Entertainment

Spirit Music buys Pete Townshend's song catalogue

Rocker Pete Townshend has sold his song catalogue to music publisher Spirit Music Group for an undisclosed sum.

Townshend, famed for his songs with The Who such as "Pinball Wizard" and the album and rock opera Quadrophenia, will work in partnership with Spirit to exploit his catalogue.

Spirit chief executive Mark Fried is said to have spent a year in talks with star and his representatives including Universal Music to seal the deal.

Townshend said: "I feel that my song catalogue is at last consolidated with one guiding company. The deal provides me with the resources to start all over again in my creative career – most songwriters don't get this kind of opportunity, a chance of creative renaissance."

Townshend is already involved in a series of retrospectives for The Who's most celebrated albums over the next two years, leading up to a global celebration of the band's 50th anniversary in 2014.

Spirit, founded in 1995 and based in New York, claims to be one of the world's leading independent music publishers, with rights to more than 40,000 songs including hits by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Jay-Z.

Earlier this month, Townshend attacked technology giant Apple, calling iTunes a "digital vampire" for exploiting artists.

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