Neil Young's furious letter to MTV: "You spineless twerps!"
(Credit: Graham Berry)

Neil Young sells 50% of entire song catalogue rights in landmark $150 million deal

Neil Young has become the latest high profile musician to auction off the rights to his material in what has proven to be yet another landmark deal.

Shortly after the news that Bob Dylan had sold his entire songwriting catalogue in a landmark $300 million deal, his contemporary Neil Young has followed suit and agreed a £150m deal with Hipgnosis Songs Fund. The Canadian musician will relinquish the rights to 1,180 songs, which equates to 50% of his entire back catalogue.

“This is a deal that changes Hipgnosis forever,” Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis said of the Young deal. “I bought my first Neil Young album aged seven. ‘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.”

For Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a publishing house well known for turning music into a steady income by claiming royalties when a track is played on the radio, TV or film, the deal with Young completes a hat-trick of acquisitions after they previously announced deals with both Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsay Buckingham and musician Jimmy Iovine.

“It now turns out logical for Hipgnosis to partner with Neil to ensure his incredible songs reach all corners of the earth,” Mercuriadis added.

“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.”

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