Happy smiling Beatles

U.K. collector’s card from 1964, here as seen in Har Van Fulpen’s book from 1982, The “Beatles”: An Illustrated Diary

An outtake photo is going the rounds in social media these days, of the Beatles at the photo session for their second album, “With The Beatles”. The photographer went for the more sombre looking, familiar photo, but he also had them smiling for at least one shot. Ringo, a bit shorter than the rest of the guys, was not as short as he seems in the photos, he is just kneeling down in order to get them all into a square frame, which an album cover is restricted to. A restored version of the photo, most likely done with a little or a lot of help from artificial intelligence, is this:

Enhanced version of the photo.

As we have been used to from other AI enhanced photos, and even the “Get Back” documentary series, they do look a little bit off, which has lead to people unfamiliar with the original outtake to speculate if the software has managed to change the boys facial expressions from sad to happy, which is not quite the case here.

While the Beatles were pleased with Freeman’s suggested photo for the album’s cover, the marketing executives at EMI thought that the picture was “shockingly humorless”. “Where is the fun? Why are they looking so grim? We want to project happy Beatles for happy fans.”. Well they could have gotten their way.

Further reading: Album covers: With The Beatles

3 Responses

  1. Shad Radna says:

    Paul auditioning for the role of Columbo here, apparently. They really look their ages in this photo (the real one).

    • Mike says:

      I thought I was crazy but there is def ao manipulation in get back I noticed it especially in one the trailer a shot of John moving walking but you could tell something was off he looked like he was green screened in and another shot looked like his face had a fake smile on it

  2. Blakey says:

    I’ve seen far worse AI Beatle images. The ones on that Youtube version of ‘Now and Then’ are seriously weird. The stuff of nightmares, in fact.


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