Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs continues its spending spree with the acquisition of Blondie’s catalog.
In a statement issued Wednesday morning (Aug. 5) to the London Stock Exchange, Hipgnosis and its investment adviser The Family announced a deal to buy 100% of Debbie Harry and Chris Stein’s writer’s share and neighboring rights (Sound Exchange) royalties in their Blondie catalogs, tallying 197 songs.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are so happy to be working with a progressive company,” say Harry and Stein in a joint statement. “We are looking forward to the future with Hipgnosis’ forward thinking team.”
Fronted by Harry, the iconic New York punk-era band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of their hit-filled career.
Blondie reeled off No. 1s in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, with “The Tide Is High,” “Call Me,” “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture” all summiting on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Call Me,” the theme for the Richard Gere-fronted 1980 film American Gigolo, spent six weeks at No. 1 and was the top-selling single of the year in the U.S. The track was also nominated for a Grammy and a Golden Globe.
In the U.K., the band landed six No. 1s on the national singles chart, including “Maria” in 1999.
To date, the new wave pioneers have released 11 studio albums and sold an estimated 40 million albums worldwide, according to Sony Music.
“I have followed every move that Debbie and Chris have made since day one,” comments Mercuriadis in a statement. “Their singles have been not only massively successful but era and genre defining. Equally well they have made cultural albums of the greatest importance.”
Harry and Stein were represented in the deal by longtime manager Allen Kovac at 10th Street Management and lawyer Tim Mandelbaum at Fox Rothschild.
The Guernsey-registered Hipgnosis has raised over £860 million ($1.124 billion) through its Initial Public Offering on 11 July 2018, and subsequent issues in April 2019, August 2019, October 2019 and July 2020.
The company has gone on to acquire rights in works by Bon Jovi, Chainsmokers, Mark Ronson, and many others, and in recent days snapped up the Barry Manilow and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins catalogs.