Did METALLICA Use Strong-Arm Tactics To Land At WARNER BROS.?

May 19, 2004

Hits Daily Double reports: "Amid ongoing Atlantic-Elektra roster cuts, money-minting rockers METALLICA choose to leave, causing a stir by opting out of the new WMG East Coast order and heading for Tom Whalley's Warner Bros. How did they pull it off? Buzzers buzzing that the band’s tactics involved telling Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Lyor Cohen that they would not deliver another album unless the execs allowed the move — a new METALLICA record clearly being more important to WMG than to the band, given the proportion of METALLICA revenue generated by touring and merch. Insiders saying managers Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch have a history with Atlantic going back to unsuccessful STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE projects. The Q-Prime pair also reportedly have some water under the bridge with Cohen from dealings on behalf of DEF LEPPARD and SHANIA TWAIN during his IDJ days. Q-Prime's RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, on the other hand, have fared very well at WB. Wonderers wondering whether Lars & Co. had to concede anything to get the deal done, such as adding another album to their deal. inquiring minds also want to know who will control the band’s catalog. METALLICA originally signed to Johnny Z's Megaforce, which released the band’s debut, 'Kill 'Em All', in 1983 as well as the follow-up, 'Ride the Lightning'. Michael Alago subsequently signed the band to the Bob Krasnow-led Elektra."

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