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HIPGNOSIS HARVESTS 50% OF NEIL YOUNG CATALOG


Merck Mercuriadis, who's been mining the rock pantheon for gold in recent days, has unearthed a 24-carat boulder, as Hipgnosis Songs Fund snags a 50% interest in Neil Young’s massive catalog, 1,180 songs deep. For Merck, a lifelong fan of the legendary artist, it’s Christmas in January.

“I bought my first Neil Young album at age seven,” Merck began, vividly recalling that transformative moment. “Harvest was my companion, and I know every note, every word, every pause and silence intimately. Neil Young, or at least his music, has been my friend and constant ever since. Over the last 50 years, that friendship took me back to Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and guided me forward to On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night, Zuma, Comes a Time, Rust Never Sleeps, Trans, This Note’s for You, Freedom, Ragged Glory, Greendale and through each successive album to last year’s Colorado. They're part of who I am; they're in many ways responsible for who I’ve become, and they're most certainly in my DNA.

“I knew I would never be a singer or songwriter myself, so my love for Neil also extended to his manager, Elliot Roberts, who is sadly no longer with us. Elliot was the template for who I wanted to be. He and Neil were partners in crime, and Elliot made sure the art was never compromised and the commerce always maximized. He complemented Neil’s integrity perfectly, and together they protected the songs so fiercely that they became important to millions of people all over the world. This was personal conduct that you could aspire to, something you could believe in. Somewhere along the way, Elliot became a mentor to me and my friend. This allowed me to collide with Neil from time to time, and Frank Gironda as well. We had a mutual respect as people whose lives were changed forever by music and particularly by this magical music.

“With Elliot’s passing last year, it was only natural that Frank, who had so ably worked alongside him, would step into his shoes, and also, as it now turns out, logical for Hipgnosis to partner with Neil to ensure his incredible songs reach all corners of the earth. I built Hipgnosis to be a company Neil would want to be a part of. We have a common integrity, ethos 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 gets to hear them on Neil’s terms. There’s a good chance their lives will be changed just like mine was. This is a deal that changes Hipgnosis forever, and it’s a dream to welcome Neil, Frank, Bonnie [Levetin] and the team to the Hipgnosis family.”

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