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Leonard Cohen’s Songwriting Catalog Sold

Leonard Cohen’s estate has sold its entire songwriting catalog to Hipgnosis Songs Fund. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by a new $1 billion-backed fund from Blackstone in partnership with Hipgnosis Song Management, the music investment firm founded by ex-manager Merck Mercuriadis. Sir Elton John, and musician Nile Rodgers.

The deal includes the “songwriter’s share” of 127 songs from Cohen’s “Stranger Music” catalog, which includes everything Cohen released from the start of his career through 2000, including the hits ” Hallelujah” and “First We Take Manhattan,” plus an additional 84 derivative works.

Hipgnosis has also acquired material in Cohen’s “Old Ideas” catalog, which includes the copyright, “publisher’s share” and “songwriter’s share” of every Cohen song written from 2001 until his death in 2016 at the age of 82.

“She’s one of the greatest literary figures of our time and she made songs that the world knows and loves,” said Mercuriadis, who had been in talks with the Cohen estate for a year before the sale.

Hipgnosis has recently acquired several major publishing catalogs including Neil Young, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac and Jimmy Iovine.

In addition to the sale of Cohen’s catalog, an unpublished novel by the artist will be released on October 11.

Originally written in Montreal in 1956, the same year Cohen published his first collection of poetry ‘Let Us Compare Mythologies’, the new novel titled ‘A Ballet of Lepers’ (Grove Press) centers on ‘toxic relationships and the lengths to which they will be maintained,” according to the book’s description.

The 91-page novel will be accompanied by 15 short stories and a script for a radio play from the Cohen archives, all written between 1956 and 1961 and assembled by Cohen scholar Alexandra Pleshoyano, who wrote an afterword. Title A leper ballet: a novel and storiesthe pieces explore themes “from shame and indignity to sexual desire in all its sacred and profane dimensions to desire, whether for love, family, freedom or transcendence”, and “probe the inner demons of its characters, many of which could function as a replacement for the author himself.

Cohen once said that “A Leper Ballet” was “probably a better novel” than his famous first novel, “The Favorite Game,” published in 1963.

“Leonard said before his death that the true masterpiece of his life was his archives, which he preserved meticulously so that fans and scholars could one day discover them,” said Robert Kory, trustee of the trust. Leonard Cohen family, in a statement. “I am happy that with this book, its readers and listeners can begin this rich journey.”

Photo: Sony Music Publishing