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Mick Fleetwood latest musician to sell rights to their back catalogue

Mick Fleetwood (PA)
Mick Fleetwood (PA)

Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood has become the latest musician to sell the rights to their back catalogue.

The drummer’s interests in his band’s recordings have been acquired by Germany-based BMG, one of the largest global music publishers.

The deal includes royalty interests in more than 300 songs including Fleetwood Mac hits Dreams, The Chain and Go Your Own Way, and covers his interests in all of the band’s recorded work apart from their first two albums.

Isle of Wight Festival
Fleetwood Mac at the Isle of Wight Festival (Yui Mok/PA)

BMG will now collect a fee every time one of those songs is streamed, played on the radio or used in a film or video game.

Recent months have seen a series of high-profile artists including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and most recently Shakira sell the rights to their extensive back catalogues in lucrative deals.

Leading the way has been Hipgnosis Songs Fund, a fund run by Merck Mercuriadis, a former manager of Sir Elton John and Pet Shop Boys.

In recent months, Mr Mercuriadis has acquired the rights of Young, former Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Blondie singer Debbie Harry and Mark Ronson among others.

He has built up a sizeable catalogue of songs since launching the fund on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 and raising more than £1 billion from shareholders.

British Summer Time festival – London
Neil Young (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Fleetwood, 73, said: “This is a wonderfully inspiring marriage between two creative partners that understand all aspects of the business. Foremost, BMG understands the artistry and puts the artist first.

“If this partnership is any indication of my past, and now future, working relationship with BMG, it’s that they truly ‘get it’.”

BMG chief executive Hartwig Masuch said: “Mick Fleetwood is the bedrock of one of the greatest bands in rock, he has a unique talent to bring together musicians of all genres and of course he is one of rock’s greatest drummers.

“BMG is proud to represent his greatest work and excited about the forthcoming launch of Mick Fleetwood & Friends.”

The sale of Fleetwood’s songs was brokered by his manager Carl Stubner from the Shelter Music Group.

Alongside John McVie, the drummer formed Fleetwood Mac in 1967 with guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer.

They found wider success with their blues-rock third album Then Play On, before disbanding amid infighting and substance abuse.

Fleetwood and McVie resurrected the band in the mid-1970s with a new line-up including Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, finding international success.

They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups ever.

Buckingham was fired from the band in 2018 and replaced by Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House.

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