Unreleased Collection of Marvin Gaye Songs Found in Belgium: 40 Years After His Death

Marvin Gaye Songs
Via Youtube

The unreleased collection of the late singer, Marvin Gaye’s songs was found in the Belgium city of Ostend, 40 years after his death.

It is been 40 years since Marvin Gaye died in Los Angeles. He was shot dead by his father in the middle of a violent domestic dispute. But his melody is still played and downloaded around 20 million times a month, and his classic duet with Tammi Terrell, Ain’t No Mountain, has been streamed more than a billion times.

According to Euronews.com and BBC, a collection of unreleased Marvin Gaye recordings has been unearthed in Belgium after more than 40 years. He left the tapes with Charles Dumolin(a musician who housed Gaye during his time in Belgium). The tapes 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.

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.