Unpublished recordings by Marvin Gaye found in Belgium. To understand how they got there, go back to the early 80s: the singer took refuge in Ostend, Belgium, to get away from drugs and find inspiration. He stayed, for a time, with the Belgian musician Charles Dumolin. With this man, he recorded one of his biggest hits, Sexual Healing, which still has nearly 400 million plays on Spotify today. But more than forty years after the release of this title, unpublished cassettes dating from the same period were discovered in the house of Charles Dumolin. Old costumes and notebooks were also found, according to the BBC.

This surprising find is worth gold. But a question remains: who, the heirs of Marvin Gaye or Charles Dumolin, who died in 2019, owns the rights to these recording tapes? For Alex Trappeniers, the Belgian family’s lawyer, it is obvious: “They belong [to Dumolin’s family] because they were left in Belgium 42 years ago.” “Marvin gave it to them saying: ‘Do with it what you want’ and he never came back,” the lawyer continues, specifying that this detail is “important”.

Although Belgium has a law stipulating that any property, regardless of how it was acquired, absolutely becomes your property after 30 years of ownership, it does not apply to intellectual property. But for Alex Trappeniers, this discovery is the ideal opportunity to join forces with the Gaye family and revive the singer. “We can open a time capsule and share Marvin’s music with the world,” he continues, saying his role is “not to make suggestions but to say ‘OK, let’s listen to this and make the next album’” .

Also read: Marvin Gaye, the fallen angel

The recordings have not yet been revealed to the public but according to the Dumolin family lawyer, one of the “perfect” pieces. “There was a song that, when I listened to it for ten seconds, made me think about the music and the lyrics all day, like a moment of planetary alignment,” he confides. Among the songs found, “some are complete and others are as good as “Sexual Healing” because they were produced at the same time,” continues Alex Trappeniers. In total, the lawyer claims to have “30 tapes” containing “66 demos of new songs”. Something to delight fans of the singer, who died in Los Angeles in 1984, shot dead by his father during a violent argument.

This is not the first time that titles have been published after the singer’s death. Since the 1980s, four posthumous albums have been released to the public: Dream of a Lifetime, Romantically Yours, Vulnerable and You’re the Man.