Now and Then, The Beatles AI-Assisted track / Dosed By the Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Look, I love the Beatles as much as the next appreciator of great music of the 20th century. We lost John, we lost George, and now with only Paul and Ringo left, a new Beatles track should have been impossible, and listening to Now and Then, it appears it actually was, despite and perhaps, because of the involvement of A.I.

It is somewhat fitting that today is the second half of the Day of the Dead, and to be frank, Lennon and Harrison must be rolling in their graves to hear this blatant cash grab without any thought to artistic integrity. Unfortunately this new track is a bitter pill to swallow…bear with me…

Listen to The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their song, Dosed. Go on…indulge this old critic…

Now listen to the ‘new’ track by whatever is passing for The Beatles in 2023

Anyone who is not totally deaf can hear the…ahem…influence. It is basically the same song to these old ears. The Chilli Peppers should be absolutely overjoyed that AI thinks they sound like the Beatles…or not. Whether the bones of the track were there or not, before the Peppers made their track doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that AI has gone and merged the Beatles, the magnificent Beatles into something that sounds like every other mediocre sad song from every other mostly middle-of-the-pack band.

Dosed is not even the best Pepper’s song, let alone the best Beatles-esque song. I mean, take anything from ‘Look Back in Anger‘ by Oasis and you will know what I mean. This new track by The Beatles, and it pains me to say this, because ripping some vocals from Lennon and Harrison from a demo does not a Beatles song make, is a disaster. The song sounds autotuned and pretty vacant. It is not so much a celebration of their life, as a soulless dirge. This would never, should never have made the cut. It certainly would not if anyone was left to stop Paul McCartney being such a people-pleaser and the companies in charge from seeing $$$$$ signs and the possibility of making The Beatles money making machine live forever. Ringo is a drummer. No one should expect a drummer to make existential decisions about resurrecting dead tracks! I forgive them both, but never ever want to hear anything like this again, so help me, Apple Records!

There is nothing at the heart of this track. It occupies an uncanny valley that is not a comfort or a joy, but instead something uneasy and a little left of center. Sure, we all want to hear the Beatles sing how they ‘miss you’ and ‘wanted you to be there for me’. But the feeling, the true feeling that characterizes the supreme empathic kick of Beatles songs is utterly missing. It is like staring into the void and hoping for the voice of Shaddai but instead hearing the voice of Hal saying: “Sorry Paul, I can’t do that!” This is 2023 Space Odyssey, and I wish that I could cut the cables and make it stop before it desecrates the legacy of any other artists that I love who have gone into the Great Beyond.

I might need to be dosed after the shock of hearing this capitalist nightmare made into sound. Pass the pills and make it all go away, or at least go listen to Blackbird and remember what it all should sound and feel like: full of love, longing and emotion, instead of a blank facsimile of genius.

This is not celebrating the legacy of the Beatles, rather pissing on the grave of a band who should have been left to rest in peace. The Beatles have a vast and satisfying back catalogue, we should have been content that this music exists, rather than use binary code to see if we can recreate the genius expression of the human soul that was the collective output of Lennon, Paul, Ringo and Harrison.

-10 / 10 A true Halloween season horror story. Let sleeping Beatles lie and go listen to the White Album!


  1. Alan Conrad

    What a great assessment of the whole AI entering culture mess. I can’t bring myself to listen to the result – just your description of it is enough. I’ve had for the past 30 yrs or so had a scene in my head, that I’ve been looking for a story to put it in, where 3 people are sitting in a fast-food place somewhere far off in the Galaxy, listening to Frank Sinatra sing “I Did it My Way,” when one says “They say he was a real person you know,” and they debate that possibility ……it’s never occured to me that it might be a new mishmash of Frank and who knows who else. I still have high hopes for AI, but I think we need a defensive wall around culture. AI, once it’s fully sentient, can have its own culture – in the way the best chess playing AI now play only each other [human grandmasters can’t get near them], and human chess players play only each other.

    And yes, what an abomination it is to do that to the Beatles. I dread the thought of what’s coming for Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, etc.

    1. The Paltry Sum: Detroit Richards

      I have made up my mind to defend human culture with every last fiber of my being! That sounds like a great story! Please write it! I would not recommend listening to that abomination that is passing for a Beatles song…unless you feel like being depressed and creeped out all at the same time. We need to make new art, create new artistic heroes and genius works of great beauty, not hark back to try and resurrect what was and now is not! They had better leave Brian Jones and Amy Winehouse fact all of that 27 club! Just say no to the computer! It is not ok!

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