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The Dylan catalog, rock ‘n’ roll’s holy grail, is sold

The deal covers 600 song copyrights including “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Tangled Up In Blue.”
 
In this Jan. 12, 2012, photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles.
In this Jan. 12, 2012, photo, Bob Dylan performs in Los Angeles. [ CHRIS PIZZELLO | AP ]
Published Dec. 7, 2020|Updated Dec. 7, 2020

Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of songs, which reaches back 60 years and is among the most prized next to that of the Beatles, is being acquired by Universal Music Publishing Group.

The deal covers 600 song copyrights including Blowin’ In The Wind, The Times They Are a-Changin’, and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, 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,” Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Sir Lucian Grainge said in a prepared statement on Monday.

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Dylan’s songs have been recorded more than 6,000 times, by various artists from dozens of countries, cultures and music genres, including the Jimi Hendrix version of All Along The Watchtower.

The transaction’s announcement comes a few weeks after the singer-songwriter’s musings about anti-Semitism and unpublished song lyrics sold at auction for a total of $495,000.

Dylan, first entered the public consciousness with New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene during the early 1960s. When he brought an electric guitar on stage in 1965, he split the music community in what was considered a radical departure for an artist.

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.

Dylan has sold more than 125 million records globally. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, the first songwriter to receive such a distinction.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.