- 07 Mar 22
Cohen's catalog follows Hipgnosis' acquisition of other legacy artist's work – including Neil Young and Blondie.
Leonard Cohen becomes the latest in an ever-growing list of catalogue acquisitions by the song investment company Hipgnosis. The late poet rocker's estate has sold the entirety of his songwriting catalogue – somewhere along the lines of 270 songs – to the song fund for an undisclosed sum.
The sale includes Cohen's share of 127 songs in his "Stranger Music" catalogue, covering everything from the onset of his career through 2000. This includes some of his most famed works including 'Hallelujah', 'First We Take Manhattan' and 'So Long, Marianne'.
Along with this, the fund also acquired both the publisher and songwriter's share of Cohen's "Old Ideas" catalogue which encompasses everything written from 2001 until his death in 2016.
“To now be the custodians and managers of Leonard Cohen’s incomparable songs is a wonderful yet very serious responsibility that we approach with excitement and fully understand the importance of,” Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement.
“Leonard wrote words and songs that have changed our lives, none more so obvious than ‘Hallelujah’ but there are so many more that we look forward to reminding the world of on a daily basis. He is revered all over the globe because of the magnitude of his work.”
Hipgnosis was founded by former artist manager Mercuriadis and Chic's Nile Rodgers. Last year the London-based firm made headlines after making several multi-million acquisitions for classic catalogues such as Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, Blondie and Neil Young.
Over lockdown, the company spent roughly a billion dollars on "reliable hits", profiting from the pandemic-fuelled streaming uptick.
“Whilst we would never have wished for a pandemic, it has not only demonstrated the predictable, reliable and uncorrelated nature of the income of proven songs, but also accelerated the change in consumer behaviour to consuming music by streaming," Mercuriadis told Music Week.
With an impressive portfolio of legacy hits as well as more recent works – for example, Shakira's 'Hips Don't Lie' and Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' – Hipgnosis is relying on well-founded tracks for a marked amount of their income. 60% of their total portfolio is songs released 10 or more years ago.