The Beatles have released their first new song in decades, including John Lennon's real vocals.
For decades the band thought they couldn't pull Lennon's voice from a recording made before he died.
But, thanks to AI software developed by Peter Jackson, it finally became possible.
The Beatles have released their "last" song as a group — yes, all four of them, including John Lennon and George Harrison.
And artificial intelligence helped make it possible — not by manufacturing a fake version of Lennon's voice from beyond the grave, but by pulling his actual voice out from a recording he made before his death.
Lennon wrote the lyrics to the new track "Now and Then" in the late 1970s, recording a demo version of himself singing it alongside a piano riff, the band said in a short documentary accompanying the song's release on Thursday.
More than a decade after Lennon died in 1980, his wife, Yoko Ono, gave the tape to the remaining band members in 1994.
Paul McCartney said in the documentary that he, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were thrilled to hear the long-lost song from Lennon.
But in 1995, after recording their own parts to add to the song, they couldn't figure out how to separate Lennon's voice from the piano, and they gave up, according to the documentary.
George Harrison died in 2001, and the song was set aside for decades. Then, in 2022, filmmaker Peter Jackson helped solve the problem.
Using an AI software system they had developed for the docuseries "The Beatles: Get Back," Jackson and his team finally found a way to uncouple Lennon's voice from the faint piano in the background of the recording, the band wrote in the YouTube release.
Starr and McCartney re-recorded their parts to add to Lennon's now-solo voice track, and they added in the guitar parts Harrison had recorded in 1995 — making the first complete, new Beatles song in decades.
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