If you’ve taken a look at the best-selling hard rock and metal albums of all time, you’ll see that Metallica's self-titled 1991 disc, aka "The Black Album," is among the all-time leaders.

Metallica's 1991 disc has sold over 16 million copies in the U.S. alone and well over 20 million in worldwide sales. In 2016 alone, "The Black Album" moved 267,500 units, selling almost as much as Megadeth’s Dystopia and Avenged Sevenfold’s The Stage combined! Yep, it’s a monster!

In a new interview with Metal Injection, former ‘Tallica bassist Jason Newsted was asked if he could simply sit back and live off "Black Album" royalties alone, not even considering …And Justice For All, Load and Reload, all of which still move huge amounts each year. Here’s what the bassist said in response:

Everything you said is correct, as far as the sales of the record is something that’s never been seen before, it’s this thing that won’t go away, and everything we couldn’t ever have predicted, so that’s plain and simple, that’s information for anybody to know or find. But early on, when I joined the band in ’86 and they were already headed up by some very together people. Some very together team of management and other people that handled their business. From day one, even when I was just a hired gun before I started getting a cut — it took five and a half months before I started getting a full cut. So the first five and a half months, I was just a session guy. So by April of ’87, which was… yeah, check THAT s--t out. Thirty years ago this month, I joined as a full member taking a full cut.
So, from that time, the persons that handled them and guided them, also took me under their wing and guided me. OK? And the people that know what goes on with investments. So, when we did what we did and were able to hit what we hit, and hit that stride, and we were able to take it to the people when there were that many 12- to 16-year old male individuals on the planet that we played our metal to and they came and checked out the stuff and we made some bucks and CDs still sold and T-shirts still sold, and we really invested money. That’s all.
It’s cool that the record’s selling and that’s great, but I mostly do things for other people with that money. So […] The Black Album really didn’t have to sell anymore either, because somebody helped me early on in my career.

Looks like Newsted and Metallica’s people were very smart with the bassist’s money from the beginning! To sum it up, Jason seems to be financially set without any new "Black Album" royalties.

Thanks to the massive record, Newsted can focus on stuff like art, which he’s currently showing off at New York City’s Pier 94 until May 7. We just spoke with Newsted in person at his exhibit, so look out for those exclusive clips coming soon!

See Where Jason Newsted Ranks Among the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Bassists of All Time

Jason Newsted Reflects on Metallica's '...And Justice for All'

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