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Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr respond to rumours surrounding The Beatles’ use of AI in new song

The song will be the first time the Fab Four have released original music since 1996.
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Paul McCartney has revealed that The Beatles will release their final song later this year with the help of artificial intelligence.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today, McCartney revealed that The Beatles’ team had been back in the studio, with new technology allowing them to “extricate” John Lennon’s voice from a 45 year old demo tape to create what will be the final song from the Fab Four.

Top L-R: Paul McCartney, John Lennon | Bottom L-R: Ringo Starr, George Harrison.

(Image: Getty)

“When we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo John had that we worked on and we just finished it up,” said McCartney, adding that the track will be released some time this year.

“We were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through AI, so then we could mix the record as you would normally do.”

Following the news, McCartney took to Twitter to provide fans with an update on the release, writing “[It’s] been great to see such an exciting response to our forthcoming Beatles project. No one is more excited than us to be sharing something with you later in the year.”

The Beatle also took the time to debunk the speculation that AI had created the song from scratch, stating “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.”

Fellow Beatle Ringo Starr was also quick to quash any rumours that the latest track had been fabricated, telling Rolling Stone that The Beatles would “never” artificially create John Lennon’s vocals.

Starr also revealed that the late-George Harrison would also feature on the new track, adding “[the song] was beautiful, and it’s the final track you’ll ever hear with the four lads and that’s a fact.”

McCartney and Lennon wrote over 300 songs together throughout their time in The Beatles.

(Image: Getty)

Although neither McCartney or Starr divulged the title of the song, fans believe that the final track will be a reworking of John Lennon’s 1979 demo Now and Then.

The recording was part of a cassette that Lennon labelled ‘For Paul’, with the collection of demos being produced shortly before Lennon’s tragic death in December 1980.

Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, shared the recordings with McCartney, who reunited with fellow Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison in 1995 to re-record and release two of Lennon’s demos, Real Love and Free As A Bird, as part of The Beatles Anthology project.

Now and Then had also been slated for release as part of Anthology however, due to Harrison’s dislike of the song, the session was scrapped.

“It didn’t have a very good title. It needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing on it. George didn’t like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn’t do it,” McCartney previously told Q Magazine.

George Harrison, Yoko Ono, and Ringo Starr alongside Lennon’s two children, Julian and Sean.

(Image: Getty)

Despite the ground-breaking technology, McCartney’s recording is not the first time The Beatles have utilised AI.

As part of the production for the 2021 documentary series Get Back, Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson developed a programme that would allow his team to deconstruct and enhance 140 hours of audio of The Beatles captured during their Let It Be recording sessions.

“We developed a machine learning system that we’ve taught what a guitar sounds like, what a bass sounds like, what a voice sounds like. In fact, we taught the computer what John sounds like and what Paul sounds like,” Jackson told Disney+.

This technology allowed McCartney to use Lennon’s isolated vocals from The Beatles 1969 rooftop performance as part of his 2022 Glastonbury Festival show, allowing the 80-year-old to perform a live duet with Lennon over 40 years after his death.

WATCH BELOW: How The Beatles documentary used AI.

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