Its seems everyone is selling their music. ZZ Top has just joined the ranks of legendary rock stars in selling away the rights to their music. It seems it was just a few days ago when we announced that Bruce Springsteen had sold all the rights to his music to Sony. That announcement followed recent deals by Paul Simon, Neil Young and Bob Dylan in selling their musical catalogs in separate deals. ZZ Top’s announcement did not name a figure, but it did name a buyer. The group sold its publishing rights and its royalties to BMG and to a global investment firm named KKR that manages assets and more. The band has long been associated with BMG as a partner in publishing the group’s music. Now, the remaining members of the band will not have to worry about a thing.
The sale of ZZ Top’s catalogs seems to be a trend that has many push and pull factors. The groups and artists that are selling their music are all pretty much in their 70s and above. As time is no longer on their sides, these aging brilliant musicians are looking to take care of their families and worry less about the business sides of things while enjoying their older later years in more relaxing fashion. It makes total sense as long as the deal is right.
For inverenst firms, publishing companies and record companies its makes total sense. These legendary artists have catalogs of music that have become classics over the years. Songs written over 30 or 40 years ago are still being discovered by new fans. The possibility of placements for these songs are endless. From the inclusion into video games which is still huge business and a item that does actually sell as opposed to recorded music, to the placement of songs in commercials, television shows and motion pictures, classic songs are huge investments.
There has not been many new classic songs written in the past ten or even twenty years. There are a few but they mostly fall into the hip hop and rap category. It’s doubtful that those hip hop songs will ever have the staying power of songs like Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue,” Bruce Springsteen’s, “Born In The U.S.A,” or ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” Those songs seem to never get old.
ZZ Top released their first album in 1971 entitled appropriately ZZ Top’s First Album. The band would release fifteen studio albums throughout their career. Their last studio album of new material was released in 2012 entitled La Futura. The band’s peak moment of commercial success occurred in the early to mid 1980s when albums like Eliminator and Afterburner spanned huge hit singles like “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin.” The song’s popular videos that were played in heavy rotation on MTV turned the band into a household name. ZZ Top also had many classics form their 1970s period including such songs as “Cheap Sunglasses,” “Tube Snake Boogie,” and “Tush.” Sadly, one of the band’s long time members Dusty Hill passed away last spring. The band has continued on with Elwood Francis playing bass in the band. There are plans for a new album.
ZZ Top Follows Other Recent Rock Stars In Selling Their Catalogs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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