JANUARY — Artificial intelligence has made it possible to release what is reportedly the final “new” Beatles song next week, sixty years after Beatlemania first began and with two of the quartet no longer living.
As part of a single with “Love Me Do,” the first Beatles single to be released in England in 1962, the song titled “Now And Then” will be made available on Thursday, Nov. 2.
“Now And Then” is from the same collection of unheard demos by the late John Lennon that his former bandmates used to create the mid-1990s hits “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love.”
Technology prevented Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison from working on “Now and Then” in the same sessions.
Director Peter Jackson resolved such issues by “separating” Lennon’s original voice from a piano used in the late 1970s, all with the aid of artificial intelligence. Last year, McCartney and Starr were able to finish the song thanks to the much clearer vocals.
The survivors managed to cram a lot into it. The new single features a guitar that Harrison had recorded almost thirty years prior, a new drum section by Starr, bass, piano, and a slide guitar solo added by McCartney in memory of Harrison, who passed away in 2001. Starr and McCartney sang backup.
In addition, McCartney included a string arrangement that he had collaborated on with Giles Martin, the late George Martin’s son and former Beatles producer.
In case that wasn’t enough, they also incorporated background vocals from the Beatles’ original recordings of “Because,” “Here, There, and Everywhere,” and “Eleanor Rigby.”
“There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear,” McCartney said in the announcement. “It’s quite emotional. 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.”
Harrison’s widow, Olivia, said he felt in the 1990s that the technical problems made it impossible to release a song that met the band’s standards. With the improvements, “he would have wholeheartedly” joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song now if he were still alive, she said.
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.
Expansion versions of the Beatles’ compilation albums “1962-1966” and “1967-1970” will be available later this month. “Now And Then” will be included in the latter collection even though it was released considerably later than 1970.
Remixes of their previous albums featuring studio outtakes and Michael Jackson’s “Get Back” film are among the new projects the surviving Beatles have deftly launched. These releases are typically timed to appeal to nostalgic fans over the holiday season.
It’s the grand finale of new music for this year.
“This is the final song you will ever hear featuring all four Beatles.” Ringo, John, Paul, George, and so on,” Starr stated in a recent Associated Press interview.