The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, announced today that the company has acquired a music catalog from Grammy-winning songwriter-producer and Eurythmics cofounder David A. Stewart. The catalog includes such global hits as “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” “Would I Lie To You” and “There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart),” among many others. Hipgnosis has acquired 100% of Stewart’s copyright interest in his catalogue, comprising 1,068 songs in total, which includes his writer’s, artist’s and producer’s share of income; terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stewart co-wrote and produced each of Eurythmics’ albums — including eight Top 5 and three No. 1 U.K. albums — which have sold approximate 100 million units worldwide. The group was awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriters of the Year in 1984 and 1987, a Grammy for the song “Missionary Man” and the 1999 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music; Stewart was also named Best British Producer at the Brit Awards three times. In 2005, both Stewart and Eurythmics cofounder Annie Lennox were elected to the UK Music Hall of Fame.
Stewart has also written and/or produced songs with Tom Petty (“Don’t Come Around Here No More”), No Doubt (“Underneath It All”), Shakespeare’s Sister (“Stay”) as well as 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 enjoyed success as a solo artist, including the instrumental hit with Candy Dulfer “Lily Was Here.”
Merck Mercuriadis (pictured above, left, with Stewart, center, and Hipgnosis partner Nile Rodgers) , 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 Number 1 hits he produced and wrote with Tom Petty, No Doubt, Shakespear’s Sister and so many more. It’s an honor 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.”
Stewart said, “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.”
Stewart’s manager Dave Kaplan, who represented him in the deal with attorney Peter Paterno, 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.”