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Northern Songs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Northern Songs Ltd. is a company founded in 1963 by music publisher Dick James, Brian Epstein, and The Beatles to publish songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (see Lennon/McCartney). (George Martin, The Beatles producer, was offered a partnership in the company but turned it down, since his position at EMI made it a potential conflict of interest.)

In a novel move, during 1965 it was decided to "take the company public" to save on capital gains tax, and Northern Songs was reorganised as a public company, with Lennon and McCartney each owning 15%, Beatles manager Brian Epstein's company NEMS assigned 7.5%, Dick James and partner Charles Silver (who served as Northern Songs' chairman) retaining a total of 37.5%, and Harrison and Starr together owning about 1.6%. The rest traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Harrison wrote "Only a Northern Song", the title a play on the song's origins, to appear on the Sgt. Pepper album; the lyrics in part express his disappointment with his publishing contract and with the company's handling of his songs. The song was left out of the album, later appearing in the Beatles' animated feature, 1968's Yellow Submarine, and its soundtrack.

After Brian Epstein died, Lennon and McCartney sought to renegotiate their publishing deal with Dick James. In 1968 they invited James for a meeting at Apple Records. They tried to film the meeting with James, and were rather brusque with him. Already-cool relations between James and the Beatles became even cooler. Early in 1969, James and Silver abruptly sold their shares in Northern Songs to Britain's Associated TeleVision (ATV), giving the Beatles no notice, or the chance to buy them out. (Lennon learned of the sale from a morning newspaper during his honeymoon with Yoko Ono, and immediately called McCartney.) ATV was also able to buy enough public shares to threaten a majority holding in Northern Songs.

Allen Klein attempted to set up a deal with ATV for Apple Corps to buy ATV out. This was spoiled by attorney John Eastman (McCartney's brother-in-law, and son of his future business manager Lee Eastman) sending a letter to ATV informing them that Klein wasn't authorised to act on Apple's behalf. (This was technically true, but he was the de facto manager for Lennon, Harrison and Starr, and also had McCartney's verbal go-ahead for the deal.) ATV backed out rather than risk being pulled into litigation.

Next, a block of investors who owned a small but crucial percentage of shares was lobbied by both sides to sell out or cooperate with them ultimately to take control of Northern Songs. During negotiations, Lennon made an understandable, but ill-timed and poorly-worded, comment expressing his disdain for businessmen trying to influence his creative output ó "I'm sick to death of being fucked about by men in suits sitting on their fat arses in the City!" ó which threw the investors to ATV's side.

Under their publishing contract with Northern Songs, Lennon and McCartney were legally bound to continue their songwriting until 1973. The simplest way out, if they couldn't gain control, was to also sell out to ATV, while keeping the writer's royalties from their contracted songs. Lennon and McCartney sold their stock (Lennon his 15%, McCartney's portion slightly higher, since he himself bought additional shares) in October 1969 for £3.5 million. Harrison and Starr chose to keep their shares.

ATV held its controlling interest in Northern Songs until 1985, when ATV Music went up for sale. Outbidding McCartney (who'd tried unsuccessfully to persuade Ono to join him) was singer Michael Jackson, whose recent friendship and collaboration with McCartney ended suddenly as a result. It turned out Ono had actually encouraged Jackson to buy the shares, telling the press after the sale, "I just feel like a friend has them." When asked how he felt about having Jackson as his "boss," as controller of the song catalogue, McCartney replied, "I think he needs to give me a raise." (None of the Beatles' royalty rates as composers had ever been increased, despite their continuing sales.) McCartney reportedly did ask Jackson for a royalty increase but was turned down, further cooling their relationship.

In 1995, Jackson merged his catalogue with Sony Music's publishing, for a reported $95 million, establishing Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He later used his remaining half as collateral to finance additional debt. As of 2005, there is a chance that his remainder may go on sale. Harrison's estate has also begun legal action to recover a large amount of unpaid (or underpaid) songwriter's royalties. McCartney's MPL Communications, meanwhile, has bought or secured publishing rights to several early Beatles songs not published by Northern Songs, including "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You".

In music publishing, copyright law runs for 28 years, then expires. The law states that if a writer sells his songs to another interest during his lifetime, and he dies before the right expires, his portion of the rights revert to his heirs. If the writer is still alive, he is out of luck, as far as getting the rights back. They are renewed by whoever bought them.

This means that when the rights to Beatles songs started expiring in 1990, Jackson owned 50% of Lennon/McCartney tunes, McCartney owned 25%, and Lennonís heirs (Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon) owned 25%. As the rights on each song expired, Lennonís heirs got back the half (25%) of the copyright that had been purchased from Lennon. That means that Lennonís heirs currently own 50% of all Lennon/McCartney tunes, Jackson (or his merged company) own 25% and McCartney owns 25%.

Sir Paul was reportedly not pleased. But then again, heís still alive.
The last joint copyrights to expire in 1998, were those for Let It Be, and Long and Winding Road.

This list of 263 songs (including 'Yesterday') identifies all the Beatles' compositions in the golden Northern Songs copyrights which were bought by Michael Jackson in 1985.

A

    • 'Across the Universe' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'All I've Got to Do' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'All My Loving' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'All Together Now' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'All You Need Is Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'And I Love Her' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'And Your Bird Can Sing' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Another Girl' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Any Time At All' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    B

    • 'Baby, You're a Rich Man' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Baby's in Black' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Back in the USSR' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'The Back Seat of My Car' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Bad to Me' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Because' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Birthday' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Blackbird' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Blue Jay Way' (George Harrison)

    C

    • 'Can't Buy Me Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Carry That Weight' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Catcall' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Christmas Time (Is Here Again)' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George Harrison-Richard Starkey)
    • 'Cold Turkey' (John Lennon)
    • 'Come and Get It' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Come Together' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Cowboy Music' (George Harrison)
    • 'Crippled Inside' (John Lennon)
    • 'Cry Baby Cry' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Crying' (George Harrison)

    D

    • 'A Day in the Life' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Day Tripper' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Dear Prudence' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Dig a Pony' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Dig It'* (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George Harrison-Richard Starkey)
    • 'Do You Want to Know a Secret' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Doctor Robert' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Don't Let Me Down' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Dream Scene' (George Harrison)
    • 'Drilling a Home' (George Harrison)
    • 'Drive My Car' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    E

    • 'Eight Days a Week' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Eleanor Rigby' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'The End' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Every Little Thing' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Every Night' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Everywhere It's Christmas' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    F

    • 'The Family Way' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Fantasy Sequins' (George Harrison)
    • 'Fixing a Hole' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Flying' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George-Harrison-Richard Starkey)
    • 'The Fool on the Hill' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'For No One' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'From a Window' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'From Me to You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    G

    • 'Gat Kirwani' (George Harrison)
    • 'Get Back' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Getting Better' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Girl' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Give Me Some Truth' (John Lennon)
    • 'Give Peace a Chance' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Glass Box' (George Harrison)
    • 'Glass Onion' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Glasses' (Paul McCartney
    • 'God' (John Lennon)
    • 'Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Good Day Sunshine' (John Lennon-Paul Mccartney)
    • 'Good Morning Good Morning' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Good Night' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Goodbye' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Got to Get You into My Life' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Greasy Legs' (George Harrison)
    • 'Guru Vandana' (George Harrison)

    H

    • 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'A Hard Day's Night' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hello, Goodbye' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hello Little Girl' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Help!' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Helter Skelter' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Her Majesty' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Here, There and Everywhere' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hey Bulldog' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hey Jude' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hold Me Tight' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hold On' (John Lennon)
    • 'Honey Pie' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Hot as Sun' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'How' (John Lennon)
    • 'How Do You Sleep' (John Lennon)

    I

    • 'I Am the Walrus' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Call Your Name' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Don't Want to Be a Soldier' (John Lennon)
    • 'I Don't Want to See You Again' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Don't Want to Spoil the Party' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Feel Fine' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Found Out' (John Lennon)
    • 'I Need You' (George Harrison)
    • 'I Saw Her Standing There' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Should Have Known Better' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Wanna Be Your Man' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Want to Tell You' (George Harrison)
    • 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I Will' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Be Back' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Be on My Way' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Cry Instead' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Follow the Sun' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Get You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'll Keep You Satisfied' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm a Loser' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm Down' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm Happy Just to Dance with You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm in Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm Looking through You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm Only Sleeping' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I'm so Tired' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I've Got a Feeling' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'I've Just Seen a Face' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'If I Fell' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'If I Needed Someone' (George Harrison)
    • 'If You've Got Troubles' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'In My Life' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'In the Park' (George Harrison)
    • 'The Inner Light' (George Harrison)
    • 'Isolation' (John Lennon)
    • 'It Won't Be Long' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'It's All Too Much' (George Harrison)
    • 'It's for You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'It's Only Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'It's So Hard' (John Lennon)

    J

    • Jazz Piano Song* (Paul McCartney-Richard Starkey)
    • 'Jessie's Dream (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George Harrison-Richard Starkey)
    • 'John Sinclair' (John Lennon)
    • 'Julia' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Junk' (Paul McCartney)

    K

    • 'Kreen-Akrore' (Paul McCartney)

    L

    • 'Lady Madonna' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Let It Be' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Like Dreamers Do' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Little Child' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'The Long and Winding Road' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Look at Me' (John Lennon)
    • 'Love in the Open Air' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Love of the Loved' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Love Scene' (George Harrison)
    • 'Love You To' (George Harrison)
    • 'The Lovely Linda' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Lovely Rita' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    M

    • 'Maggie Mae'* (Trad, arr John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George Harrison-Richard Starkey)
    • 'Magical Mystery Tour' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Man We Was Lonely' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Martha My Dear' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Maybe I'm Amazed' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Mean Mr Mustard' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Michelle' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Microbes' (George Harrison)
    • 'Misery' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Momma Miss America' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Mother' (John Lennon)
    • 'Mother Nature's Son' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'My Mummy's Dead' (John Lennon)

    N

    • 'New York City' (John Lennon)
    • 'The Night Before' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'No Reply' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Nobody I Know' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Not a Second Time' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Nowhere Man' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    O

    • 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Oh! Darling' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Oh Woman, Oh Why' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'On the Bed' (George Harrison)
    • 'The One After 909' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'One and One Is Two' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Only a Northern Song' (George Harrison)
    • 'Oo You' (Paul McCartney)

    P

    • 'Paperback Writer' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Party Seacombe' (George Harrison)
    • 'Paul Piano Intro' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Penina' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Penny Lane' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Please Don't Bring Your Banjo Back' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Polythene Pam' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    R

    • 'Rain' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Ram On' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Red Lady Too' (George Harrison)
    • 'Remember' (John Lennon)
    • 'Revolution' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Revolution 9' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Rocky Raccoon' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Run for Your Life' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    S

    • 'Sexy Sadie' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'She Came in through The Bathroom Window' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'She Loves You' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'She Said She Said' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'She's a Woman' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'She's Leaving Home' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Shirley's Wild Accordion' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Singalong Junk' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Singing Om' (George Harrison)
    • 'Ski-ing' (George Harrison)
    • 'Smile Away' . (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Step Inside Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Strawberry Fields Forever' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Suicide' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Sun King' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Suzy Parker'* (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-George Harrison-Richard Starkey)

    T

    • 'Tabla and Pakavaj' (George Harrison)
    • 'Taxman' (George Harrison)
    • 'Teddy Boy' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Tell Me What You See' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Tell Me Why' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Thank You Girl' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'That Means a Lot' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'That Would Be Something' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'There's a Place' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Things We Said Today' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Thingumybob' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Think for Yourself (George Harrison)
    • 'This Boy' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • '3 Legs' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Ticket to Ride' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Tip of My Tongue' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Tomorrow Never Knows' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Too Many People' (Paul McCartney)
    • 'Two of Us' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    V

    • 'Valentine Day' (Paul McCartney)

    W

    • 'Wait' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'We Can Work It Out' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Well Well Well' (John Lennon)
    • 'What Goes On' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney-Richard Starkey)
    • 'What You're Doing' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'What's the New Mary Jane' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'When I Get Home' (John Lennon -Paul McCartney)
    • 'When I'm Sixty-Four' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Why Don't We Do It in The Road' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Wild Honey Pie' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'With a Little Help From My Friends' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Within You Without You' (George Harrison)
    • 'Woman' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney, under joint pseudonym 'Bernard Webb')
    • 'Wonderwall to Be Here' (George Harrison)
    • 'The Word' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Working Class Hero' (John Lennon)
    • 'A World Without Love' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    Y

    • 'Yellow Submarine' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Yer Blues' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Yes It Is' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Yesterday' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You Can't Do That' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You Like Me Too Much' (George Harrison)
    • 'You Never Give Me Your Money' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You Won't See Me' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You're Going to Lose That Girl' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'You've Got to Hide Your Love Away' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)
    • 'Your Mother Should Know' (John Lennon-Paul McCartney)

    * copyright shared with other publisher(s)

    Important notes: The above list was current at 1995. Northern Songs no longer publishes a number of copyrights which, although formerly vested in the company, now rest elsewhere as a consequence of business negotiations. These include compositions recorded by Paul McCartney ('Another Day', 'Bip Bop', 'C Moon', 'Dear Boy', 'Eat At Home', 'The Great Cock and Seagull Race', 'Dear Friend', 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish', 'Heart of the Country', 'Hi Hi Hi', 'I Am Your Singer', 'Little Woman Love', 'Long Haired Lady', 'Mary Had a Little Lamb', 'Monkberry Moon Delight', 'Mumbo', 'Some People Never Know', 'Tomorrow', 'Uncle Albert'/'Admiral Halsey', 'Wild Life') and by John Lennon ('Angela', 'Attica State', 'Au' 'Cambridge 1969', 'Do the Oz', 'God Save Us', 'Imagine', 'Instant Karma!', 'Jamrag', 'Jealous Guy', 'Love', 'The Luck of the Irish', 'Oh My Love', 'Oh Yoko!', 'Power to the People', 'Scumbag', 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', Two Virgins (LP), 'Woman is the Nigger of the World').

    Other Beatles-related copyrights remain vested in Northern, such as George Martin's orchestral soundtrack cuts for the Yellow Submarine film and album, his orchestral versions (which carried different names) of Beatles songs - 'Auntie Gin's Theme' (originally 'I've Just Seen a Face'), 'Ringo's Theme' ('This Boy'), 'Scrambled Eggs' ('Yesterday') and 'That's a Nice Hat (Cap)' ('It's Only Love') - and other oddities such as pieces of music which incorporated original Northern Songs copyrighted material.