EMI’s Capitol Records will reissue on Feb. 24 digitally remastered versions of the five studio albums George Harrison recorded for his Dark Horse label between 1976 and 1987. His concert disc “Live in Japan” (1992) will be released as a DVD as well as a double SACD set.
The quiet Beatle, who died in 2001, would have turned 61 Feb. 25; on March 15, he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
The currently out-of-print studio albums — “Thirty Three and 1/3,” “George Harrison,” “Somewhere in England,” “Gone Troppo” and “Cloud Nine” — were initially distributed by Warner Bros.; Capitol, which released his early and late solo material as well as the Beatles, originally issued “Live in Japan.”
Harrison initiated the re-release project in 2000. Each of the albums will be packaged in the boxed set “The Dark Horse Years, 1976-1992,” which comprises the six plus a DVD with footage of Harrison talking about his solo career, seven promo videos and four live songs from a 1991 Japanese tour with Eric Clapton.
February also will see a fair number of new Beatles items as part of the 40th anniversary of their arrival in the States.
Under the banner of the Fab 40, a film and TV tribute will take place at Lincoln Center on Feb. 8 featuring screenings of the legendary first “Ed Sullivan Show” featuring the Beatles and a new 35mm print of “A Hard Day’s Night.”
A forum will follow featuring Robert Freeman, creator of the film’s acclaimed title sequence and photographer-designer of the soundtrack album jacket; Beatles scholar Martin Lewis; concert promoter Sid Bernstein; concert documentarian Albert Maysles; and Bruce Spizer, author of the new book “The Beatles Are Coming!”
On Feb. 9, the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ legendary first appearance on “Ed Sullivan,” an anniversary party will be held at the Hard Rock Cafe on 57th Street that will include Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band, DJ Cousin Brucie and a Beatles tribute band.
In Washington today, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History will open “The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes,” an exhibition of 71 black-and-white photographs from the archives of CBS Television and Bill Eppridge, who covered the Beatles for Life magazine. Today is the 40th anniversary of the date “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts. Exhibition will run until June 16.
Also today, Spizer’s coffee-table book “The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America” is being published. Featuring more than 450 color and black-and-white photographs, and documents, Spizer details the months prior to the Beatles’ arrival, including the roles played by Walter Cronkite and a 15-year-old girl from Maryland in stirring up enthusiasm for the Liverpool moptops.