‘Now and Then’ is the last Beatles song, made with AI

The Beatles, one of the most iconic bands in music history, have made a remarkable return with their latest release. “Now and Then,” their newest track, marks their first release since 1995, and it’s generating significant buzz among fans and music enthusiasts.

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This extraordinary composition is being hailed as the final Beatles track, a poignant realization given the passage of time and the sad fact that two of the legendary members have left us, while the other two are now well into their 80s. Despite these challenges, the Beatles’ enduring creativity and commitment to their art shine through in this song.

The origins of “Now and Then” trace back to a John Lennon demo from the 1970s and a guitar track recorded by George Harrison in 1995. Leveraging the power of modern machine learning technology, the surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, have brought this track to life. The software, which was initially employed by director Peter Jackson during the production of the Get Back documentary for Apple, facilitated the separation of Lennon’s vocal from the piano with precision, granting the remaining Beatles complete creative freedom in shaping the song. The intriguing process of creating this historic track is documented in a fascinating documentary.

As for the song itself, it’s a poignant Lennon ballad, distinguished by his hauntingly beautiful vocals. McCartney’s masterful bass lines and Starr’s rhythmic drumming provide a solid foundation. Although the guitar solo reflects Harrison’s distinctive style, it was not played by him, although he contributed to the background rhythm guitar. To underscore the Beatles’ grandeur, the song features a full orchestral arrangement.

While “Now and Then” may not be hailed as one of the Beatles’ most celebrated tracks, it captivates listeners with its evocative Lennon vocal and beautifully crafted music. The song was originally intended for release in 1995 as part of The Beatles Anthology, alongside “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love,” two other tracks sourced from Lennon’s 1970s demos. Back in the 1990s, however, the technology necessary to separate Lennon’s vocal from the piano without compromising the original recording was not yet available. This new release is a testament to how technology has continued to advance and how the Beatles’ legacy endures in the digital age.