Saturday, 6 March 2021

PBHASKAR MENON, LEGENDARY EMI & CAPITOL RECORDS HEAD, DIES AT 86

Over his 34-year tenure at EMI, Menon worked with a slew of boldfaced artists including the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie and Tina Turner.




Bhaskar Menon, the founding chairman and CEO at EMI Music Worldwide who is widely credited for breaking Pink Floyd in the U.S. and presiding over one of Capitol Records' most successful eras, died Thursday at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 86.

"Determined to achieve excellence, Bhaskar Menon built EMI into a music powerhouse and one of our most iconic, global institutions," said Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge in a statement. "Music and the world have lost a special one. Our hearts go out to his loved ones."

During the course of a 34-year tenure at EMI, Menon would work with a slew of boldfaced artists — the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, David Bowie and Tina Turner among them — but it would be his time as president and CEO of Capitol Records that would bring him his greatest renown. Asked in 1971 to lead the Los Angeles-based label, in which EMI held a majority interest, Menon would go on to orchestrate a massive, company-wide campaign around the release of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon despite the band’s failure to break through to U.S. audiences over the preceding years. The gambit paid off: The Dark Side of the Moon soon rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, minted the band as major stars in America and has since been certified 15-times multi-platinum by the RIAA. In the process, he reversed the fortunes of the label — which had experienced a major hit to its bottom line after the breakup of its top act the Beatles in 1970 — virtually overnight.

Menon is survived by Sumitra, his wife of 49 years, sons Siddhartha and Vishnu and sister Vasantha Menon.

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