The Beatles: "Now and Then" and Forever

Switched on Pop

07-11-2023 • 30 mins

When Paul McCartney announced that he and Ringo Starr had produced a new Beatles song with the aid of AI, many music pundits were skeptical. Was this new song be another gimmick like the fake Drake hit "Heart on My Sleeve"? No. Instead, the Beatles simply used AI voice separation technology to repair a well-worn John Lennon demo tape.  Back in the '90s, Yoko Ono gave shared a collection of unfinished John Lennon demos with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison (who died in 2001) as part of a final recording session that resulted in the singles "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love." However, the third song, “Now And Then" was marred by hissing and humming, and the piano was overly loud. Harrison called it rubbish, and after a few hours of tracking a rough song they left it on the cutting room floor.  But now in 2023, using film maker Peter Jackson’s latest restoration technology created for his "Get Back" documentary, the Beatles were able to create one last song together, though in three different eras. Lennon tracked his vocals in the '70s, Harrison's parts were lifted from the '90s sessions, and McCartney and Starr added their parts in 2022. The band is filled out by a string arrangement by Giles Martin (Beatles cataloger and son of the late Beatles producer George Martin) and Ben Foster, in addition to reused backing vocals from earlier Beatles tracks.  So, did the Beatles successfully bring this worn-out recording back to life? Does this AI song sound like Beatles, let alone human? Find out on Switched On Pop. SONGS DISCUSSED The Beatles - Now And Then The Beatles - Free As A Bird The Beatles - Real Love The Beatles - Taxman The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps The Beatles - Two Of Us The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby The Beatles - Because The Beatles - Here, There And Everywhere The Beatles - The End The Beatles - Penny Lane The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows The Beatles - In My Life The Beatles - You Won't See Me The Beatles - When I'm Sixty Four The Beatles - Hello, Goodbye The Beatles - Blackbird The Beatles - I Want You (She's So Heavy) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices