This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

10 Terrible Financial Choices in Music History

Stocks in this article: SNE TWX VIA.B ERTS

5. Metallica un-Loads hair, fans, credibility
Time has dimmed just how bright Metallica's star was in 1994. Their self-titled "black" album was on its way to selling 15 million copies, its boxed set Live Expletive : Binge and Purge would sell as many and the band itself just wrapped up an appearance at Woodstock '94 (the Woodstock sequel that didn't end in assaults and fires). They were tightrope walking the line between "awesome" and "iconic," but what happened next dropped them right into the safety net.

As is the case with many bands whose members' egos get too bloated for their leather britches, Metallica decided to take the recipe that gave them all their success and chuck it clear out of the nearest tour bus window. For their follow-up effort, the band decided to release an album of songs lead singer James Hetfield would later admit were experimental, but decidedly average, call it Load (complete with an Andres Serrano album cover made with the artist's own blood and semen) and cut their hair to a gentlemanly length for the promotional photos. The grand result? A staggering 66% drop in sales from the black album -- which would be the case for their symphonic live album S&M and their B-sides compliation Garage Inc. as well -- and a 40% sales slump from Load to its 1997 follow-up ReLoad.

To further twist the fork the band was sticking into its career, it not only filed a lawsuit against peer-to-peer file-sharing network Napster, but culled the names of more than 335,000 Napster users (Metallica fans, mind you) and ratted them out -- asking that they be kicked off off the site.

How did fans respond? By laughing as Metallica members cried about band issues during therapy sessions in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster and basically ignoring their albums St. Anger and Death Magnetic -- which each sold 2 million copies but were the band's worst-selling of all time and cost them their deal with Time Warner (TWX), which just let Metallica's contract expire.

Metallica's not doing too shabbily, however, teaming up with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax for a highly anticipated one-off concert later this year. That's great for a metal band that always wanted to be the next Black Sabbath or Motorhead, but not so much for a band that could have been the next Led Zeppelin.

7 of 11

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs