Back in 1978 when John Lennon sang this into a boombox while sitting at his piano at the Dakota, he couldn’t have imagined what it would be become. Cleaned up with state-of-the-art AI technology, blended with George Harrison‘s parts from an aborted session in 1995, and then touched up with new parts from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in 2023, this really is all four Beatles playing a song together. Yes, they were mostly separated by time and space and death, but the final result is every bit a Beatles song as anything they recorded in the 60s.
Now that it’s here, what do you think? Expectations were insane. The hype was over the top. Generations of Beatles fans were breathlessly awaiting its arrival. And this song will be compared to every one of the 245-ish songs The Beatles recorded in their heyday.
A couple of things I noticed:
- Having Paul count it off at the beginning is the perfect way for it to start.
- It’s very Beatle-ly.
- There are some trademark John chord changes in the song. I got a “Strawberry Fields” vibe from the final few chords.
- It definitely sounds like late-period Beatles. This would have fit on Let It Be as perhaps a counterpoint to that album’s title track.
- I’m not gonna lie: The George Harrison slide guitar solo starting at 2:27 made me tear up a little. Simple and tasteful.
- The harmonies that come in right at the end of the guitar solo are pure Beatles.
- Hearing The Beatles together on a recording made with AI and Pro Tools is a different experience than hearing them on an ancient 3M 4-track tape machine, the go-to recorder at Abbey Road back in the day.
- Do NOT dismiss the song after one listen. Give it several. It will grow on you. Trust me.