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Never-before-heard Marvin Gaye recordings found in Belgium

09:08 04/04/2024

Previously unreleased Marvin Gaye recordings have been found in Belgium, where the soul singer lived for a few months in 1981.

The recordings were found in Ostend, the BBC reports, along with notes by the American artist.

Gaye died on 1 April 1984 in a violent fight with his father. He recorded several tracks in Belgium, including the hit Sexual Healing.

The discovery of the unreleased recording and notes came as a surprise to experts. A lawyer for the family who owns the property where Gaye stayed estimates that the music amounts to the equivalent to “66 demos of new songs”.

“Some of them are complete and others are as good as Sexual Healing because they were made at the same time,” the lawyer said.

But the findings are already triggering legal issues: in Belgium, anyone who possesses an object becomes its owner after 30 years. But in the case of music, the principle of intellectual property also applies, and this may trump the 30-year rule.

Gaye’s heirs will therefore have to find a solution, while fans keep their fingers crossed that one day they will get to hear some of the long-lost music.

Written by Helen Lyons