The solo catalog of George Harrison has moved to Dark Horse Records via BMG, the company announced on Tuesday. Harrison’s family retains the rights to the catalog.
The 12-album catalog includes Harrison’s debut “Wonderwall Music” (the soundtrack to the film “Wonderwall”), his classic 1970 album “All Things Must Pass,” the 1973 follow-up “Living in the Material World,” his 1987 comeback album “Cloud Nine: and his final studio album, “Brainwashed,” which was released in 2002, the year after his death from cancer. It also includes the live double album “Live in Japan,” featuring Eric Clapton and the compilations “Let It Roll – Songs by George Harrison,” “Early Takes Vol 1, The Apple Years 1968-1975,” and “The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992.” In celebration of Harrison’s 80th birthday on Feb. 25, Dark Horse/BMG have released his entire catalogue in Dolby Atmos surround sound exclusively on Apple Music.
Beginning in 1968, Harrison’s solo discography was released first on the Beatles’ label, Apple Records, and later Harrison’s own Dark Horse Records through Warner Bros. or EMI Records. In 2021 Universal Music’s catalog division released a deluxe anniversary edition of “All Things Must Pass.”
Previously in 2022, BMG announced it had entered into a global publishing agreement with the George Harrison Estate to administer the Harrisongs catalog comprising more than 200 songs written with the Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys and Harrison’s solo career. The partnership expands on a 2020 deal with Harrison’s Dark Horse Records as a boutique music company with BMG serving as its global partner and infrastructure across recorded music, music publishing, and merchandise, while developing further areas of business.
Further terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it appears distribution contracts, including the one with Universal — which acquired EMI’s recorded-music assets in a nearly $2 billion deal initiated in 2011 — had concluded.
Harrisongs Limited, the music publishing entity created by Harrison, contains his nearly two dozen songs written with the Beatles including the band’s most popular song on streaming services, “Here Comes The Sun,” as well as “I Me Mine,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and the US No. 1 single “Something,” his songs from the two albums recorded by the Traveling Wilburys (a 1980s supergroup featuring Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne) featuring “End of the Line,” “Handle with Care,” “She’s My Baby,” and “Inside Out,” as well as the 12 studio albums of solo works.
Harrison’s son, Dhani, said, “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 said, “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.”
In 2020, BMG announced it had entered into a multi-faceted global partnership with Dark Horse Records, which was founded by George Harrison in 1974 as a place for his solo work and a home for supporting other artists, and now led by Dhani Harrison and David Zonshine. The agreement initially brought catalogue releases from the acclaimed record label and Harrison’s Indian label imprint HariSongs, as well as Joe Strummer’s solo works, including The Mescaleros. Recent Dark Horse Records releases include the newest recordings from Billy Idol, Cage, The Roadside and Happy Holidays with upcoming releases including Benmont Tench’s new studio album, 16 albums from Leon Russell’s recorded catalogue spanning 1984 – 2013, Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, and a global publishing administration deal for Joe Strummer’s solo publishing catalog.
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