A “new” song from the Beatles, with help from artificial intelligence, comes out next week.
The song, called Now And Then, will be available on November 2. It is part of a single along with Love Me Do. In 1962, Love Me Do came out as the first Beatles single.
Now And Then comes from the same group of unreleased recordings written by Beatle John Lennon, who died in 1980. His former bandmates used some of the media to build the songs Free As a Bird and Real Love released in the mid-1990s.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison worked on Now And Then at the same time. But, technological limitations blocked their progress. George Harrison died in 2001.
With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), movie director Peter Jackson was able to solve those tech problems. He used AI to “separate” Lennon's voice from the sound of the piano used in the late 1970s recording. The much clearer vocals permitted the surviving members, McCartney and Starr, to complete the song last year.
The new single contains guitar work that Harrison had recorded almost 30 years ago. Drummer Starr provided new sound along with McCartney's bass, piano and guitar. McCartney and Starr also sang with Lennon.
McCartney also added a string instrument piece written with the help of Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer George Martin.
And, they weaved in background singing from the first Beatles recordings of Here, There and Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby and Because.
“There it was, John's voice, crystal clear,” McCartney said in the announcement of the new song. “It's quite emotional. And we all play on it,” he added.
Harrison's widow, Olivia, said “he would have wholeheartedly” joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song now if he were still alive.
Next Wednesday, the day before the song's release, a 12-minute film that tells the story of the new recording will be made public.
Later in the month, expanded versions of the Beatles' albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970, will be released. The later years’ collection will get the addition of the song Now And Then.
The surviving Beatles have skillfully released new projects. They made remixes of old albums. They also worked with director Jackson's 2021 documentary series, The Beatles: Get Back.
This year is the big finale of new Beatles music.
“This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo,” Starr said in a recent interview with the Associated Press.
I’m Caty Weaver.