Artificial Intelligence is being used to alter Beatles songs. If you’ve checked out YouTube recently, you may have heard them. For example…Paul’s “Every Night” can be found with the artificial voice of John Lennon singing the lead vocal. It actually sounds more like a combination of John and Paul’s voices into one wrong-sounding voice. There are a bunch of similar attempts, but it seems they’re a little short of perfecting the voices. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to “John’s voice” being used for “Hey Jude”.
John said he should have sung the lead on Paul’s song “On Darling”. That would be good, but you couldn’t just replace Paul’s voice with John’s. The musical key would have to be lowered into John’s range, and then someone would have to guess how John would’ve actually chosen to sing it.
There will certainly be improvements shortly, so what are we going to end up with, and what will be legal?
Some attempts like these could turn out good in the future, and fans may find them interesting and enjoyable. The copyright laws might prevent free use of Beatles recordings, but it’s likely owners of various copyrights will find ways of making money off old songs. Maybe that has something to do with companies buying so many artist’s catalogs recently.
Paul McCartney is using AI to release what he calls the final Beatles song.
As most fans know, AI was used to improve the audio quality of the documentary The Beatles: Get Back. It was also used to better separate the instruments and voices on the remix of Revolver. That same technology has been used to separate and enhance John’s voice from an old cassette of demos. McCartney said that nothing has been artificially or synthetically created. He said “It’s all real, and we all play on it.” It’s expected the song is “Now and Then”, which The Beatles worked on at the time of the Anthology series in the mid 1990’s.
I’ve listened to John’s demo of “Now and Then” on YouTube, and it’s certainly underwhelming in that form. John’s singing of the demo doesn’t have the emotional punch he would have given a final take in the recording studio. Also, the high part of the vocal seems a little too high for John’s range. We can hope Paul sang the high part when they worked on the track in the ‘90’s, like he took the high part on John’s song “If I Fell”. We’ll find out if “Now and Then” is the song, and how it sounds, when the recording is released later this year.
Someone may also decide to improve John’s voice on “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” which were also derived from low quality cassette demos. An almost-good AI version of John’s demo of “Grow Old With Me” is already on YouTube.
In other Paul McCartney news, he’s released a book of photos he took in 1964 during Beatlemania.
Paul and the other Beatles were not photographers, but Paul and Ringo took snapshots from time to time. Ringo has already published a more extensive collection of his photos, and Paul included some personal photos in his book The Lyrics.
Here are some samples of photographs Paul provided as publicity for the book.
There seems to be an endless market for Beatles product. Besides books, it looks like we could get some interesting, and hopefully good music…if Artificial Intelligence can be used in an artistically satisfying way.