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Sony acquires the songs catalogue of Paul Simon

By | Published on Thursday 1 April 2021

Paul Simon

Another one for fans of mega-bucks rights acquisition deals now. And that’s all of you, right? Who doesn’t love a mega-bucks rights acquisition deal? Do you, like me, often lie awake at night fearing that one day very soon every song and songwriter famous enough to warrant a mega-bucks rights acquisition deal will have been involved in a mega-bucks rights acquisition deal, and with all those rights acquired via a mega-bucks deal there’ll be no mega-bucks rights acquisition deals left to enjoy?

Maybe then the companies behind these mega-bucks rights acquisition deals will start acquiring each other through a series of super-sized mega-bucks rights acquisition deals, and all the joy we collectively experience from these mega-bucks rights acquisition deals will continue for at least a few more months. That would be mega. We can only hope, people. We can only hope.

Anyway, time for today’s mega-bucks rights acquisition deal. And today there’s none of those new-fangled mega-bucks rights acquisition vehicles involved. No, today’s mega-bucks rights acquisition deal comes from Sony Music Publishing. The biggest music publisher in the world reminding all those mega-bucks rights acquisition up-starts that it can bid the big bucks too. Yeah, OK, Universal got in first and bought the Bob Dylan catalogue, but fuck you Universal and all those pesky mega-bucks rights acquisition up-starts, because Sony’s only gone and gotten itself the Paul Simon catalogue.

“Paul Simon is a masterful, once-in-a-lifetime songwriter whose remarkable body of work has generated an enduring influence on our culture and consciousness”, says Sony Music Publishing boss Jon Platt. “From Simon And Garfunkel standards like ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to solo classics such as ‘Graceland’, Paul Simon’s music resonates deeply as a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. To represent his indelible songs is an incredible honour for Sony Music Publishing, so with tremendous pride, I welcome Paul to our family!”

Simon himself, hiding behind the mountain of cash he’ll have received as part of this deal, adds: “I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades”. Noting that he began his music career with Columbia Records – a CBS-owned label at the time, but now part of Sony Music – he goes on: “It feels like a natural extension to be working with the publishing side as well”.

Lovely stuff. It might seem like Sony is rather late to the current mega-bucks rights acquisition party, which has been more dominated to date by those aforementioned up-starts, like Round Hill, Iconic Artists and – especially – Hipgnosis. But in its statement yesterday Sony was keen to remind everyone that, as the biggest music publisher in the world, it already controls and/or represents the song catalogues of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Leonard Cohen, Carole King and the mother-fucking Beatles. So fuck off up-starts.