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Bruce Springsteen in negotiations to sell music and publishing to Sony Music

Sources say the deal for the album catalogue is nearly done, but the publishing deal is still to play for

By Jen Thomas

Bruce on tv interview
Bruce is reportedly negotiating to sell his music. (Photo: YouTube).

Bruce Springsteen is reportedly negotiating with Sony Music to sell the rights to his recorded music and publishing catalogue.

Sources say the Springsteen album catalogue deal for his music is nearly finished, but some claim the publishing catalogue is still to play for.

The claim comes from three different sources speaking to Variety.

Springsteen signed with Sony Music’s Columbia Records in 1972, however, he acquired the rights to his music at a later point in his career.

It’s believed he achieved it as part of a contract renegotiation. Other artists including Garth Brooks, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and more all managed to win back ownership of their recorded masters too.

Signing away the rights to their music is something many artists are against, however many artists of retirement age are seeing it as a lucrative possibility.

Recent sales of song catalogues have achieved some eye-watering sales figures for some artists.

One recent example includes Bob Dylan, who donated his personal archives to the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then sold his songs to Universal Music Publishing for a reported figure of $400 million.

According to Billboard, Springsteen’s combined album and song catalogues are estimated to be worth between $330 million and $415 million.

A predicted increase in capital gains taxes in the US is also thought to be another reason for many artists to be considering a sale.

The Boss has achieved more than 65.5 million album sales in the U.S. alone, according to the RIAA.

Billboard also estimated Springsteen’s album catalogue earned about $15 million in revenue in 2020. That’s in addition to the $7.5 million per year from the publishing catalogue.

Springsteen also earned more than $840 million from touring between 2010 and 2019, according to Pollstar.

There are also historic live recordings for sale on his website, to which he owns the rights. The sale of these live recordings apparently bypasses record labels.

No official word has come yet from Springsteen about the proposed sales.

Tom Morello recently recalled the time he suggested to Bruce that they perform AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ while in Australia, with a guest appearance from Eddie Vedder.

Morello told the BBC: “We began rehearsing ‘Highway to Hell’ at soundchecks and a few days later found ourselves in a huge football stadium in Melbourne, about 80,000 people, and Eddie Vedder happened to be there – he was on a solo tour at the time.

“And a lightbulb went off on my mind, I knocked on Bruce’s dressing room door and said, ‘We are here in Australia where AC/DC is king, where the song ‘Highway to Hell’ is the unofficial national anthem of rock ‘n’ roll liberation. What if we open the set with ‘Highway to Hell’ with Eddie Vedder?'”

He continued: “Bruce was like, ‘That sounds like a pretty good idea…’ So we did and it was an apex moment in the history of live rock ‘n’ roll music. If you think you’ve seen a crowd go ape, you haven’t, unless maybe you were there in Melbourne on that night.”