Metallica announced that they have taken ownership of all their master recordings, including all music and videos. It is an almost unprecedented move for musicians signed to recording contracts. Under a provision of their renegotiated joint venture agreement with the Warner Music Group in 1994, all masters reverted back to the band as of November 30, 2012. The band have also announced their new record label, Blackened Records.
“We would like to thank everyone at the Warner Music Group for 28 years of a fantastic relationship, particularly since 1994 where we truly felt we had partners in every aspect of our business in North America,” said James Hetfield.
The band’s new label, Blackened Recordings was created by the band for all of their audio and visual recordings, and anything else related to the band for release. Blackened Recordings will handle all marketing and promotion duties and have a North America distribution and manufacturing deal with Rhino Entertainment. Blackened Recordings will license their releases to the Universal Music Group internationally.
“It’s always been about control for us as a band,” said drummer Lars Ulrich. “Forming Blackened Recordings is the ultimate in independence, giving us 100% control and putting us in the driver’s seat of our own creative destiny.”
Blackened Records first release is the “Quebec Magnetic” live DVD capturng the two World Magnetic live shows from Quebec City in the fall of 2009. The setlist for the DVD was voted on by over 35,000 fans at Metallica.com this past September.
Metallica posted an official statement in regards to the new label for their fans: “We like to make it a point here not to bore you with the not-so-exciting business aspects of making and sharing music, but we’re so psyched about our new adventure that we just had to tell you about it as we officially launch our very own record label, Blackened Recordings.
“Some of you, who have followed along throughout the years, are aware that in 1994 we renegotiated our contract with the Warner Music Group, which resulted in a joint venture with our record company for releasing all of our recordings including longform videos. Per that agreement, as of today we have taken ownership of all of our master recordings and Blackened Recordings will be the home of all of our current albums and videos along with all future releases including the December 10 release of the ‘Quebec Magnetic’ DVD and Blu-ray.
“You may have heard us say it once or twice or a thousand times before, but it’s always been about us taking control of all things ‘TALLICA to give you 110% on every single level every single time. Forming Blackened Recordings is the ultimate in independence, putting us in the driver’s seat of our own creative destiny. We’re looking forward to making more music and getting it all out to you in our own unique way.”
The band have also announced a music streaming deal with Spotify, releasing this statement: “We’re beyond excited to announce that music from every single Metallica album is now streaming on Spotify! In our never ending quest for total control of the way our music is presented, we always make it a point to be sure that we are offering you the very best service by partnering with ground-breaking technology companies. So with that said, we are extremely proud to be a part of Spotify, who not only has a proven track record, but is by far the best streaming service.
Spotify was launched in Sweden in 2008 and has grown into a massive world-wide service with on-demand access to over 20 million songs. You can create and manage all your play-lists, share them with your friends and add to them by importing MP3’s you already own. Now you can also take Spotify with you through their new mobile app.
We’re always looking for more ways to get our music out to you, whether it’s streaming live videos through our tour page on this site or offering downloads of live shows through LiveMetallica.com. Connecting with Spotify was the next logical step and we can’t wait to see what the future brings!”