Yesterday, BMG announced the latest feather in its ever-growing cap: an agreement to bring the solo recordings of George Harrison to the label as part of its reactivation of the late Beatle's own Dark Horse Records label. With Harrison's publishing already under the BMG umbrella, the deal unites Harrison's recording and publishing. To mark the occasion - and to commemorate what would have been Harrison's 80th birthday on Saturday, February 25 - BMG has released his solo discography in Dolby Atmos surround sound, exclusively via Apple Music.
BMG/Dark Horse now have the rights to reissue Harrison's 12-album solo catalogue encompassing albums from Wonderwall Music (1968) through the posthumously-released Brainwashed (2002). While every record in his catalogue has something to offer, among the most notable are 1970's multi-platinum triple-album All Things Must Pass (featuring "My Sweet Lord," "What Is Life," "Isn't It a Pity," and the majestic title track); 1973's Living in the Material World (with the chart-topping "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)"); 1981's Somewhere in England (reuniting Paul and Ringo to salute John on "All Those Years Ago"); and 1987's Jeff Lynne collaboration Cloud Nine (boasting the No. 1 smash "Got My Mind Set on You" and affectionate "When We Was Fab"). The 1992 concert album Live in Japan is part of the deal, too, as well as the compilation albums Let It Roll - Songs by George Harrison, Early Takes Vol. 1, The Apple Years 1968-1975, and The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992.
George's son Dhani Harrison comments in the press release, "22 years since his passing, for what would have been his 80th birthday, I am overjoyed to announce that we are bringing my father's music catalogue back home to Dark Horse Records, the company he started back in 1974. We look forward to releasing only the finest of packages and hope the fans join us on the deepest of dives into our archives as we continue to grow his legacy through our partnership with BMG, starting with the release of his entire back catalog in Spatial Audio, for the first time, on Apple Music. We also will be using this opportunity to make all the custom limited vinyl that we can get away with. Happy 80th Dad!!! We love you always."
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch adds, "This is a banner day for BMG, bringing together for the first time the song and recorded rights of one of the greatest musicians in popular music history under one roof. Only BMG can do this. We look forward to working with the George Harrison Estate and Dark Horse Records to promote George's peerless music to generations old and new."
Dark Horse Records, founded by George in 1974 and now under the direction of Dhani Harrison and David Zonshine, has recently released a vinyl anthology of the label's 1974-1977 heyday, new recordings from Billy Idol, and a series of collections from the late Joe Strummer. Upcoming Dark Horse releases include an album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, a title from Deep Purple's Jon Lord, and reissues of sixteen albums from Leon Russell spanning 1984-2013. Watch this space for more information on upcoming releases from George Harrison and Dark Horse Records.
Michael Pasqua says
I hope they reissue the two albums by The Attitudes that have never been reissued as of yet.
"all the custom limited vinyl that we can get away with" is what concerns me. McCartney already puts out too many variations of the same music.
Brian Stanley says
Shall we keep holding our breath for “Early Takes Vol. 2” ?
Eliot Wien says
Things to expect from Dark Horse Records. Dhani will continue releasing Joe Strummer Reissues and unreleased Live and studio Material. We will also see releases by the artists from the 70's Dark Horse Records Catalog like Attitudes, Keni Burke, Jiva, SPLINTER, Henry McCullough, and Ravi Shankar. Billy idol will continue putting out material for Dark Horse. I'm sure all the George Harrison albums will be reissued with bonus unreleased material. I remember Dhani discussed putting together a Live George Harrison 1974 Dark Horse Tour album. Due to some issues that George had with his voice on that tour, Dhani said he would be pulling the best sounding tracks from that tour for a complete album. We're also hoping for Early Takes Volume 2. As always, we're hoping for a new album by Dhani Harrison!!!! I'm also sure Dark Horse Records will be signing many more people in the future!!! I met Keni Burke last Summer when he played at The Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn, NY when he opened for Stephanie Mills. We took pictures together and discussed the OOh Child Years along with the Dark Horse Records years. Keni Recorded The Stairsteps album 2nd Resurrection on Dark Horse Records produced by Bill Preston. This title is being released on the upcoming Record Store Day. He also recorded a solo album also on Dark horse Records. Keni is excited about these titles coming out again! Dhni, if you're reading this....This is the man with the gifts. We met at Union Hall in Brooklyn,m and Mercury Lounge in NYC. I gave you a promo button of Bugs Bunny riding a Dark Horse to promote the Distribution Deal with Warner Brothers Records. I also gave you a pair of Promo Sunglasses for George's 33-1/3 album. Keep up the Great work with Dark Horse Records!
IIRC, BMG is still under Sony, no? So what will this do to the rights for the Concert for Bangladesh?
Billy D says
Sony still owns the material from the RCA agreement, but BMG split and has been releasing music under BMG Rights Management for awhile now and they've gobbled up quite s lot of back catalogue as well as releasing new music such as the Moonage Daydream soundtrack.
Ricardo Amaral says
So that means they acquired all GH Apple material from before 1974?
Brad Sonmor says
If that horrid, overpriced, re-mixing of All Things Must Pass is an indication of where the George Harrison catalog is going, I’m not that excited about ANYTHING Dhani has up his sleeve.
Javier Rodríguez Fonseca says
Please make a re-issue on CD of his catalogue or at least of "33 1/3", "Somewhere in England" and "Gone troppo", as well as "Concert for the People of Bangladesh" and "Live in Japan". The seem not to be available now. Thanks so much in advance!
So, the first thing that BMG and the Harrison estate are trying to "get away with" is to force his fans into a subscription to Apple music if they want to listen to his whole back catalogue in (lossy) spatial audio?
I'm not holding my breath for what's coming up next...
Interesting bit about Dark Horse is rereleasing 16 albums from the Leon Russell catalog. I always thought Leon Russell albums were released on his own labels (Shelter, Paradise and Leon Russell). I wonder if Dark Horse did a deal with Leon Russell's labels.
Phil Cohen says
Very often, these music biz deals are announced with much fanfare, but ultimately come to little or nothing, for example Universal Music's purchase of Aerosmith's entire back catalog, and Iconic Artists' purchase of all of Stephen Stills' unreleased songs and outtakes. And now, a deal has been announced to move Kate Bush's catalog onto an unknown label named "State 51"(Except the UK rights to "The Kick Inside","Lionheart" & "Never For Ever", which will remain with Warner's "Parlophone Label Group"). Certainly, there will be no archival product; no reason to buy the albums again.
Certainly, I've got a good collection of George Harrison music on official and unofficial CD's & vinyl. I would have liked to have a super deluxe boxed set of "Living in The Material World", but as The Stones once sang, "You Can't Always Get what You Want".
Phil Cohen says
I guess that I spoke too soon. The first fruits of the deal between Stephen Stills & Iconic Artists "Live at Berkeley 1971" arrives April 28th through the Omnivore label. The late David Crosby guests on two songs.
i have never understood the why the 4 beatles solo years have such a great following. me, i dont like any of the 4, all seem to be over produced with large ensembles or striped down to a solo or small group setting.if these guys werent in a group called the beatles no record label would of continued to issue sooooo much medicore recordings.