A new wave of AI technology—and the music industry’s push to double down on nostalgia—means that long-gone singers might never be put to rest.
So why stop with music? How about authors, playwrights and the like? Who wouldn’t like to attend a fresh Shakespeare play? How about politicians! We could bring back President Reagan or even Jack Kennedy - either likely better than the goons running for this office now. The problem with flooding the future with the past is that it could give the present no future.
It's ironic that a writer gets their death + 70 years before their work can be used however anyone pleases, but AI means that the moment you're dead, anyone can deepfake you without consequence.
There is no ‘new Beatles song’, there is a new fake Beatles song in which I am not interested. We live now in a world populated by too many who live fake lives wondering where to turn for meaning…!
The irony through all this jibber-jabber is that "Now and Then" is a dreadful boring tune. Dead Men Sing No Songs.
The thought of listening to MORE Beatles makes me want to punch something.
I know it may be anti-whatever but I CANNOT stand the Beatles. It’s constant to relive (now for real) redo, re-write the Beatles their lives, music and THEM. Who actually cares now?
Does this mean no one is ever really dead? Please more narcissism?? Ugh
IMAGINE all the music that may never be created. Its easy if you try.
The most disturbing to me of these projects in recent memory was the release of Harper Lee's "sequel" to (or rough original draft of, or alternate version of) "To Kill a Mockingbird" while she was still alive, but following her own stroke and the death of her sister (and lifelong protector). This was a "discovered manuscript" -- discovered by business associates who stood to gain handsomely from its publication -- that Lee had repeatedly, in her pre-stroke life, refused to publish, having spent decades insisting she'd never publish again.
There remains, following Lee's death, a great deal of lingering doubt about whether "Go Set a Watchman" is an attempted sequel pieced together by other people. Health department officials in Alabama even felt pressured to launch an investigation into elder abuse of the celebrated writer (who had limited vision, was largely deaf, and lived in assisted care). While they ultimately concluded Lee hadn't been forced or manipulated into agreeing to publish the book, people who had known her (and her sister) for many years remained skeptical, some even expressing doubt about whether "statements" attributed to the writer and issued via email to journalists and publications had actually been made by Lee. The controversy was not helped by the fact that a guard was placed on duty at the assisted-living home (whether to prevent unmonitored or unwanted contact with Ms. Lee remains unclear).
Lots of people were horrified with the depiction of the much-beloved Atticus Finch character as a racist in "Watchman" (which may well have been Lee's first draft of "Mockingbird"). Personally, I've never read "Watchman," and never will, as I continue to feel so deeply uncomfortable with the circumstances of its alleged "discovery" -- including Lee's purported 90-degree turnaround and out-of-long-established-character enthusiasm for its publication at a particularly vulnerable time in her life.
I don't so much mind James Bond books continuing to be written by the company (Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.) as everyone knows Fleming himself is not still writing these novels. I DO mind the company reissuing Fleming's original books with edits designed to bring them in line with contemporary sensitivities (i.e., removing racial references and terms/attitudes that might be considered "offensive" by modern readers). I similarly object strongly to Penguin's edits and censorship of Roald Dahl's wonderful children's books last year (Google for the specifics if you're not already familiar with the story). It's bad enough for greedy content pushers to animate dead artists like meat puppets to sell us new work that the original artists didn't create and may well have objected to -- it's absolutely unacceptable, in my view, to revise the work those artists DID create. And it's equally unacceptable in my view to take away work that artists released into the public domain during their lives (and that millions have enjoyed and loved), like the four Seuss books (stripped without notice from his estate's publishing catalog, and also immediately removed from eBay and Amazon).
I think John would have loved it. The Lennon/McCartney songwriting team was built on trust and one or the other cutting out the bad bits and keeping the good ones.
Paul stitching together a John fragment into something new was commonplace.
The medley on the second side of Abbey Road is segments stitched together by mostly Paul. Day in the Life was two segments that together were greater than the whole. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey & Picasso's Last Words are other genius examples from Paul's solo career.
George probably would have loved how it turned out too.
Johnny Cash sounded hollow without the nuanced touches that made his songs resonate. A bit like the authors who finish writing the “unfinished” books of Austen or Dickens. Although the writers finishing the book are experts in the authors’ style, they cannot capture the original authors’ brilliance.
i don't think prince would have been happy at all with 42% of his estate getting snapped up for this use. he was notoriously well known for controlling his music and his image. but it's his own damn fault for not having a will in place, which still shocks me, considering how much of a control freak he was with everything else in his life.
I wouldn't mind an ai that focused on repairing and maintaining architecture and infrastructure...
Fascinating. Not sure how I feel above it. Is a culture dying that is overly focused on its past rather than its future?
My profession is understandably worried! Why pay a human Narrator SAG/AFTRA wages if you can clone their Voice believably... and it is already being done. I'm thoroughly awed with AI capabilities, but we need to find methods (and quickly!) to assure we real humans don't become obsolete! Or that our voices (anyone's voices!) aren't used for commercial gain... or more nefarious purposes!
We are in true cultural stagnation and decline. How will any new artists get a chance to shine when we continue to put out new material from long dead ones? Who will get a chance to be the next Jimi Hendrix when corporations keep putting out "new" music under his name?
Just like it seems every movie and TV show is some sort of sequel or reboot these days, the music industry will soon be nothing but remixes and duets of from artists of a more creative and artistic era.
There’s less to this story than meets the eye. Artists dead or alive, there’s good music and then the rest. If people want to pay to see a mediocre song with a dead artist, let them do it; after all there’s plenty of mediocre music by alive artists that makes big money.
McCartney obviously didn’t insist on finalizing “Now and Then” because he needed to cash in on his old friend’s fame, but because the song had a sentimental value to him. I’ll listen to it - for old times’ sake - but I will by it only if I really like it.