While producer Bob Rock has a massive resume including credits with bands ranging from Mötley Crüe to Simple Plan, he will probably always be best known for producing Metallica‘s 1991 self-titled album, best known as The Black Album. The record continues to be one of the best-selling in history, having sold 30 million copies around the globe. But now, Bob has cashed in on his stake in The Black Album, having sold his rights to those songs — and other Metallica tracks — in a multi-million dollar deal.
According to Louder, the Canadian producer sold his shares of 43 songs to investment firm Hipgnosis Songs Fund, founded in 2018 by Merck Mercuriadis, famous artist manager and CEO of the firm.
“The breadth of Bob Rock’s enormous successes are almost impossible to match by any creator in the history of music,” said Mercuriadis of the deal. “From Metallica’s most famous Black Album to Michael Bublé’s Christmas, he has produced some of the biggest albums of all time that continue to be evergreen, year in and year out.
“Everyone who has worked with Bob knows he is a difference maker, which is why the artists he has produced end up making multiple albums with him which are almost always their biggest successes. Bob is very special and as a fellow Canadian, it is a pleasure to welcome him and his incredible productions to the Hipgnosis family.”
“I put my heart and soul into these recordings,” says Rock. ”I know how much Merck loves music, so it was an easy deal to put together.”
This is especially momentous given that Metallica are famously protective of the rights to their songs. Like only a handful of other bands — Foo Fighters and U2 among them — Metallica have complete ownership and control over their masters.
While an exact amount has not been disclosed, given the sheer popularity of the tracks which Rock has sold — and the royalties that Rock is passing on in order to take part in the deal — the price is undoubtedly more money than most of us will see in our lifetime.
Words by Chris Krovatin