Never-Heard-Before Tapes of Music by Marvin Gaye Has Popped Up In Belgium

From his time spent in the coastal city of Ostend

The tragic death of Marvin Gaye some 40 years ago has had no influence on the popularity or the assessment of  this legend’s music.

Now, as BBC reports, a set of new audio tapes containing never-heard-before material recorded by Marvin Gaye has been found in Belgium.

As the story goes, at the time, Gaye was living in London and becoming a heavy user of cocaine when he met a Belgian concert promoter in a nightclub. He took the promoter’s business card and a week later called and arranged to move to the coastal city of Ostend.

He got fit again, jogging and cycling on the flat North Sea landscape, and he returned to the studio, recording one of his greatest hits, “Sexual Healing.”

For a time he lived in the home of a Belgian musician, Charles Dumolin. The collection of stage costumes, notebooks and tape cassettes is now in the hands of Charles’ family

Belgian lawyer Alex Trappeniers, who’s a business partner of the family who lay claim to the material, is in no doubt that the fate of a hugely valuable collection of stage costumes, notebooks and never-before heard music is about to be decided.

The lawyer told the BBC: “Each time a new instrumental started when Marvin started singing, I gave it a number,” Alex told us. “At the end when I had listened to all the 30 tapes I had 66 demos of new songs. A few of them are complete and a few of them are as good as ‘Sexual Healing,’ because it was made in the same time.”

But, there is a legal problem there; Alex Trappeniers and his partners could end up as the owners of the physical tapes on which the music was recorded, without the right to publish the songs.

And the heirs of Marvin Gaye in the United States could find themselves with a theoretical right to exploit the music, but with no way of accessing the music – because they don’t own the tapes.

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