Canadian producer Bob Rock, who has been responsible for some of the biggest rock and metal albums of the last 30 years, including all of METALLICA's studio output during the 1990s and early 2000s, has sold his share of rights from a catalog of 43 songs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund.
Rock first teamed with METALLICA for the band's self-titled 1991 album (a.k.a. "The Black Album"). The Elektra set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 281 weeks. Rock helmed METALLICA's subsequent albums, through 2003's "St. Anger".
"The breadth of Bob Rock's enormous successes are almost impossible to match by any creator in the history of music," said Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis. "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 was represented by longtime manager Bruce Allen and lawyer Mark L. Kovinsky.
Rock said: "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.
Allen said: "I've known Merck for years. He has a passion for music and those who make it. I look forward to working with Hipgnosis."
"Metallica" was the pivotal moment in METALLICA's evolution into the premier heavy metal band and, as one of the bestselling albums of the last 30 years, launched the group into true mainstream global superstardom. Debuting at No. 1 in 10 countries, the LP spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Top 200 and in December 2019 became the fourth release in history to enter its 550th week on the Billboard 200. Achieving widespread commercial acclaim, "The Black Album" was named No. 255 by Rolling Stone in its "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" chart. Its five singles — "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam" and "Sad But True" — are all considered to be among METALLICA's best-known songs. Songs from the album have been streamed more than seven billion times across all services, just in time to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
In 2014, "Metallica" became the first album to sell 16 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.
"Metallica" in 2009 surpassed SHANIA TWAIN's 1997 record, "Come On Over", as the best-selling CD of the SoundScan era.
Rock, 66, told Reuters in 2006 that he felt "20 years younger" after his split with METALLICA, whose last studio effort, "Hardwired… To Self-Destruct", was helmed by Greg Fidelman.
During the making of 2003's "St. Anger", a petition that some 1,500 fans signed subsequently was posted online calling for METALLICA to dump Rock, claiming he had too much influence on the band's sound.
"The criticism was hurtful for my kids, who read it and don't understand the circumstances," Rock told Reuters. "Sometimes, even with a great coach, a team keeps losing. You have to get new blood in there."
METALLICA co-manager Peter Mensch argued that Rock "nursed METALLICA out of almost complete collapse on that record. Bob is one of the five best producers on the planet. But it was time to shake things up."