The Beatles have released another song, the first since 1995. “Now and Then” is being advertised as the final Beatles track, given that two of the members have passed and the other two are well over 80 years old. But then again, millionaires do love money.
The song grew from a John Lennon demo track dating back to the 1970s and a 1995 guitar track from George Harrison. The surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, then finished the tune using machine learning technology. The song was meant to come out back in 1995, along with “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love,” two other tracks culled from old Lennon demos. However, the technology just wasn’t there to pull the vocals without degrading audio quality.
With the same software director Peter Jackson used for the Get Back documentary for Apple, the team split Lennon’s vocal from the piano without any audio bleed, allowing the remaining Beatles to turn it into a fleshed-out ballad. The guitar solo is in the Harrison style, but it’s not actually played by him — he does play some of the rhythm guitar in the background.
— Mat Smith
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