The publicly-traded UK company, set up by music industry veteran Merck Mercuriadis, has acquired a music catalog from Itaal Shur – including the gigantic hit Smooth, co-written with Rob Thomas and performed by Santana.
Shur’s catalog comprises 209 songs in total, which also includes the US Top 10 song Ascension by Maxwell.
Hipgnosis has acquired a 100% interest in the catalog including the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) share.
Smooth became a chart-topping hit in 1999, spending 12 consecutive weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song then stayed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for a total of 30 weeks and, in 2018, Billboard ranked it as the second most successful song of all time.
Smooth is approaching half a billion streams as it approaches it’s 20th anniversary.
Itaal Shur was advised by Cliff Smallman at the The Riverside Management Group and Jonathan Ain at Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen, P.C.
Hipgnosis has been on an acquisition spree in recent months, having acquired music catalogs from the likes of Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, British songwriting and music production team TMS as well as a 37.5% interest in the music catalog of Chic co-founder Bernard Edwards.
“It’s always a good day when you are buying arguably the second most successful song of all time, particularly a song as enduring and iconic as Smooth.”
Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, said: “It’s always a good day when you are buying arguably the second most successful song of all time, particularly a song as enduring and iconic as Smooth.
“As Santana prepare to go out on the Supernatural Now 20th Anniversary Tour this is the perfect time to get involved. I’d like to thank Itaal for entrusting us with a work as special as this.”
“From the first time that I spoke to Merck, I knew that Hipgnosis was fresh and different and that I had found the right home for my catalogue.”
Itaal Shur said: “When I was considering selling my life’s work, who bought it and what they could do with it was as important to me as anything else.
“From the first time that I spoke to Merck, I knew that Hipgnosis was fresh and different and that I had found the right home for my catalog.”Music Business Worldwide