Following high-profile IP deals with Mick Fleetwood, Tina Turner, and other prominent artists, BMG has closed its “largest single catalog acquisition” to date by purchasing the recorded catalog of Mötley Crüe.
BMG unveiled the massive play this afternoon, indicating off the bat that the reportedly $90 million to $150 million transaction – the precise figure hasn’t been publicly revealed – encompasses the “entire” recorded catalog of the 40-year-old rock band. Since arriving on the scene with 1981’s Too Fast for Love, Mötley Crüe has released a total of nine studio albums, the newest of which, Saints of Los Angeles, became available to fans in 2008.
Among the three-time Grammy-nominated act’s many popular tracks are “Kickstart My Heart” (1989), “Dr. Feelgood” (1989), “Wild Side” (1987), and “Girls, Girls, Girls” (1987), the first two of which appeared on Dr. Feelgood and the latter two of which released as part of Girls, Girls, Girls. (Nikki Sixx, who wrote each of the songs, sold his own catalog to Hipgnosis back in September of 2020.)
BMG’s Mötley Crüe catalog buyout likewise includes the famed group’s “live albums and compilation sets,” the Berlin-headquartered company relayed, such as 1999’s Live: Entertainment or Death and 2006’s Carnival of Sins Live. On this front, BMG also noted that Mötley Crüe is poised to kick off a stadium tour next summer, and the company’s “award-winning global catalog team will embark on its plan to re-promote the band’s work beginning in 2022.”
Addressing the deal in a statement, Thomas Scherer, BMG’s president of repertoire and marketing for New York and Los Angeles, acknowledged that Mötley Crüe has held ownership of its master recordings for some time.
“With expert management at the helm,” said Scherer, “Mötley Crüe have long owned their own recordings. 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.”
And BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch – whose company in March partnered with KKR to jointly pursue catalog purchases – added in a statement of his own: “This is more than just a significant transaction. It’s a new chapter for an extraordinary catalog. 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,” finished the 67-year-old Masuch.
Regarding the nuances of this “increasingly competitive rights acquisition market,” billions have poured into music IP since 2020’s start, and the ultra-expensive trend is showing few signs of slowing down.
With multimillion-dollar sales from Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and the David Bowie estate reportedly in the works, November alone has brought catalog deals involving songwriter-producer Dallas Austin and the estate of Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro.