Photo (Josh Giroux): L to R: Michael Kachko, SVP, Catalog Recordings, BMG US; Hartwig Masuch, BMG CEO; Dhani Harrison; Thomas Scherer, EVP, Repertoire & Marketing, BMG Los Angeles; David Zonshine; John Loeffler, EVP Repertoire & Marketing, BMG New York; Marian Wolf, VP, Global Writer Services & China, BMG
BMG has formed a new multi-faceted global partnership with Dark Horse Records, the George Harrison-founded label now led by Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison and manager David Zonshine, it was announced Wednesday (Jan. 22).
The deal will include releases from the catalogs of Dark Horse Records, Harrison’s Indian label imprint HariSongs and The Clash frontman Joe Strummer’s solo output, including his work alongside The Mescaleros. Dark Horse will also release entirely new recordings through BMG including the Tom Petty estate charity single “For Real – For Tom” featuring Jakob Dylan, Dhani Harrison, Amos Lee, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, and Willie Nelson.
Available on digital platforms, the first slate of releases under the deal will include the George Harrison-produced Chants of India by Ravi Shankar; the live album Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan In Concert 1972; Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros’ albums Rock Art and The X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go, and Streetcore; and Attitudes’ Ain’t Love Enough: The Best of the Attitudes. Future releases in 2020 will include compilations, live albums, and box sets featuring rare and unreleased recordings from the Dark Horse label, many of which will be available digitally for the first time.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I can finally announce a new chapter for Dark Horse Records in the music industry alongside our friends at BMG,” said Dhani Harrison in a statement. “The label started by my father in 1974 has been a family business my whole life (and is indeed even the reason that my parents met.) From the Indian classical Ragas of Ravi Shankar to the Rock and Roll of ‘Attitudes’ I look forward to reintroducing, to a new audience, all of those artists that my father loved so much. We will also be expanding the Dark Horse family with new artists and classic catalogues in the coming years to include a rich and varied roster of incredible musicians whom we love.”
“BMG is the perfect home for us to expand, explore and create new opportunities for iconic artists across all platforms,” said Zonshine, who added that the company will be looking to develop film and book projects under the deal.
BMG’s roster also includes catalogs by The Kinks, Nick Cave and the solo works of Keith Richards and John Fogerty. It also publishes the catalogs of the Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Jim Croce and Willie Dixon.
“Dhani and David have long been close with BMG,” added BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “We are delighted to formalize our partnership with the two and begin our new venture as their trusted label home. We look forward to working closer together as we develop new catalog and publishing initiatives.”
Founded by George Harrison in 1974, Dark Horse Records was established to house both Harrison’s solo work and that of other artists. The label’s roster additionally includes the two-man vocal group Splinter, R&B group The Stairsteps, singer Keni Burke and late Wings guitarist Henry McCullough. HariSongs was launched by the George Harrison Estate in April 2018 to celebrate the kind of Indian classical music Harrison loved.
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