Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of songs, which reaches back 60 years, is being acquired by Universal Music Publishing Group for an undisclosed amount.
The catalog contains 600 song copyrights, including “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” and “Tangled Up In Blue.”
“Brilliant and moving, inspiring and beautiful, insightful and provocative, his songs are timeless — whether they were written more than half a century ago or yesterday,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, CEO of Universal Music Group, in a statement.
Dylan’s catalog may be the most prized in the music industry. The influence of Dylan’s body of work may only be matched by that of the Beatles. The transaction comes a few weeks after the singer-songwriter’s musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics sold at auction for $495,000. Four years ago, when Michael Jackson’s estate that it owned in the artist’s catalog, it fetched $750 million.
Dylan’s songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times, by artists from dozens of countries, cultures and music genres, including the Jimi Hendrix version of “All Along The Watchtower.” Dylan first entered the music world through New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene during the early 1960s. When he brought an electric guitar on stage in 1965, he divided the music community in what was considered a radical departure for an artist.
Minnesota-born Dylan then produced three albums back to back in just over a year that changed the course of rock ‘n’ roll that decade, starting with “Bringing It All Back Home.” He has sold more than 125 million records globally.
Dylan, 79, was poetry for the ear.for Literature in 2016, the first songwriter to receive such a distinction. The Swedish Academy said Dylan wrote
“To represent the body of work of one of the greatest songwriters of all time — whose cultural importance can’t be overstated — is both a privilege and a responsibility,” Universal Chairman Jody Gerson said in a statement.