McCartney: Nothing artificial with Lennon’s voice

The John Lennon voice being used on the new “Now and Then” recording is the real John Lennon voice, and not an AI interpretation of John’s voice, confirms Paul McCartney.

He differentiates what The Beatles are doing with “Now and Then” to what fans are uploading with AI versions of The Beatles singing The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows”.

In an interview with o Globo Brazil for the upcoming Brazil tour, Paul McCartney said he had heard the fake version of The Beatles’ “God Only Knows” but confirms “Now And Then” is not going down that same path.

It’s one thing for you to use artificial intelligence to pretend it’s my voice singing “God Only Knows,” and there’s a lot of that on the internet. Another is using it to technically clean up some recordings, and that’s pretty cool. The technicians were able to isolate the voice, so it felt like we were back to the original recording. It was great, we had John’s voice very clear and beautiful.

While the AI technology isn’t there yet, Paul says it soon will be and that will open lots of legal issues. He added, “As for the other case… I hear that ‘God Only Knows’ and I know it doesn’t sound like me. But five years from now, he’ll be sounding like me. So I think we have to start deciding who owns these recordings. Whether it’s the Beach Boys or the Beatles or whoever created this thing”.

Paul also confirmed that he has been adding bass guitar to two new Rolling Stones songs.

One day I was having dinner with Ronnie (Wood), I asked how the recordings were going and he said to me: “Oh, sometimes I have to mediate between Mick (Jagger) and Keith (Richards)…” And then I said that I had a guy to help them, Andrew Watt, the producer I was working with. Later we even found out that Mick was already talking to him. And then Andrew asked me one day, “Would you like to play bass on some tracks?”

“I realized that I had known these guys forever, that I had been to their shows, and they to ours, and that John and I had even done some backing vocals for one of their songs (“We Love You”). But I had never played with them, all together, in the same room. So I loved it.”


13 Responses

  1. Rickenbacker325 says:

    This coming from a man who uses autotune and tries to pass it off as thought it’s not there

  2. btlemad says:

    Having a guitar in your username doesn’t make you a music critic. There are plenty of us who will listen to anything Macca has to offer. Believe it or not, most of us understand that you don’t sound the same at 80 as you did at 21. The songwriting hasn’t diminished and the vocals are just different. Don’t listen if you don’t like it.

  3. Blakey says:

    I like a voice as it gets older. Scott Walker, Johnny Cash. David Bowie and Paul McCartney.

  4. Arno Guzek says:

    AI was used on Johns voice in the Get Back film and too for the Revolver box. The other 3 got the same treatment using the Mal system from Peter Jackson. So nothing new by cleaning up the old tapes.

  5. debjorgo says:

    Paul used auto-tune on Get Enough, as a vocal effect. It was obvious. Not something he was sneaking with. I don’t think he ever used it to tune to a note. That said, there are rumors he de-aged his voice for this Beatle track.

  6. Jim says:

    If sir McCartney says Lennon’s voice is real that is all I need!

  7. David Fisher says:

    Going sideways for a second I think my pal Graham has come up with an obvious explanation as to what secret Beatle project Peter Jackson has been working on recently. Jackson has said it’s *not* a documentary so it’s got to be the video for NOW AND THEN hasn’t it? And since he said he had to develop new software for whatever it is, the video could well be using AI which is fine in my book.

    I’m sure others have come up with this but I haven’t read it anywhere else.

  8. Jason Paris says:

    About Paul and John singing with the Stones, my ears tell me they’re providing backing vocals to the b-side of ‘We Love You’ (‘Dandelion’) too.

  9. James Peet says:

    There are two elements with this argument, regarding what AI is doing to music, and the music of the Beatles. The first part is; they are using AI to clean up tapes that had all the sounds locked onto one track. The second element shows that there are uses poles apart from cleaning up a tape, such as creating a Frankensteinian monster like “God Only Knows”.

    Drones have their good uses, such as aerial photography, and a much more sinister side, with what Putin is doing in Ukraine and spying on people. There’s good and bad, in everyone. I’ve heard that line somehwere before.

Leave a Reply