Just in time for what would have been George Harrison’s 80th birthday, BMG and Dark Horse Records have reached an agreement to bring his solo recorded works to BMG. It marks the first time that Harrison’s recorded and publishing works are under the same roof.
BMG entered into a global deal last year with the George Harrison Estate to administer the 200-song plus Harrisongs catalog, which includes all of Harrison’s work written with the Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys and his solo career. Harrison died in 2001.
“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,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch in a statement. “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.”
To commemorate his Feb. 25 birthday, Dark Horse and BMG have released Harrison’s entire catalog in Dolby Atmos surround sound exclusively on Apple Music.
Harrison’s recorded catalog features 12 studio albums of solo works including his debut Wonderwall Music (soundtrack to the film Wonderwall) and the US and UK chart-topping critically acclaimed, 7x Platinum-certified triple album All Things Must Pass featuring the No. 1 hit “My Sweet Lord,” “What Is Life,” “Isn’t It A Pity” and “All Things Must Pass.” Other albums include Living In The Material World, featuring “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth),” his Platinum-certified Cloud Nine, featuring “Got My Mind Set On You,” and his final studio album Brainwashed featuring the Grammy award-winning “Marwa Blues.”
The catalog also includes the live double album, Live in Japan, featuring Eric Clapton, and four compilations Let It Roll – Songs by George Harrison, Early Takes Vol 1, The Apple Years 1968-1975 and The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992.
The partnership expands on BMG’s relationship with Dark Horse Records as BMG serves as its global partner and infrastructure across recorded music, music publishing and merchandise, including the launch of a new merchandise store for Harrison and the introduction of the Dark Horse Sounds wellness music series.
While BMG and Dark Horse have not announced an album rollout beyond the Apple Music exclusive, Harrison’s son Dhani hints in a statement that there is more coming.
“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,” he says. “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.”
The catalog partnership is the latest move in the relationship between BMG and Dark Horse, which began in 2020 to revive the label Harrison launched in 1974. Dhani Harrison runs Dark Horse with David Zonshine. Last year, Dark Horse signed a new licensing agreement with the Leon Russell estate for 16 albums by the late singer/songwriter and Harrison friend, as well as with Joe Strummer’s estate to administer the Clash co-founder’s music publishing. BMG has been working with Dhani since 2014.
Thomas Scherer, BMG president of repertoire & marketing, New York and Los Angeles, said, “For years we have had an amazing partnership with Dhani and David that continues to grow to this day. What began as working with Dhani on his own albums and publishing, to the re-launch and expansion of the Dark Horse Records business, together we believe in providing white glove service for artists, globally, with enormous opportunities to grow. We are proud to bring all of George Harrison’s music together, under one roof, and are very grateful for Olivia and Dhani’s trust in BMG.”
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