Legendary folk rock player Neil Young sold 50 percent of his song catalog to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a British investment vehicle founded by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis.
The deal gives Hipgnosis the global copyright and income interests of 1,180 songs authored by Young, and has been reported to have cost about $ 150 million.
“I bought my first album from Neil Young at the age of 7,” former talent manager Mercuryades said in a statement Wednesday. “Harvest was my companion and I knew every note, every word, every pause and silence.”
Young never licensed any of his songs for commercial use and this is unlikely to change. “There will never be a burger of gold,” the investment firm said.
“Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend and has been going on ever since.”
Hipgnosis was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 and earned musical royalties with the goal of generating income streams. On Tuesday, the Fund announced that it had acquired the full catalog of Fleetwood’s lead guitarist and singer Mac Lindsey Buckingham.
It has also invested in the song rights of artists such as Mark Ronson, Cheek, Barry Manilow and Blundy.
Young never licensed any of his songs for commercial use and Mercuriadis indicated that this was unlikely to change.
“I built Hipgnosis to be a company that Neil wanted to be a part of. We have a shared integrity, spirit and passion that stemmed from our belief in music and these important songs.
“There will never be a ‘burger of gold’ but we will work together to make sure everyone can hear them on Neal’s terms.”
This is a nod to Young’s hugely popular song “Heart of Gold”, from the famous 1972 album of Canadian singer-songwriter “Harvest”.
Last month, Universal Music Group He bought Bob Dylan’s complete catalog of 600 songs.