A new Beatles song in 2023, yes it’s possible… thanks to machine learning technologies! And the result is surprisingly successful.
“Now And Then” is (probably) the final Beatles song, and it wasn’t until the technology was advanced enough that we could hear it today. In the 90s, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison met to finalize “new” songs from the legendary group that made them so famous, based on John Lennon demo tapes.
Recover John Lennon’s voice
Two tracks were released as part of the Anthology compilations: “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”. But a third, “Now And Then”, could not be recovered: “ In John’s demo, the piano is a little hard to hear. And at the time, of course, we didn’t have the technology to achieve separation [de la voix] “, explains McCartney in the documentary that accompanies the release of the song. “ Every time we wanted to hear a little more of John’s voice, the piano intervened and interfered with the listening. “.
No “Now And Then” therefore… until 2022 and the production work of Get BackPeter Jackson’s long documentary for Disney+. The director and his team developed technology based on machine learning that made it possible to separate John Lennon’s voice from the rest of the composition. A crystal clear track that can serve as a basis for its own orchestration.
“ We were able to mix and make a new recording “, indicates McCartney who provided the bass line while Ringo Starr of course took care of the drums. George Harrison having left us in 2001, it is the recording of his guitar part from 1995 that we can hear in the final piece, with the addition of a solo signed McCartney “in the style of Harrison”. Everyone will judge the result, but technically it is quite successful:
“Now And Then” is also available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Music and all streaming platforms.