The Beatles release their final song ‘Now and Then’ with the help of AI

The Beatles 1

The Beatles, the legendary band that changed the history of music, have just released what is being called their final song, ‘Now and Then’. The song, which was originally recorded by John Lennon in the late 1970s, has been completed by the surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, with the help of artificial intelligence.

The Beatles 1

A modest demo turned into a full-band production

‘Now and Then’ began as a modest demo, with Lennon singing and playing piano on a boombox at his home, while a TV was on in the background. The demo was part of a collection of tapes that Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono gave to McCartney in the early 1990s, along with other unfinished songs such as ‘Free As a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’.

The Beatles attempted to finish ‘Now and Then’ in the mid-1990s, during the sessions that produced ‘Free As a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, which were released as part of the Anthology project. George Harrison, who died in 2001, even recorded a guitar part for the song. However, the band faced technical difficulties in isolating Lennon’s vocal and piano from the background noise and hiss on the tape, and decided to shelve the song.

AI technology helped to restore Lennon’s voice and piano

The breakthrough came when Peter Jackson, the director of the 2021 documentary The Beatles: Get Back, used artificial intelligence to restore the footage of the band’s 1969 sessions at Twickenham Studios. The same technology was applied to Lennon’s demo of ‘Now and Then’, which helped to separate his voice and piano from the extraneous sounds on the tape.

The AI also enhanced the quality of Lennon’s vocal and piano, making them sound clearer and more natural. McCartney and Starr then added their vocals and instruments to the song, creating a full-band production that sounds like a genuine Beatles song.

A heartfelt tribute to Lennon and Harrison

‘Now and Then’ is a wistful ballad that expresses Lennon’s longing for his former bandmates and friends. The lyrics are simple but poignant: “Now and then / I miss you / Oh, now and then / I want you to be there for me / Always to return to me.”

The song takes on a deeper meaning for McCartney and Starr, who have lost both Lennon and Harrison over the years. The song is a tribute to their departed friends, as well as a celebration of their enduring bond as The Beatles.

The song also resonates with fans who have grown up with The Beatles’ music, and who have witnessed their ups and downs, their break-up and their reunion. The song is a reminder of the legacy that The Beatles have left behind, and the joy that they have brought to millions of people around the world.

‘Now and Then’ is not meant to be compared to The Beatles’ classic songs, such as ‘Let It Be’, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, or ‘Hey Jude’. It is not meant to be a masterpiece or a statement. It is simply a farewell gift from The Beatles to their fans, a final song that closes their remarkable story.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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