Neil Younger sells 50% of the rights to his total music catalog to the UK fund
Neil Young will perform at the Festival d’ete de Quebec in Quebec City, Canada on July 6, 2018.
Scott Legato | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Legendary folk rocker Neil Young has sold 50% of his song catalog to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a UK investment vehicle founded by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis.
The deal gives Hipgnosis the rights to the worldwide copyright and income interests of 1,180 songs composed by Young and is believed to have cost around $ 150 million.
“I bought my first Neil Young album at the age of 7. ‘Harvest’ was my companion and I know every note, every word, every pause and every silence,” said former talent manager Mercuriadis in a statement on Wednesday.
“Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend and constant since then.”
Hipgnosis was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 and is earning music fees to generate revenue streams. On Tuesday, the fund announced that it had acquired the entire catalog of lead guitarist and singer Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac.
It has also invested in the rights to songs by artists such as Mark Ronson, Chic, Barry Manilow and Blondie.
Young has never licensed any of his songs for commercial use, and Mercuriadis stated that this is unlikely to change.
“I built Hipgnosis as a company that Neil would love to be part of. We have a common integrity, ethos and passion that come from believing in music and these important songs,” he said.
“There will never be a Burger Of Gold, but we’ll work together to make sure everyone can hear it on Neil’s terms.”
This is a reference to Young’s hugely popular “Heart of Gold” song from the legendary 1972 album “Harvest” by the Canadian singer-songwriter.
Last month, Universal Music Group bought Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of 600 songs.
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