In 1970, Capitol Records’ business was struggling. The Beatles, the company’s top act, were defunct. Hits were scarce among its remaining roster. That year, the company lost $8 million.
It needed a savior, and it found one in Bhaskar Menon, an Indian-born, Oxford-educated executive at EMI, the British conglomerate that was Capitol’s majority owner. He became the label’s new chief in 1971 and quickly turned its finances around, driving a gargantuan hit in 1973 with Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” He later ran EMI’s vast worldwide music operations.
Mr. Menon, who was also the first Asian man to run a major Western record label, died on March 4 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86.
bore his signature. Mr. Menon’s mother, Saraswathi, knew many of India’s leading classical musicians personally.
Mr. Menon studied at the Doon School and St. Stephen’s College in India before earning a master’s degree from Christ Church, Oxford. His tutor at Oxford recommended him to Joseph Lockwood, the chairman of EMI, and Mr. Menon began working there in 1956.
A proud British institution, EMI controlled a wide musical empire, with divisions throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. While there, Mr. Menon assisted the producer George Martin, who later became the Beatles’ chief collaborator.
In 1957, Mr. Menon joined the Gramophone Company of India, an EMI subsidiary; he became managing director in 1965 and chairman in 1969. Later in 1969, he was named managing director of EMI International.