Paul McCartney Clarifies Use of Artificial Intelligence in ‘New’ Beatles Song


Paul McCartney It was a somewhat belated response to the hysterical speculation that followed his announcement earlier this month. The “new” Beatles song was created from a late ’70s John Lennon demo Recording with the help of AI.

“It’s great to see such an exciting response to our upcoming Beatles project,” he wrote on social media. “No one is more excited than we are to be sharing something with you later in the year.

“We’ve seen some confusion and speculation about this,” he continued. “A lot of guesswork out there seems to have worked. I can’t say much at this stage but to be clear, nothing was created artificially or synthetically. It’s all real and we’re all playing on it. We cleaned up some existing records, a process that has been going on for years.

“We hope you like it as much as we do. More news in time – Paul.

McCartney’s initial announcement of the track during a BBC interview on 12 June was relatively straightforward, albeit short in details – “It was a demo that John was working on and we just finished it, it’s due to air this year,” he said. aforementioned. “Through this AI, we were able to take John’s voice and refine it so we could mix the recording as you normally would.”

Lately Confusion over what AI could mean for the music industry — and the alarm that musicians may have really outdated them — many fans assumed the announcement meant that artificial intelligence was used to produce a Lennon song and vocals, just as anonymous artist Ghostwriter did earlier this year by creating the song “Heart on My Sleeve.” wrong feature, AI-generated vocals from Drake and the Weeknd. (This song was eventually removed from streaming services due to copyright violations, although the exact legal issues surrounding it remain unclear.) As McCartney clarifies today, that was never the case with this “new” Beatles song.

While McCartney did not reveal the title of the song, sources say it was a demo that Lennon’s widow, Yoko, sent to the surviving Beatles in the late 1970s while preparing material for their “Anthology” album and video. Band members and producer Jeff Lynne created two more songs from Lennon demos from the same period – “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”, both released on the “Anthology” series – and worked on “new”. A source said the song was ultimately not deemed fit for release, especially by George Harrison. But Harrison, who died in 2001, played on the forthcoming recording.

It’s unclear whether this is due to the sound quality of the recording or the song itself, but McCartney clearly senses it’s using a similar version of the AI ​​technology that director Peter Jackson used to isolate and clean up sounds in the 2021 “Get Back” movie. ” documentary – taken from 1969 film footage, in which conversations were isolated from previously obscured by background noise or other sounds – making the song suitable for broadcasting. This technology was also used in the 1966 classic “Revolver,” the last extended reprint in the Beatles’ catalog.

However, neither the new song nor “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” can be considered “lost” Beatles tracks – songs that Lennon recorded and wrote in the late 1970s, years after the band broke up. nor do many fans feel that they have lived up to the standards set by the group throughout their careers. The Beatles broke up in the fall of 1969, but didn’t reveal the news until the following spring.

In a BBC interview, McCartney described AI as “a very interesting thing” and added: “It’s something we’re all struggling with and dealing with in some way right now. What does that mean? I haven’t been on the internet a lot, but I don’t hear much about it. People will say to me, ‘Oh, there’s a song where John sings one of my songs.’ And it’s not. This is all a little scary but exciting because that’s the future.”

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