Neil Young became the latest musician to hit gold in his song catalog, selling 50% of his music to a UK investment firm in a deal announced on Wednesday.
The Hipgnosis Songs Fund said it acquired half the copyright and income interests in about 1,180 songs written by the 75-year-old rock star and composer „Heart of Gold,“ „Rockin“ in the Free World, and „Cinnamon Girl.“
Terms were not disclosed.
The deal comes a month after Bob Dylan sold the copyright to more than 600 songs to Universal Music Publishing Group, for a fortune ranging between 300 and a half billion dollars. Stevie Nicks sold an 80 percent stake in her music to Primary Wave for $ 100 million.
Merck Mercuriadis, founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said he bought his debut album Neil Young when he was seven years old.
“Harvest,” he said, was my companion, and I knew every note, every word, every pause and silence. “Neil Young, or at least his music, was my friend. . . Since then.“
The businessman also said that Young’s late manager, Elliott Roberts, was like an idol.
In an industry where music sales have dwindled and the concert industry is suspended due to Corona Virus Pandemic, song publishing is seen as an increasingly valuable asset. Companies generally pay for the artist’s songs to be used in movies, video games, and advertisements.
The latter use was a sticking point for Young, whose 1988 song „This Note’s For You“ was highly critical of artists who rented their music for advertising campaigns. The accompanying video mocked the ads that featured Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton.
In the song, Young sang, „Don’t sing to Pepsi, you’re not singing to Coca-Cola. I’m not singing for anyone. Makes me sound like a joke.“
In the years that followed, it became popular for musicians to earn income through it Advertising campaigns. But at least during 2016, Young continued to resist using his music in this way, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
It was unclear if the Hipgnosis deal was leading to a change in that policy.
In a Wednesday announcement, Mercuryades said his company and Young “have a common integrity, spirit and passion born out of a belief in music and these important songs. There will never be a „burger of gold“, but we will work together to make sure everyone hears them on Neil’s terms. „
Young has released around 70 albums as a solo artist and with bands such as Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, Crosby, Stills, and Nash & Young.
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