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.