December 21, 2012
BMG scores rights to Nirvana songs
By im Molloy, TheWrap.com

Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic speaks to the visitors at the premiere of the "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses" exhibit at the EMP in Seattle view a slideshow of photos taken by grunge-rock era photographer Charles Peterson on April 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Anthony Bolante)

BMG has acquired the worldwide rights to several music catalogues, a deal that will give it songs from artists including Kurt Cobain, Tears for Fears, The Human League, Iggy Pop, and Take That.

The company announced Friday that it will purchase the rights for the Virgin Music Publishing Companies, Famous UK Music Publishing and selected current songwriters from Sony/ATV and EMI Music Publishing.

Sony Corporation of America and a group of investors acquired EMI Music Publishing in June, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing administers EMI on behalf of the group. It had to sell the catalogues as a condition of the acquisition.

Virgin Publishing’s catalogue includes Kurt Cobain’s songs for Nirvana, including “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are” and “About A Girl.”

Other hits include Jim Steinman’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart,” Lenny Kravitz’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” and Devo’s “Whip It.”

Other songs include Take That’s greatest hits, including “Patience,” “Shine” and “Greatest Day,” as well as former member Robbie William’s interests in “Angels,” “Rock DJ” and “Let Me Entertain You.”


Also in the catalogue are Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Rules The World,” Culture Club’s “Karma Chamelon,” OMD’s “Enola Gay,” and Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life,” as well as recent hits including Duffy’s “Mercy.”

BMG, the fourth-largest music publishing company, is a three-year-old partnership between Bertelsmann and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. In May, it announced it had more than one million copyrights under management.

“These catalogues contain some of the most influential and successful songs in popular music,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch. “We are delighted to have won the opportunity to represent the writers of those songs and to demonstrate to them BMG’s commitment to twenty-first century service. They have my pledge that we will do our very best to deliver for them.”