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Bob Rock

Producer Bob Rock Sells His Rights To Metallica’s “The Black Album” & More


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At one point, producer/musician Bob Rock was Metallica‘s veritable fifth member, overseeing several of their releases during the height of the band’s dysfunctionality. Rock is credited with having produced not only the band’s most successful album: 1991’s self-titled album (‘The Black Album‘), but also some of their most divisive releases, including 1996’s “Load“, 1997’s “Reload” and 2003’s “St. Anger“. So close was his bond with the band that he  even stepped out from behind the boards to serve as the band’s touring bassist for a several year span in the early 2000s.

In a deal newly announced this week, it was revealed that Rock has sold a catalog of 43 songs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund. While the value of the deal itself was not disclosed, it was confirmed that it included his rights to Metallica‘s aforementioned self-titled album as well as Michael Bublé’s “Call Me Irresponsible“, “Crazy Love“, “Christmas” and “To Be Loved“. Given the recordings involved, the deal is thought to be in the multi-million range.

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Metallica‘s 1991 self-titled album remains as one of metal’s most-enduring sellers, having moved 16 million copies in the United States alone. Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis commented of the deal:

“The breadth of Bob Rock‘s enormous successes are almost impossible to match by any creator in the history of music. 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.”

Rock commented on the deal as well, offering:

“I put my heart and soul into these recordings. I know how much Merck loves music, so it was an easy deal to put together.”

Metallica themselves obtained the rights to their own master recordings back in 2012 and formed their own label Blackened Recordings to handle their output in the time since.

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