Merck Mercuriadis’s publicly-traded UK company Hipgnosis Songs Fund has made another big catalog acquisition – less than a month after it raised $185m with which to buy rights in the songwriter/publishing marketplace.
Mercuriadis’s fund has acquired a music catalog from David A. Stewart (pictured), the musician, songwriter, and record producer best known for Eurythmics, his successful partnership with Annie Lennox.
Stewart co-wrote and produced each of Eurythmics’ albums, including eight Top 5 and three No.1 UK albums, which are estimated to have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
With Eurythmics, he co-wrote 13 US No.1 singles, including Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Would I Lie To You and There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart).
Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Stewart’s copyright interest in his catalog, comprising 1,068 songs in total, which includes his writer’s, artist’s and producer’s share of income.
According to British recorded music trade body the BPI, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) is the most-streamed song of any song originally released in 1983.
Eurythmics were awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriters of the Year in 1984 and 1987 and Best Contemporary Song in 1987 for It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back), the 1987 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for Missionary Man and the 1999 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
In 2005, both David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox were elected to the UK Music Hall of Fame.
Both during and following Eurythmics, Stewart has produced and written songs with globally successful artists including Tom Petty on his US No.3 Don’t Come Around Here No More, No Doubt on their US No.1 Underneath It All, Shakespear’s Sister on Stay, which was a UK No.1 for eight consecutive weeks, in addition to songs with Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Dylan, Gwen Stefani, Bon Jovi, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Katy Perry, Sinead O’Connor and Joss Stone.
Stewart has also had major successes as an artist, including the instrumental, which was a global hit single, as a legendary duet with Candy Dulfer Lily Was Here, which reached No.6 in the UK.
Stewart has been awarded Best British Producer at the Brit Awards an unprecedented three times in 1986, 1987 and 1990.
In addition he was awarded the 2004 Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection, a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award in 2005 for Old Habits Die Hard with Mick Jagger and Clive Davis’ Legend in Songwriting Award.
“MERCK UNDERSTANDS THAT WITHOUT THE SONG THERE IS NOTHING AND THEREFORE HOLDS SONGS WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT, HENCE UNDERSTANDING THEIR IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND THEIR LONG TERM VALUE.”
Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said: “This is an incredible moment for Hipgnosis.
“I have been lucky enough to know Dave since the summer of 1983 and I have spent most of those 35 years marvelling at his incredible work. I consider him to be one of the most important songwriters, artists and producers of all time.
“The work he and Annie did together as Eurythmics defines the 1980s and 1990s but still remains timeless today. He brought the same spirit to the Top 5 and No.1 hits he produced and wrote with Tom Petty, No Doubt, Shakespear’s Sister and so many more.
“It’s an honour for Nile Rodgers and I to welcome Dave to our Advisory Board and to the Hipgnosis family. I’m not generally one for puns but sweet dreams are literally made of this.”
“IT WOULD BE TOUGH TO FIND ANYONE WHO VALUES GREAT SONGS AND IMPORTANT ARTISTS MORE THAN MERCK, WHO’S ALSO A WICKEDLY SHARP DEALMAKER. THIS DEAL IS MONUMENTAL, AND A PERFECT MATCH.”
Stewart added: “Merck understands that without the song there is nothing and therefore holds songs with the utmost respect, hence understanding their impact on society and their long term value.
“He sees his company more like a song management company unlike many publishers who act more like a collection agency and wait for the money to pour in. I’m excited to be on the advisory board of this forward thinking company and sure we will have great success together.”
David A. Stewart was represented by manager, Dave Kaplan and attorney, Peter Paterno.
Dave Kaplan said: “After putting everything in place during the negotiation, it was hard to imagine Dave’s iconic body of work could possibly have come from one human being in one lifetime (so far)!
“It would be tough to find anyone who values great songs and important artists more than Merck, who’s also a wickedly sharp dealmaker. This deal is monumental, and a perfect match.”
Since last summer, Hipgnosis has acquired stakes in catalogs created by celebrated songwriters like Giorgio Tuinfort (David Guetta), Teddy Geiger (Shawn Mendes), The-Dream (Justin Bieber, Rihanna), Poo Bear (Chris Brown, Justin Bieber), Itaal Shur (Santana), Bernard Edwards (Chic), Tricky Stewart (Rihanna, Beyoncé) and TMS (Jess Glynne, Little Mix).
The company has also recently bought up rights to No.1 songs such as Yeah by Usher, Check On It by Beyoncé, We Belong Together by Mariah Carey and Be Without You by Mary J. Blige.
It also snapped up a music catalog from American songwriter, producer and singer Brittany Hazzard, aka Starrah.