The deal includes all of Frampton’s publishing rights (the rights tied to songs’ lyrics and musical compositions). the company says, along with other copyright revenues including neighboring rights. The company declined to disclose how much it paid for Frampton’s catalog.
The deal encompasses Frampton’s lifetime of musical work from his time with The Herd in the 1960s, to Humble Pie in the late 1960s and early Seventies, to his most successful commercial period as a solo artist from the 1970s onward with hits including “Show Me The Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do.” Frampton’s 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive! Is one of the most successful live albums of all time, selling over 8 million units and earning a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
“I am so pleased to join the BMG family,” Frampton said in a statement. “As an artist-first company, I trust BMG will care for my legacy and that my songs are in good hands.”
Frampton’s deal with BMG was nearly three years in the making, BMG’s US president of repertoire and marketing Thomas Scherer tells Rolling Stone. The company and Frampton started speaking about a potential sale two and a half years ago before taking a break and starting the conversation again six months ago. Scherer said Frampton fits well for BMG, which does business with other classic rock artists like Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Harry Nilsson — the latter of whom recently sold his catalog to BMG as well.
“Peter Frampton is iconic, and he fits perfectly to our roster,” Scherer says. “The different artists and icons he was working with, Bowie, Harry Nilsson, along with the artists we work with, it fits perfectly. It fits our expertise, this is the music we know we can market.”
Frampton’s deal comes as catalog acquisitions have slowed compared to the height of the boom from 2020 to last year. Thanks in part to low interest rates along with companies like Hipgnosis driving up the market by offering previously unprecedented cash offers for songwriters’ publishing rights, the catalog-buying spree was one of the most significant music business trends of the past several years, with smaller companies and the largest majors throwing huge figures at artists and songwriters for their work.
Bruce Springsteen sold his recording and publishing catalogs to Sony Music entertainment last year for a reported $500 million. Bob Dylan sold his publishing rights to Universal Music Publishing for over $300 million in 2020 before selling his recorded rights to Sony last year as well. Others who’ve sold their catalogs include Justin Timberlake, Stevie Nicks and Paul Simon.
BMG has made several high-profile deals of its own, buying Tina Turner’s catalog in 2021 as Rolling Stone first reported, as well as buying rights from Motley Crue, John Legend and Mick Fleetwood. There are several other catalogs BMG bought this year but hadn’t announced, getting significant shares in music rights from artists including E-40, Gucci Mane and Five Finger Death Punch to name a few.
Scherer says the company has closed 32 acquisitions this year and still plans on closing seven more by the end of the year. Scherer acknowledges that the market has begun to slow down in the industry for acquisitions but says BMG is still “full steam ahead” on the deals and plans on announcing more deals in the coming months.