Within the Nineteen Seventies, the Capitol Data enterprise was torn aside. The Beatles, the corporate’s primary act, had been gone. Successes had been scarce amongst his remaining listing. That 12 months, the corporate misplaced $ 8 million.
He wanted a savior, and he discovered one in Bhaskar Menon, an Indian chief, educated at Oxford at EMI, the British conglomerate that owned the vast majority of the Capitol. He grew to become the brand new head of the label in 1971 and shortly modified his funds, main an enormous success in 1973 with Pink Floyd’s album “The Darkish Aspect of the Moon”. He later managed the huge musical operations of the EMI world.
Menon, who was additionally the primary Asian man to run a serious Western file label, died March 4 at his dwelling in Beverly Hills, California. He was 86 years previous.
The dying was confirmed by his spouse, Sumitra Menon.
“Decided to realize excellence, Bhaskar Menon has constructed EMI right into a musical powerhouse and one among our most iconic world establishments,” mentioned Lucian Grainge, govt director of Common Music Group, which owns the Capitol label and the EMI’s recorded music enterprise, in an announcement. after the dying of Mr. Menon.
Vijaya Bhaskar Menon was born on Could 29, 1934, right into a major household in Trivandrum, southern India (now Thiruvananthapuram). His father, KRK Menon, was the finance secretary beneath Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru; the primary rupee notes issued after India’s independence from Britain he bore his signature. Mr.’s mom. Menon, Saraswathi, personally is aware of a number of the main classical Indian musicians.
Menon studied at Doon Faculty and at St. Stephen’s Faculty in India earlier than incomes a grasp’s diploma in Christ Church, Oxford. His tutor at Oxford suggested him to Joseph Lockwood, the president of EMI, and Mr. Menon started working there in 1956.
A proud British establishment, EMI managed an unlimited musical empire, with divisions all through Asia, the Center East, Africa and South America. Whereas there, Mr.Menon assisted producer George Martin, who later grew to become the Beatles ’lead collaborator.
In 1957, Mr. Menon joined the Gramophone Firm of India, an EMI firm; he grew to become normal supervisor in 1965 and president in 1969. Later in 1969, he was appointed normal supervisor of EMI Worldwide.
Capitol, the Los Angeles label that had been the house of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, was unraveling from enterprise strikes and declining gross sales, and EMI put in Mr.Menon as and its president and govt director. He bolstered the Capitol’s listing of artists, tightened budgets and pushed for a extra aggressive promotion of label artists.
In 1972, Mr. Menon discovered that Capitol was in peril of shedding Pink Floyd’s subsequent album, accusing the corporate of low gross sales of its earlier albums in the US. Mr. Menon flew to the South of France, the place Pink Floyd was dancing and, after a negotiation session all night time, they agreed to a deal. Menon commemorated the phrases over a cocktail get together and took him to the Capitol’s authorized division in Los Angeles, mentioned Rupert Perry, a former EMI and Capitol govt.
“The Darkish Aspect of the Moon,” launched by Capitol with a big promotional marketing campaign, was one of many greatest blockbusters in music historical past; stayed on the Billboard album chart for 741 consecutive weeks and offered greater than 15 million copies in the US alone.
Led by Mr. Menon, Capitol continued to achieve success within the Nineteen Seventies with Bob Seger, Helen Reddy, Steve Miller, Linda Ronstadt, Grand Funk Railroad and others.
In 1978, EMI put its music divisions beneath unified administration as EMI Music Worldwide and appointed Mr. Menon is president and CEO. He remained in that place till his retirement from the music business in 1990. From 2005 to 2016, he served on the board of administrators of NDTV, a tv channel in India. In 2011, a sick EMI was offered to Sony, which purchased its music publishing enterprise, and Common Music.
In some methods, Mr. Menon was an outsider within the Southern California music scene.
“I used to be a really uncommon particular person and unlikely to be despatched right here in these circumstances to take the overall govt command of Capitol,” it was quoted as saying. Menon in “Historical past of Biz Music: Mike Sigman’s Interviews,” a 2016 assortment revealed by business journal Hits.
Mr.’s spouse. Menon recalled in a phone interview that once they married, in 1972, Mr. Menon advised them, “There are solely two Indians in LA: Ravi Shankar and me.” She advised tales of the 2 males – previous associates of India – who went to discover the unique west aspect of the town in useless for good Indian delicacies.
Along with his spouse, Mr. Menon additionally has two sons, Siddhartha and Vishnu, and a sister, Vasantha Menon.
Though Mr. Menon was primarily referred to as the supervisor of the industrial facet of the labels he managed, he had the respect of many musicians. Within the 2003 documentary “Pink Floyd: The Making of the Darkish Aspect of the Moon,” Nick Mason, the group’s drummer, recalled the actions of Mr. Menon to advertise the group’s superior album, referred to as it “completely terrifying”.
“He determined he was going to do that work, and get American society to promote this file,” Mr. Mason mentioned. “And he did.”