STEALING headlines from Justin Bieber and eclipsing the $200mn spent by music investment fund Hipgnosis Songs Capital on securing his back catalogue, Irish country supremos Crystal Swing have sold their music rights to Universal Record for a reported €500mn.
“We’ll make €80mn a year from Hucklebuck related merch alone, we’ve robbed them blind,” said head of acquisitions at Universal, David Clemmons, who now hold the rights to the songs on the albums Sweet Dreams and The Best Years of Our Lives.
Where Bieber has sold rights to songs such as ‘Peaches’, ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘Sorry’, it is thought Crystal Swing’s back catalogue is seen as the more valuable body of work as Mary, Derek and Dervla still have a huge following in Japan.
“We’ve already produced 100,000 bottles of He Drinks Tequila in preparation and that’s just the beginning of the money making,” confirmed Clemmons, keen to build a series of Hucklebuck based rollercoaster as part of an amusement park in the midlands.
“And for the songs themselves, we’ll be sticking them on commercials in Taiwan and whenever Scorsese releases another movie, the Hucklebuck will be playing over the scene of some lad getting beating to death but they’ll all have to pay us to use them”.
Swing’s decision to cash in reflects the trend in Irish music and joins recent sell offs including Richie Kavanagh’s €150mn pay day, Six’s €43.50 sell on, and Daniel O’Donnell selling only the rights to his 1986 grindcore collaboration album with Napalm Death.