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BMG announces new deal around George Harrison’s solo recordings

By and | Published on Wednesday 22 February 2023

George Harrison

BMG has announced a new deal with the George Harrison estate. It can put it on the shelf next to its existing deal with the Harrison founded Dark Horse Records label and the deal to administrate the late Beatle’s songs catalogue. The new deal covers Harrison’s own solo recordings. Three deals and you get a free coffee, I think.

Under the new arrangement, Harrisons’ solo output will become part of the Dark Horse catalogue, that label now being headed up by his son Dhani with distribution handled by the BMG machine. To celebrate the new deal and what would have been Harrison’s 80th birthday on 25 Feb, his catalogue is being released in Dolby Atmos surround sound on Apple Music.

Says Dhani Harrison: “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”, he goes on, “starting with the release of his entire back catalogue 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”.

And BMG boss 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”.

Elsewhere in Dark Horse news, the label has announced a new deal with Yusuf/Cat Stevens to release a new album and reissue seven older LPs, the master rights for which are owned by Steven’s Cat-O-Log label.

“I’m THRILLED to welcome Yusuf/Cat Stevens to the Dark Horse Records family”, says Dhani Harrison. “Not only is Yusuf a great musical legend but his songs could not fit the Dark Horse mythos any better. From his back catalogue, through to the new music we can’t wait for you to hear. Yusuf is without question one of the most influential singer-songwriters of all time, It is a great honour to be able to give his music a home on our humble yet historic label”.

Kicking off the partnership, and also marking George Harrison’s 80th birthday, Stevens has released a cover of Harrison written Beatles song ‘Here Comes The Sun’.

“George Harrison was beginning to explore Eastern mysticism around the time I was hospitalised with TB, in 1968”, says Stevens. “Lying in bed, I had a lot of time on my hands and ended up reading a Buddhist book called ‘The Secret Path’. That was the beginning of my own search for the light”.

“While most of my generation were just into the music, I was a bit like George, where music became the key to something much higher”, he goes on. “Following the rages of the 60s, his consciousness was awakened, and George transcended to levels not many people ever get to experience. You can hear it in his lyrics and see it in the way he lived and dealt with the material world – looking for a way out”.

“I’m happy to sing one of his songs, especially as it represents the returning of light and hope to a seriously dark and broken world”, he concludes.

Listen to Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ version of ‘Here Comes The Sun’ here: