EuroNews (English)

Unreleased Marvin Gaye music unearthed in Belgium as legal proceeding­s loom

- David Mouriquand

It’s been 40 years to the day since Marvin Gaye died in Los Angeles - shot dead by his father after Gaye stepped in to break up an altercatio­n between his father and his mother - a day before his 45th birthday.

Now, a collection of unreleased Marvin Gaye recordings has been unearthed in Belgium after more than 40 years.

The tapes apparently have 66 demos of new and and previously unheard songs that the soul singer behind hits like 'What’s Going On', 'Let’s Get It On' and the duet 'Ain't No Mountain' with Tammi Terrell, recorded while in the country in the early ’ 80s. He left the tapes with Charles Dumolin, a musician who housed Gaye during his time in Belgium.

The Dumolin family is now working with a lawyer to figure out what to do with the tapes, as well as what is likely a highly valuable collection of stage costumes and notebooks which were also discovered alongside the tapes.

“They belong to ( the family) because they were left in Belgium 42 years ago,” Alex Trappenier­s, lawyer and business partner of the Dumolin family, told BBC. “Marvin gave it to them and said, ‘Do whatever you want with it’ and he never came back. That’s important.”

A Belgian law that states any property in one’s possession, even if it’s stolen, becomes yours after 30 years. However, that does not extend to intellectu­al property. This means that the Dumolin family could end up as the owners of the physical tapes, without the right to publish the songs. That right may instead belong to Gaye’s heirs in the US.

The Dumolin family is hoping to reach some kind of compromise with Gaye’s estate in order to release the music.

“We can open a time capsule here and share the music of Marvin with the world,” Trappenier­s said. “It’s very clear. He’s very present.”

“I think we both benefit, the family of Marvin and the collection in the hands of (Dumolin’s heirs),” Trappenier­s continued. “If we put our hands together and find the right people in the world, the Mark Ronsons or the Bruno Mars…. I’m not here to make suggestion­s but to say OK, let’s listen to this and let’s make the next album.”

Lawyers representi­ng the Marvin Gaye estate have been made aware of the existence of the tapes, although it’s unclear if they are looking to negotiate.

Gaye had a strong connection to Belgium, as he moved there in 1981, seeking refuge from personal struggles, a strong cocaine addiction, and wishing to revitalise his career. The "Prince of Mo

town" moved to the coastal city of Ostend, and it was during this time that he recorded one of his biggest hits: ‘Sexual Healing’.

Ostend even erected a statue of Gaye to commemorat­e his time in the city (see above).

Ain't no mountain high Ain't no valley low, Ain't no Belgian hideaway wide enough, baby...

 ?? ?? Marvin Gaye performs on opening night at Radio City Music Hall in New York - 17 May 1983
Marvin Gaye performs on opening night at Radio City Music Hall in New York - 17 May 1983
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