Over 45 years after George Harrison first started the Dark Horse Records imprint, the label has a new lease on life. Dark Horse, now headed up by Harrison's son Dhani Harrison and manager David Zonshine, has announced a new multi-faceted global partnership with BMG. The agreement initially brings releases from the acclaimed catalog of Dark Horse Records and his Indian label imprint HariSongs, as well as Joe Strummer‘s solo catalog, including his works alongside the Mescaleros.
Dark Horse Records will also release new recordings through BMG including the current Tom Petty estate charity single 'For Real – For Tom' featuring Dhani, Jakob Dylan, Amos Lee, and Willie, Lukas & Micah Nelson.
Dhani Harrison, said in a statement announcing the ne partnership:
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. 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. Please watch this space! With love, Dhani Harrison.
Available today (January 24th) on all digital platforms, the first slate of releases includes the George Harrison produced Ravi Shankar's Chants Of India; Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan In Concert 1972; and Attitudes – Ain't Love Enough: The Best Of The Attitudes. New titles on Dark Horse includes Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros’ albums Rock Art And The X-Ray Style, Global A Go-Go, and Streetcore. Upcoming releases in 2020 include compilations, live albums, and box sets featuring rare and unreleased recordings from the Dark Horse label — many of which will be made available digitally for the first time ever.
George Harrison had always been the most active of the Beatles in developing new artists for their label, Apple Records. When the label ultimately folded, Harrison began planting the seeds for his own label that would take acts he had earmarked for Apple and give them a new home: “So, I found I was still going along the same lines as I had been with Apple, that is, doing my own records and a few other people. So, I had the decision to make, because Apple didn't have much future left, based upon the way John (Lennon) and Paul (McCartney), y'know, what they indicated. And there was some talk with Ringo (Starr) and I. (What) we were planning to do at that time was, we were just going to try and get the rights to take over Apple Records. And then we just put a new logo under new management — that sort of thing couldn't happen because of (the Beatles') settlement.”
Prior to becoming a part of the Dark Horse act, Attitudes, the now world renowned songwriter and producer David Foster, came into the George Harrison / Dark Horse orbit during the sessions for 1975's Extra Texture (Read All About It): “George Harrison was a. . . I don't wanna say he was a mentor, but the Beatles were it for me. When I turned 13, I found the Beatles and they changed my life forever, 'cause I was a classical geek. And then, when I heard 'She Loves You,' I went 'Wow. This is what I wanna do.' So, then to meet George Harrison and actually, I was sitting in my little apartment, I got a phone call '(Imitates Liverpudlian accent) 'Hello, this is George here. . . ' — and he's, like, saying come down and play with him from Jim Keltner, the drummer, who introduced me to George. And then, my career just snowballed. I mean, imagine a Beatle helping you get your career going?”