new photographs taken during the height of the band’s celebrity. 

“These never-before-seen images offer a uniquely personal perspective on what it was like to be a ‘Beatle’ at the start of ‘Beatlemania’”, according to Britain's National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan.

Finding the photos was “really good”, McCartney told the BBC. “I thought I’d lost them”, explaining that in the 1960s, many things went missing amid the hustle and bustle of being a music superstar. “I was very pleasantly surprised.”

Among the snapshots are intimate moments of the members’ lives seen through McCartney’s lens - George Harrison sound asleep, a young John Lennon already wearing his glasses.

The exhibition “Eyes of the Storm” will be at the National Portrait Gallery at the end of June. A book of the same name (Liveright/Norton, 336 pp.) displaying the photos is also currently on sale.

“Beatlemania” also heads to the silver screen

At the same time, the film Midas Man about the band’s manager, Brian Epstein, is in the works. Epstein discovered The Beatles in 1961 and revamped their image.

However, the production has met several roadblocks. A third director, Joe Stephenson, has now taken over the project from Sara Sugarman, who had replaced Jonas Åkerlund.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd was cast as Brian Epstein, Jonah Lees as John Lennon, Blake Richardson as Paul McCartney, Leo Harvey-Elledge as George Harrison and Campbell Wallace as Ringo Starr.

No release date has yet been announced for the film.

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