Mötley Crüe making more money in one year than they were making in two years by getting their masters
In a recent interview with Forbes, Mötley Crüe manager Allen Kovac discussed one of the wise business moves that the band did more than 20 years ago. Kovac began managing Mötley Crüe in 1994 and after the commercial failure of their album Generation Swine released in 1997, they were able to negotiate their way out of their contract with Elektra Records in 1998.
Kovac indicated that the Mötley Crüe band members “gave up $10 million of $12 million they were owed to buy them.”
He added: “If they own that music, it doesn’t need to be current hits… It needs to be the soundtrack to their fans’ lives. So they were making more money in a year than they were making in two years by getting their masters.”
Wikipedia states the following about that period in Mötley Crüe‘s music career (with slight edits): “In 1998, Mötley‘s contractual ties with Elektra had expired, putting the band in total control of their future, including the ownership of the master recordings of all of their albums. Announcing the end of their relationship with Elektra, the band became one of the few groups to own and control their publishing and music catalog. They are one of only a handful of artists to own the masters to their material and reportedly did so by being the biggest pain they could be until Elektra got fed up and handed over the rights in order to get the band off their label. In 1999, the band rereleased all their albums, dubbed as “Crücial Crüe“. These limited-edition digital remasters included demos, plus live, instrumental, and previously unreleased tracks.”