Bob Dylan has sold major recordings of his entire catalog with Sony Music in the industry’s latest music acquisition.
The deal, which ended last July, includes everything from a classic 1960s album like Blonde On Blonde to his latest 2020 release, Rough And Rowdy Ways.
Billboard Magazine claims the catalog is worth around $200 million (£149 million) based on annual sales of around $16 million (£12 million).
Dylan previously sold his release to Universal Music for $400 million.
This deal included Dylan’s lyric and songwriting rights previously owned by Sony outside the United States.
But the label struggled to retain Dylan’s recording rights, including 39 studio albums, 16 collections of “bootleg” releases, and unreleased material that may be compiled and released in the future.
The 80-year-old also renewed his recording contract with Sony Columbia Records and promised “many new releases in the future,” according to a press release from the label.
One of the most influential and seminal artists in rock history, Dylan became the first songwriter to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 and has sold over 125 million records worldwide.
Minnesota-born Robert Zimmerman emerged from the landscape of New York’s Greenwich Village in the early 1960s with a blend of country music, protest songs, and psychedelic poetry that became a global counterculture icon.
Columbia released their first album in 1962 and their work influenced notable artists such as David Bowie and the Beatles.
Songs like Mr. are still very popular. Tambourine Man, Like A Rolling Stone and Make You Feel My Love, covers from Adele and Guns N’ Roses to Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder.
Before the pandemic, there were regularly between 80 and 100 concerts a year. 22 shows took place in 2021 and 27 shows are still scheduled for the first half of 2022.
Announcing the new deal, Sony Chairman Rob Stringer said: “Columbia Records has had a special relationship with Bob Dylan since the beginning of his career and we are very proud and excited to continue to grow and develop our 60-year partnership.
“Bob is one of music’s greatest icons and an artist beyond compare. We look forward to working with Bob and his team to find new ways to bring his music to his many fans today and for generations to come.”
In a statement, Dylan said: “Columbia Records and Rob Stringer have been nothing but good to me for many years and many records. I’m glad all my recordings can stay.”
The acquisition comes amid a years-long record industry spending spree, with record labels and investment firms upping the song and recording rights of David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner, Blondie, Taylor Swift, David Guetta, and Shakira.
Sony played a major role in the market, spending $1.4 billion on acquisitions in the first six months of 2021 alone, before releasing another $500 million on Bruce Springsteen’s catalog in late December.
Marketplaces offer artists and their belongings instant financial security, and new owners hope to capitalize on streams of classic songs while creating new revenue streams through film and television licenses, merchandising, covers and performances.