|Dark Horse Records|
Dark Horse Records' original logo
|Distributor(s)||A&M Records (1974–76)
Warner Bros. Records (1976–94)
|Genre||Rock, Indian classical, soul|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
Dark Horse Records is a record label founded by former Beatle George Harrison in 1974. The label's formation coincided with the winding down of the Beatles' Apple Records and allowed Harrison to continue supporting other artists' projects while maintaining his solo career. The initial signings were Indian musician Ravi Shankar and Splinter, the last of whom provided the label with its only significant commercial success until Harrison signed with Dark Horse in 1976. The label was distributed internationally by A&M Records for the first two years of its operation. Following a highly publicised split with A&M, Harrison and Dark Horse formed a long-term partnership with Warner Bros. Records that lasted until the expiration of his contract in 1994.
Attitudes, Stairsteps and Keni Burke were among the other artists who recorded for Dark Horse, although it increasingly became a vehicle for Harrison's solo releases once Warner's had taken over distribution. After a ten-year period of inactivity, the label returned in 2002 with the posthumous release of Harrison's final studio album, Brainwashed, followed by his Dark Horse Years box set in 2004. More recently, Dark Horse Records issued the Shankar–Harrison compilation box set Collaborations (2010).
Since the formation of the Beatles' EMI-affiliated Apple Records in 1968, George Harrison had produced and helped nurture acts signed to the label, including Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston and Badfinger, all of whom were little known at the time. Following the Beatles' break-up in 1970, Harrison continued in this role while maintaining a successful solo career, adding prestigious signings such as Ravi Shankar and Ronnie Spector to Apple's roster. By 1973, when he was producing an ambitious "East-meets-West" album by Shankar and the debut by a duo from South Shields, Splinter, Apple was being wound down following Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr severing their ties with Beatles manager Allen Klein. While all the former Beatles were contractually obliged to EMI until 26 January 1976, as solo artists, Harrison sought a new avenue for his extracurricular projects. He and Starr considered buying Apple in 1973 and running it themselves, but Harrison was wary of business complications associated with the label.
In early 1974, he began a dialogue with David Geffen, head of Asylum Records in Los Angeles, and, according to Tom Petty's later recollection, he also consulted Leon Russell, co-founder of Shelter Records, about setting up a label. Harrison eventually agreed terms with A&M Records for the latter to distribute his new label worldwide. For a company name, Harrison used the title of a song he had written in 1973, "Dark Horse". The inspiration for the Dark Horse Records logo came from a label on a tin that Harrison found during a trip to India. The logo features the seven-headed horse Uchchaisravas, a common figure in Indian art and mythology.
After Harrison signed with Dark Horse Records on 27 January 1976, all of his subsequent recordings were released through the label, starting with that year's Thirty Three & 1/3 and ending with Live in Japan in 1992. After the latter, it went into hiatus for ten years.
Dark Horse was revived with the posthumous release of Brainwashed in 2002. Harrison's back catalogue on the label was remastered and reissued as the Dark Horse Years 1976–1992 box set during 2004. In 2010, Dark Horse released the Ravi Shankar–George Harrison box set Collaborations, with distribution through Rhino Entertainment.
|Catalogue Number||Artist||Title||Release Date|
|AMS 7133||DH-10001||Ravi Shankar||"I Am Missing You" / "Lust"||13.09.74||06.11.74|
|AMS 7135||DH-10002||Splinter||"Costafine Town" / "Elly May"||07.11.74|
|AMS 5501||–||Splinter||"Drink All Day" / "Haven't Got Time"||07.02.75||–|
|AMS 5502||–||Splinter||"China Light" / "Drink All Day"||21.02.75||–|
|–||DH-10003||Splinter||"China Light" / "Haven't Got Time"||–||07.03.75|
|AMS 5503||–||Splinter||"Which Way Will I Get Home" / "Green Line Bus"||07.11.75||–|
|AMS 5505||DH-10005||Stairsteps||"From Us to You" / "Time"||30.01.76||03.12.75|
|AMS 5504||DH-10004||Attitudes||"Ain't Love Enough" / "The Whole World's Gone Crazy"||13.02.76||09.12.75|
|–||DH-10007||Splinter||"Which Way Will I Get Home" / "What Is It (If You Never Ever Tried It Yourself)"||–||09.02.76|
|–||DH-10006||Jiva||"Something's Goin' on Inside LA" / "Take My Love"||–||11.02.76|
|AMS 5506||–||Splinter||"Half Way There" / "What Is It (If You Never Ever Tried It Yourself)"||21.05.76||–|
|AMS 5507||–||Stairsteps||"Pasado" / "Throwin' Stones Atcha"||–|
|–||DH-10008||Attitudes||"Honey Don't Leave L.A." / "Lend a Hand"||–||31.05.76|
|–||DH-10009||Stairsteps||"Tell Me Why" / "Salaam"||–||14.06.76|
|–||DH-10010||Splinter||"After Five Years" / "Half Way There"||–||16.07.76|
|AMS 5508||DH-10011||Attitudes||"Sweet Summer Music" / "If We Want To"||20.08.76||23.07.76|
|K 16856||DRC 8294||George Harrison||"This Song" / "Learning How to Love You"||19.11.76||03.11.76|
|–||DRC 8313||George Harrison||"Crackerbox Palace" / "Learning How to Love You"||–||24.01.77|
|K 16896||–||George Harrison||"True Love" / "Pure Smokey"||11.02.77||–|
|K 16967||–||George Harrison||"It's What You Value" / "Woman Don't You Cry for Me"||31.05.77||–|
|–||DRC 8404||Attitudes||"Sweet Summer Music" / "Being Here with You"||–||13.06.77|
|K 17009||DRC 8439||Splinter||"Round and Round" / "Being Here with You"||06.09.77|
|–||DRC 8474||Keni Burke||"Shuffle" / "From Me to You"||–||11.10.77|
|–||DRC 8522||Keni Burke||"Day" / "Keep On Singing"||–||.01.78|
|K 17116||–||Splinter||"New York City (Who Am I)" / "Baby Love"||.02.78||–|
|–||DRC 8523||Splinter||"Motions of Love" / "I Need Your Love"||–||.02.78|
|–||DRC 8763||George Harrison||"Blow Away" / "Soft-Hearted Hana"||–||04.02.79|
|K 17327||–||George Harrison||"Blow Away" / "Soft Touch"||14.02.79||–|
|K 17284||–||George Harrison||"Love Comes to Everyone" / "Soft-Hearted Hana"||20.04.79||–|
|–||DRC 8763||George Harrison||"Love Comes to Everyone" / "Soft Touch"||–||11.05.79|
|K 17423||–||George Harrison||"Faster" / "Your Love Is Forever"||30.07.79||–|
|K 17807||DRC49725||George Harrison||"All Those Years Ago" / "Writing's on the Wall"||11.05.81||06.05.81|
|K 17837||DRC49785||George Harrison||"Teardrops" / "Save the World"||31.07.81||15.07.81|
|929864-7||7-29864||George Harrison||"Wake Up My Love" / "Greece"||08.11.82||27.10.82|
|–||7-29744||George Harrison||"I Really Love You" / "Circles"||–||07.02.83|
|W8178||7-28178||George Harrison||"Got My Mind Set on You" / "Lay His Head"||12.10.87||03.10.87|
|W8131||7-28131||George Harrison||"When We Was Fab" / "Zig Zag"||25.01.88||30.01.88|
|W7913||7-27913||George Harrison||"This Is Love" / "Breath Away from Heaven"||13.06.88||12.05.88|
|W2696||–||George Harrison||"Cheer Down" / "Poor Little Girl"||27.11.89||–|
|R 6601||7243 5 52117 7 4||George Harrison||"Any Road" / "Marwa Blues"||12.05.03||–|
|Catalogue Number||Artist||Title||Release Date|
|AMLH 22001||SP-22001||Splinter||The Place I Love||20.09.74||25.09.74|
|AMLH 22002||SP-22002||Ravi Shankar||Shankar Family & Friends||07.10.74|
|AMLH 22006||SP-22006||Splinter||Harder to Live||24.10.75|
|AMLH 22005||SP-22005||Henry McCullough||Mind Your Own Business!||20.10.75|
|AMLH 22004||SP-22004||Stairsteps||2nd Resurrection||19.03.76||06.02.76|
|AMLH 22007||SP-22007||Ravi Shankar||Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India|
|K 56319||DH 3005||George Harrison||Thirty Three & 1/3||19.11.76||24.11.76|
|K 56385||DH 3021||Attitudes||Good News||03.06.77||05.05.77|
|K 563xx||DH 3022||Keni Burke||Keni Burke||16.08.77|
|K 56403||DH 3073||Splinter||Two Man Band||07.10.77||03.10.77|
|K 56403||DH 3073||George Harrison||George Harrison||16.02.79||14.02.79|
|K 56870||DHK 3492||George Harrison||Somewhere in England||05.06.81||01.06.81|
|923 734-1||1-23734||George Harrison||Gone Troppo||08.11.82||27.10.82|
|WX 123||1-25643||George Harrison||Cloud Nine||02.11.87|
|WX 312||1-25726||George Harrison||Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989||23.10.89||17.10.89|
|7243 5 41969 1 x||George Harrison||Brainwashed||18.11.02|
|GHBOX 1/7243 5 94232 0 3||CDP 7243 5 97051 0 1||George Harrison||The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992||23.02.04|
|R2-525469||–||Ravi Shankar and George Harrison||Collaborations||19.10.10|
1 Also released as a picture disc, catalog number K 17423P
2 Released by Dark Horse/Parlophone.
3 Box set of Harrison's remastered Dark Horse years albums: Thirty Three & 1/3 (1977) to Cloud Nine (1987).
4 Box set consisting of Shankar's two Harrison-produced albums on Dark Horse – Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India and Shankar Family & Friends – together with Chants of India (1997) and a DVD containing film of a 1974 Musical Festival from India performance at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
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