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BHASKAR MENON,
1934-2021

Legendary music exec Bhaskar Menon  died at his home Thursday in Beverly Hills. He was 86.

The Indian-born exec transformed EMI,  presiding as CEO from 1978-90, after guiding Capitol Records through its post-Beatles/Beach Boys era. His many triumphs include powering Pink Floyd's classic Dark Side of the Moon to #1, an achievement for which the band gave him full credit, and partnering with George Harrison on the ambitious Concert for Bangladesh.

Over the course of his career, Menon earned virtually every accolade imaginable, including the IFPI's Medal of Honor and being appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. Much of what the Capitol Tower has come to symbolize derives from his extraordinary tenure.

"Uncompromising excellence in what you do goes without saying," reads a quote attributed to Menon in a 1978 NME profile. "We expect more than that."

UMG topper Sir Lucian Grainge issued the following statement: "Determined to achieve excellence, Bhaskar Menon built EMI into a music powerhouse and one of our most iconic, global institutions. Music and the world have lost a special one. Our hearts go out to Bhaskar's loved ones."

Born in Thiruvanthapuram, India, his 34-year run at EMI started in 1956. He rose through the ranks at EMI’s Gramophone Company of India until he became chairman in 1969. That year he was named managing director of EMI International, overseeing companies in 25 countries.

He relocated to Los Angeles in 1971 to take over Capitol Records where he had a string of successes that included Pink Floyd, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Seger and The Steve Miller Band.

He was named Chairman and CEO of EMI Music Worldwide in 1978 and would hold the job for a dozen years, leaving the music industry in 1990.

Read a bit about Bhaskar's history here. A timeline of EMI, with his sizable role duly noted, can be found here.

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