BMG has acquired Mötley Crüe‘s entire recorded music catalog in a deal that marks the company’s largest single-artist deal since its founding in 2008, the company announced Tuesday (Nov. 30).
The deal covers the heavy metal icons’ nine studio albums, starting with the 1981 debut Too Fast for Love to the latest release, 2008’s Saints of Los Angeles. Billboard estimates the band has sold 22.5 million albums in the U.S., based on RIAA certifications pre-1991 and MRC Data figures from 1991 to present.
Terms were not disclosed, although one music industry source put the figure between two numbers that other outlets have reported, at higher than $90 million but not $150 million.
BMG’s global catalog team plans to work closely with the band and its management to re-promote the releases starting next year.
“It feels amazing to be collaborating with our new partners at BMG,” Mötley Crüe said in a statement. “Their extensive track record of success in Rock made them the perfect home to continue preserving and growing our musical legacy, ensuring we always stay at The Top.”
Mötley Crüe’s manager Allen Kovac added: “After working side by side with BMG for well over a decade, the relationship we have developed and success we’ve accomplished over the years made this a very easy transition to entrust with this treasured Rock catalog. Working with BMG in any capacity, whether that’s publishing or records, has always been a great experience.”
Mötley Crüe’s most popular recordings, spanning from Too Fast for Love to 1997’s Generation Swine, and including the singles “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and “Dr. Feelgood,” among others were all released on Elektra Records, which the band signed with in 1982. In the 1990s, Kovac helped the band acquire those masters from Elektra was part of a contract renegotiation.
“With expert management at the helm, Mötley Crüe have long owned their own recordings,” BMG’s president repertoire & marketing for New York and Los Angeles Thomas Scherer said in a statement. “It is an honor and a privilege for BMG to be entrusted with this catalog. They are the perfect fit for our global digital and physical expertise in rock.”
In June 2022, Mötley Crüe plans to kick off their headlining U.S. stadium tour, which was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The more-than-30-date tour marks the band’s first major concert run since 2015.
“This is more than just a significant transaction. It’s a new chapter for an extraordinary catalog,” said BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch in a statement. “Few bands understand the myth and the magic of Rock like Mötley Crüe do. In an increasingly competitive rights acquisition market, artists need to be convinced that a buyer will do the right thing with their work. I am delighted that Mötley Crüe have decided BMG will be the best custodians of their musical career.”
In March, BMG announced it was teaming with private equity firm KKR to buy music assets in what was described as a $1 billion deal pipeline. This Mötley Crüe acquisition, however, is not part of that partnership.
Lately, BMG has been in the business of acquiring iconic catalogs, including a deal with Mick Fleetwood in January covering his share in Fleetwood Mac’s recordings, and a blockbuster deal in October with Tina Turner that covered her artist’s share of her recordings, her writer’s share of publishing and her neighboring rights from her solo career. The company is also home to the rights to several iconic hard rock acts, including Black Sabbath, Dio, Motörhead and the Scorpions, while it helped Iron Maiden achieve the highest-charting album of the band’s career in September.
Mötley Crüe, Kovac and Chris Nilsson of 10th Street Entertainment were advised in the transaction by Tim Mandelbaum, Cynthia Katz, and the law firm of Fox Rothschild.