Over recent months, music lovers have been using AI methods to create “new music” and collaborations with their favourite artists, including The Weeknd, Drake, Kanye West and more. However, one of the latest projects shared shows that fans can also bring some of their nostalgic favourites back to life, and create new versions of iconic 1960s tracks.
One of the most recent covers, shared last month, shows just that — depicting the iconic 1966 Beach Boys track, ‘God Only Knows’ being played in the style of The Beatles.
Starting with AI-generated vocals, the track also features a dreamy duet with Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as well as backing harmonies from drummer Ringo Starr and an a cappella ending. Check out the track below.
While the creator of the video doesn’t offer much explanation into what inspired the project or what tools he used to develop the track, McCartney has previously described the song as “one of the few songs that reduces me to tears every time I hear it”.
“It’s really just a love song, but it’s brilliantly done. It shows the genius of Brian [Wilson],” he said (via Far Out).
While AI-generated mashups can often be conceived as controversial by fans, The Beatles and Beach Boys collaboration has received mostly positive reactions online. At the time of writing, the video has over 1,100 likes on YouTube, versus just 10 “thumbs-down” reactions.
“Paul and John are finally reconciled in the chorus, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve heard. Thank you,” wrote one fan in the comments, while another added: “This is incredible. I have dreamed of hearing Paul sing this for my whole life. Amazing.”
Last month, an AI-generated “lost” Oasis album also emerged online and also received a wave of praise from fans online. The project — which imagined how Oasis would sound if they reformed and created music reminiscent of their ‘90s heyday — also gained recognition from the former frontman, Liam Gallagher, who described it as “mega” and “better than all the other snizzle out there.”
Earlier this week, however, fans had a less than optimistic view towards another AI project, which saw Kurt Cobain performing the 1998 Hole song, ‘Celebrity Skin’.
While it was labelled as nothing more than an “elaborate mashup” by the creator, fans were quick to criticise the project and call it out as being inappropriate.
“Call it what you want, but this is copyright infringement, totally distasteful, poorly executed, and subtextual misogyny that panders to bigoted whisperings that Kurt wrote [Courtney Love Cobain’s] hits,” wrote one person on Twitter. “Let them both rest.”
Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave also shared his lack of support for songwriting using artificial intelligence earlier this year — labelling it as “a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human”. He also commented on the issue later, explaining that he wished AI programmes such as ChatGPT would “fuck off and leave songwriting alone”.
Grimes also recently weighed in on the ongoing debate too, and expressed her support for her voice to be used in AI music. Taking to social media, she permitted fans to use her voice for any upcoming projects because “it’s cool to be fused [with] a machine”.