Universal Music Publishing Group Acquires Bob Dylan’s 600-Song Catalog

The landmark agreement encompasses more than 600 of the peerless songwriter’s copyrights across almost 60 years.

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Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for ABA

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), the publishing division of Universal Music Group, has announced the acquisition of Bob Dylan’s entire catalog of songs.

The landmark agreement encompasses more than 600 of the peerless songwriter’s copyrights across a time span of almost 60 years, from “Blowin’ In The Wind” in 1962 to this year’s epic composition “Murder Most Foul.”

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“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,” says UMPG chairman & CEO Jody Gerson. “The UMPG global team is honored to be Bob Dylan’s publishing partner and I especially want to acknowledge Marc Cimino whose passion and perseverance were instrumental in bringing this opportunity to us.

Inspiring artists and fans worldwide

“We look forward to working with Bob and the team in ensuring his artistry continues to reach and inspire generations of fans, recording artists and songwriters around the world.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, notes: “As someone who began his career in music publishing, it is with enormous pride that today we welcome Bob Dylan to the UMG family. It’s no secret that the art of songwriting is the fundamental key to all great music, nor is it a secret that Bob is one of the very greatest practitioners of that art. 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.

“It is no exaggeration to say that his vast body of work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people all around the world,” continues Grainge. “I have no doubt that decades, even centuries from now, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and played — and cherished — everywhere.”

Songcraft from the 60s to the Nobel Prize

Dylan’s work has reverberated around the world, from his agenda-setting songs of the 1960s such as “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Like A Rolling Stone,” all the way to his continuingly unmatched cultural standing of the present day, which saw him become the first songwriter to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. The Swedish Academy praised him “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

He continues to tour extensively around the world and his current, 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways, his first of original material for eight years, topped charts worldwide and is already on countess year-end critical best-of lists.

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