Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Michael Jackson's Beatles Catalog

They should really call it Jackson's 'Lennon-McCartney' catalog. He had them all except for 'Love Me Do', P.S. I Love You', 'Please Please Me' and 'Ask Me Why'.

But Ringo and George songs are a different story. In 1968, unlike J&P, they broke from Northern Songs, the company who eventually sold the rights to Jackson.

The only two songs Ringo wrote as a Beatle, 'Don't Pass Me By' and 'Octopuses Garden' are owned by Ringo's company, Startling Music Ltd.

As for George, he wrote, according to my calculations, 23 Beatles songs (I'm not counting stuff like 'Dig it' or 'Flying' where all four got credit). And while Jackson/Sony owns 13 or them, George's company, Harrisongs Ltd. owns the other ten. Luckily for George's heirs, those ten include his biggest hits. George's golden age. The jackpot: 'Something', 'Here Comes the Sun' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'.

In a nutshell, Harrisongs Ltd. owns everything George did on The White Album, Let it be, and Abbey Road (as well as his catchy B-side 'Old Brown Shoe').

So while there's one gem in the Jackson/Sony bunch (the famous Revolver opener, 'Taxman') most of their other George numbers are a bit obscure unless you're a serious fan. Nice tunes, but I don't think 'Don't Bother Me' and 'If I Needed Someone' are the same cash cows as his later work. Hell, I heard 'Piggies' (from The White Album) on the radio just the other day! It probably gets more play than 'You Like Me Too Much'.

So Olivia and Dhani can be thankful that the quiet one got out of the Northern Songs outfit just as he was hitting his peak.

And that was 'can you dig it', by Georgie Wood.


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