Tag Archive: George Martin


Universal and Sony the sole remaining competitors for American firm after snapping up the home of Coldplay and Kylie

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Parlophone, the historic British record label, will join Warner Music in an estimated £487m deal, as  from guardian.co.uk reported.

Parlophone, the historic British record label behind ColdplayBlur and Kylie Minogue, is to become part of Warner Music in an estimated £487m deal.

Warner’s owner, Len Blavatnik, has beaten rival bids from Simon Fuller, founder of the American Idol TV series, who teamed up with Island Records‘ founder Chris Blackwell, and an alliance between Sony and BMG.

As the label that signed the Beatles, Parlophone was the jewel in the crown of UK major EMI. It was put up for sale on the orders of the European commission, as a condition of the £1.2bn acquisition of EMI by Universal Music.

The deal is a victory for Blavatnik, the billionaire part-owner of the Russian oil conglomerate TNK-BP, who had been involved in past attempts to merge Warner with EMI.

Having outbid Roman Abramovich on a £41m house in Kensington Palace Gardens in 2004, Blavatnik is known for his deep pockets and is paying cash for Parlophone, which is also home to Pink Floyd.

“This is a very important milestone for Warner Music, reflecting our commitment to artist development by strengthening our worldwide roster, global footprint and executive talent,” said Blavatnik. As part of the deal, Warner is also acquiring the Chrysalis and Ensign labels, as well as EMI’s recorded music operations in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden.

Parlophone is the oldest active label at EMI and one of its most prestigious. It began life as Britain’s leading jazz label before becoming part of Columbia Records, which was in turn swallowed by EMI. When the producer and composer Sir George Martin took over as manager in 1955, he began with comedy recordings by the Goons and Peter Sellers. The breakthrough came in 1962, when Martin, now known as the Fifth Beatle, signed a Liverpool band who were to become the world’s most commercially successful musicians. The Beatles catalogue, however, is not part of the Parlophone deal.

Read the rest of the story here: http://bit.ly/Y66SXP

 

Tributes pour in for Ravi Shankar

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The death of the musician, described as a ‘national treasure’ by the Indian PM, is seen as a huge loss to the music world

Musicians, actors, artists and politicians across the world paid tribute toRavi Shankar, described as “a national treasure” by the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, as news spread of the musician’s death in hospital near his home in California, aged 92.

Shankar, classically trained as an Indian musician but fascinated by other traditions, became as famous in the west as any rock star when he worked with groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and played to vast audiences at legendary festivals like Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969.

Tributes came from classical and contemporary musicians, and from the Indian film industry for which he wrote many scores.

Manmohan Singh called him “a global ambassador of India‘s cultural heritage”, and said an era had passed away with him. “The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art, and his humility.”

The Bollywood actor Anupam Kher said: “Ravi Shankar’s sitar played for all our souls”, and the British Indian composer Nitin Sawhney described him as “my greatest childhood inspiration … I feel honoured to have worked with him.” The composer AR Rahman said: “Indian classical music has lost its chief ambassador … May God bless his soul.”

Film-maker Terry Gilliam, former member of the Monty Python team, wrote: “Ravi Shankar has left the building. 92 … a wonderful life”, andtweeted a photograph taken at Monterey, commenting “he shines, as always”.

Shankar’s wife, Sukanya, and daughter and fellow musician Anoushka, who were by his side, announced his death “with heavy hearts” on his website. He had suffered breathing and heart problems over the past year, and underwent heart valve-replacement surgery last Thursday. The family said the surgery “could have given him a new lease of life”, but added “though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult”.

His last live concert was only a few weeks ago, with Anoushka, on 4 November in Long Beach, California. His daughter Norah Jones is also an acclaimed singer.

One of his most famous collaborations was with the Beatles, through George Harrison’s passion for the eastern musical tradition and determination to fuse it with western pop. When they first met, Shankar told Harrison his sitar playing on the track Norwegian Wood was “horrible”, but they became close friends.

One of the first to tweet a tribute to him was Giles Martin, son of Sir George Martin, the record producer for the Beatles. “I bet George is happy to see him again,” Martin said. “I’m very sad to hear of the death of Ravi Shankar,” he said, “a beautiful, worldly man with warmth and talent.”

The Canadian singer-songwriter KD Lang also called him a musical ambassador, and tweeted “May you have a swift and positive rebirth”.

Shankar’s Desert Island Discs selection, for BBC Radio 4 in 1971, was a shop window for his eclectic taste: his choices included Strauss, Scarlatti, Mozart, BB King, Simon & Garfunkel, the flamenco guitarist Paco Peña and Harrison’s My Sweet Lord.

He was born in 1920, brought up in Benares, India and moved with his dancer brother to Paris. He first performed as a dancer, but then spent years studying the sitar. He won an Oscar nomination for his score for the film Gandhi, and was described by the late violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who also made several recordings with him, as a genius comparable to Mozart.

“He was legend of legends,” Shivkumar Sharma, a santoor player who performed with Shankar, said in India, adding that before he took his country’s music to the world, Indian classical music was not at all well known in the west.

“It’s one of the biggest losses for the music world,” said Kartik Seshadri, sitar player and music professor at the University of California. “There’s nothing more to be said.”

 

written by:  from guardian.co.uk

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