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Hipgnosis acquires Kaiser Chiefs master rights

By | Published on Wednesday 11 December 2019

Kaiser Chiefs

This being a day with an “day” in its name, it’s time for another Hipgnosis deal. But hey, this one’s a bit different. After all those announcements of songwriters selling their song rights to the Hipgnosis Songs Fund, here’s a deal with a label involving recording rights.

Because this time it’s the Kaiser Chiefs whose music is heading in a Hipgnosis direction. But their recordings, not the songs. The investment fund has acquired a 100% stake in the master rights of the band’s first four albums, plus a greatest hits compilation and live record, all from their former label B-unique.

“The Kaiser Chiefs have been one of the most successful English bands of the last fifteen years and it’s no secret that it’s down to great songs, great albums and a terrific live show”, says Hipgnosis founder Merck Mercuriadis of the latest addition to his growing portfolio of music rights. “They follow the very English tradition of The Who and Madness, and incredible hits like ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Ruby’ just get better with time”.

Mark Lewis of B-Unique adds: “We are delighted to be part of the Hipgnosis story. Merck managed the first band signed to B-unique, we know he is a proper music man”.

The deal, he goes on, will allow B-Unique, the Kaisers and their management team to “keep this great catalogue growing”. Bigging up those Kaisers directly, he then adds that he and business partner Martin Toher “shared such a commonality with the band, we both had a real underdog spirit, and the fact that they are still having top three albums and selling more tickets than ever is a testament to their continued hunger”.

Confirming the band are also on board with the deal, manager James Sandom says: “It’s great to be in business with Merck and Hipgnosis. We’re excited by the potential and fresh focus on Kaiser Chiefs classic catalogue in this new chapter, Hipgnosis’ modern thinking and resource will add value and presence to a catalogue that’s engrained in British culture”.

Hipgnosis aims to persuade investors to put their money into music rights rather than more traditional investment portfolios. The company reckons that it can provide reliable and significant returns, while bringing in a new source of investment for the music industry. Other catalogues it currently owns include those of The-Dream, Benny Blanco, The Chainsmokers, Dave Stewart and Bernard Edwards.