News | BMG | London, 07/20/2022

BMG Acquires Music Interests In Simple Minds

BMG is further expanding its partnership with the Scottish rock band Simple Minds. Bertelsmann’s music subsidiary has acquired the publishing rights to more than 240 songs, the band’s neighboring rights, and royalties from their entire recorded catalog. BMG will also release Simple Minds’ latest studio album “Direction Of The Heart” on October 21.

BMG has acquired the key music interests of legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds. The agreement with the band’s core members Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill includes the publishing rights to more than 240 songs across five UK Number One albums, the band’s neighboring rights and royalties from their entire recorded catalog. The deal marks the culmination of a long-standing relationship between BMG and Simple Minds. BMG previously served as the administrator of the band’s publishing catalog and released their 2018 album “Walk Between Worlds.” Last month, BMG announced that it will release the band’s latest studio album, “Direction Of The Heart,” on October 21. 

“There are few bands who can claim to have changed music, but over a period of 45 years Simple Minds have done precisely that,” said Alistair Norbury, BMG President Repertoire & Marketing UK. “It has been a long courtship, but we are delighted to have the opportunity to be custodians of their outstanding catalog. We are thrilled that BMG is now the musical home of Simple Minds, past, present and future.”

The band focused around frontman Jim Kerr and guitarist and keyboardist Charlie Burchill has generated sales of more than 60 million albums over the course of their career. Their five Official UK Albums Chart Number Ones include “Sparkle in the Rain” (1984), “Once Upon a Time” (1985), “Live in the City of Light” (1987), “Street Fighting Years” (1989) and “Glittering Prize 81/92” (1992). The band won the Q Inspiration Award in 2014 for their contribution to the music industry, and in 2016 were awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection. 

Simple Minds’ key songs include “Love Song,” “The American.” “Promised You A Miracle,” “Glittering Prize,” “Waterfront,” “Someone Somewhere in Summertime,” “Alive And Kicking,” and “Belfast Child.” The U.S. Number One hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” was written by Keith Forsey, meaning it does not fall under the publishing acquisition, but BMG will collect recorded and neighboring rights royalties from the track.

Jim Kerr said, “We are very pleased to have struck this deal. It feels like the right time for us and our families. We look forward to working with everyone at BMG.” The band has influenced generations of musicians with a trademark widescreen sound of propulsive beats mixing guitars and keyboards. Bono has publicly acknowledged U2’s debt to Simple Minds. “We learned from them,” he told the BBC’s Desert Island Discs recently. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Simple Minds commenced an extensive tour on March 31 playing to over 500,000 people across Europe. The tour will continue through the summer, concluding on September 17 in Leeds, England, with a headline slot at the Radio 2 Live Festival. 

The acquisition of the Simple Minds catalog is BMG’s eighth acquisition in the UK this year. The company announced in April that it had acquired a 50% stake in Primal Scream’s music publishing interests.