Paul Simon Sells Song Catalog to Sony Music Publishing

Jem Aswad
·3-min read

Sony Music Publishing announced it has acquired the song catalog of Paul Simon, one of the most successful and influential songwriters of the past 75 years. The milestone deal includes Paul Simon’s classic songs spanning more than six decades, from his time as a member of Simon & Garfunkel, through his extraordinary career as a solo artist – among them, “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Boxer,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Homeward Bound,” “I Am A Rock,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Graceland,” and many others.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Simon joins Bob Dylan (who sold his song catalog to Universal for more than $300 million, sources say), Neil Young (who sold 50% of his to Hipgnosis for $150 million), Stevie Nicks (to Primary Wave for $100 million)and many others in the recent rush of catalog sales, which span virtually every type of music-related intellectual property. Indeed, along with Dylan, the Beatles, several Motown Records artists, James Brown and others, Simon’s catalog, which includes his work with Simon & Garfunkel and his solo material, is one of the most resonant and influential of a particularly fertile period for popular music.

Simon is also a rare artist who continued to evolve and influence the music world over decades, from his introduction of South American music on the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album to reggae on his early ’70s hit “Mother and Child Reunion” to South African sounds on his 1986 “Graceland” album. Even well into his 60s, he continued to take unexpected paths, releasing an album produced by legendary experimental musician Brian Eno in 2006.

Paul Simon’s body of work joins a diverse collection of catalogs represented by Sony Music Publishing, including The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, Lieber & Stoller, Michael Jackson, Motown, Queen, Ashford & Simpson, and Stevie Wonder, among others.

Paul Simon said, “I’m pleased to have Sony Music Publishing be the custodian of my songs for the coming decades. I began my career at Columbia/Sony Records and it feels like a natural extension to be working with the Publishing side as well.”

Jon Platt, Chairman & CEO, Sony Music Publishing said, “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. 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 honor for Sony Music Publishing, so with tremendous pride, I welcome Paul to our family!”

Rob Stringer, Chairman, Sony Music Group said, “We are truly honored to now represent the music publishing catalogue of Paul Simon. To be entrusted with his songs and recorded music is a privilege of the highest artistic order for the Sony Music Group worldwide.”

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