Hipgnosis Acquires Catalog of The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, Including 'Back on the Chain Gang' & More Hits

Chrissie Hynde
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Chrissie Hynde of "The Pretenders" performs onstage with a Fender Telecaster electric guitar in April 1980 in San Diego, Calif.

Music IP investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund continues its recent spending spree with the acquisition of The Pretenders lead vocalist and primary songwriter Chrissie Hynde's catalog.

The deal announced Friday (Sept. 11) gives Hipgnosis 100% of Hynde's entire music publishing catalog, consisting of 164 songs, including the publishing and writer's share from The Pretenders and her other projects.

Formed in London in 1978, The Pretenders achieved widespread commercial success with their self-titled debut album the following year, widely regarded as one of the best debut albums of all-time. The pioneering rock band's biggest hits include "Brass in Pocket," "Talk of the Town," "Message of Love," "Back on the Chain Gang," "Middle of the Road," "2,000 Miles," "Don't Get Me Wrong," "My Baby" and "I'll Stand By You."

Eleven albums later, Hynde continues to release music and perform with the band -- while their May 2020 planned tour was postponed due to the pandemic, certain dates have been rescheduled to September 2021.

"This is very personal for me. Chrissie is one of my favorite songwriters of all time and The Pretenders are one of my favorite bands of all time," Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement. "Her importance cannot be over estimated and she has been a powerful role model for women and men all over the globe for 40 years."

He added that Hynde's influence even led him to go vegetarian and then vegan. "That’s the power of great songs and music when combined with genuine integrity," he said. "She has this powerful effect on her audience which is why they remain so devoted and committed after 40 years and why new generations of fans are constantly attracted to her. I’m delighted to welcome her and her wonderful songs to the Hipgnosis family."

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Chrissie Hynde was represented by manager Ian Grenfell at Quietus Management, lawyer Andrew Myers at Clintons and accountant Pat Savage at YMU.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has racked up an impressive string of acquisitions since its founding in 2018, having spent more than $650 million on catalog acquisitions as of December 2019. Recent deals include the acquisition of independent publisher Big Deal Music earlier this week, as well as (outright or a stake in) the catalogs of Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx, Wu-Tang Clan's RZABlondieBarry ManilowDion "No I.D." Wilson and more.