The Beatles on a poster for Peter Jackson's documentary The Beatles: Get Back

The World Will Get To Enjoy One Last “New” Beatles Song

It has been announced that The Beatles will be back for one final song after AI helped the last two surviving members of the band produce one of John Lennon’s final compositions. It will be the last new song to be released on which you can hear all four members of the Beatles.

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On October 26, it was revealed that the brand-new single, “Now and Then,” will be released next week, on November 2. It will be paired with “Love Me Do,” which was their debut single back in 1962.

In the mid-’90s, surviving members of the band Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison tinkered with a collection of unreleased demos written by the late John Lennon, which resulted in the singles “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” This new song, “Now and Then,” comes from the same batch of material.

In the ’90s, the remaining band members couldn’t separate the vocals recorded by John Lennon in the ’70s, which were accompanied by a piano, limited by the technology available at the time. Now, however, Lennon’s vocals are “crystal clear,” according to McCartney, after Peter Jackson—director of the documentary film The Beatles: Get Back—separated Lennon’s original vocals from the accompanying piano.

“There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear. It’s quite emotional,” McCartney said of the endeavor, “And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s quite an exciting thing.”

Similarly, in a statement reported by The Guardian, Starr said, “It was the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out.”

George Harrison died in 2002, but AP News reports that his widow, Olivia, said that “he would have wholeheartedly” joined his bandmates in constructing the new song if he were still alive.

The song features new parts recorded by the surviving members while Harrison’s guitar parts, which were recorded in 1995, have been woven in along with backing vocals from already existing Beatles songs like “Here, There and Everywhere,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Because.”

According to The Guardian, McCartney had previously prompted worry about how they had used artificial intelligence to regenerate Lennon’s performance when he stated in an interview on BBC Radio 4: “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. It gives you some sort of leeway.”

However, he later clarified, “To be clear, nothing has been artificially or synthetically created. It’s all real and we all play on it. We cleaned up some existing recordings—a process which has gone on for years. We hope you love it as much as we do.”

After the song becomes available, a short, 12-minute film will be released that documents how the new single came to life. Additionally, expanded versions of The Beatles’ compilations 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 will be released next month, on November 10, which will include the new single, “Now and Then.”

(via The Guardian and AP News, featured image: Disney+)


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Brooke Pollock
Brooke Pollock is a UK-based entertainment journalist who talks incessantly about her thoughts on pop culture. She can often be found with her headphones on listening to an array of music, scrolling through social media, at the cinema with a large popcorn, or laying in bed as she binges the latest TV releases. She has almost a year of experience and her core beat is digital culture.