Music News

Never-before-heard Marvin Gaye music discovered in Belgium

todayApril 1, 2024

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Some previously lost Marvin Gaye recordings may soon see the light of day after being discovered in Belgium.

Over 40 years ago, Gaye lived in the home of Belgian musician Charles Dumolin, whose family recently uncovered a collection of items belonging to Gaye, the BBC reports. The collection includes costumes, notebooks and cassettes with what is believed to be music Gaye recorded while living in the city.

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

Of the 30 tapes in the collection, Trappeniers says there’s about 66 demos of new songs. “A few of them are complete and a few of them are as good as ‘Sexual Healing,’ because it was made in the same time,” he shares.

So far, there’s no word on if the music will be released, especially because there may be a question of who actually owns the material between the Dumolin family and Gaye’s heirs; the lawyer is hoping for a compromise. Even if the Dumolin family owns the material, intellectual property laws may keep them from releasing any of it.

“I think we both benefit, the family of Marvin and the collection in the hands of [Dumolin’s heirs],” Alex says. “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.”

Marvin Gaye died April 1, 1984, at the age of 44. 

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