Popovich Awarded $5 Mil

A federal jury’s $5 million verdict against Sony Music for not putting a Cleveland record company’s logo on Meat Loaf‘s Bat Out Of Hell album was music to Steve Popovich’s ears.

The record exec likened the May 27th victory to David beating Goliath.

Juror Jeannine Barnhill said, “We all agreed that Sony was in the wrong. The only question was how much the damages were going to be.”

Popovich and Meat Loaf’s affiliation started when the label exec resigned from CBS Records and formed Cleveland International Records in 1977. Popovich signed Marvin Lee Aday — who used the stage name Meat Loaf — then convinced CBS to release the artist’s Bat Out Of Hell on Epic in 1977. The album has since sold more than 30 million copies.

Cleveland International folded in 1982 after Meat Loaf’s follow-up album tanked and Popovich was unable to find another star for the label. He then went to work for PolyGram Records in Nashville.

Meanwhile, Popovich and Meat Loaf weren’t too thrilled with their royalty payments and decided to check into the situation. An auditor determined they were owed about $20 million, and Popovich sued Sony, which had acquired CBS, in 1995.

A few years later, Sony paid $6.7 million to Popovich and his former partners to settle the royalties lawsuit. The label also agreed to put the Cleveland International logo on re-releases of Bat Out Of Hell and other albums, but that didn’t happen for more than a year.

Sony officials said leaving the logo off was a mistake that was later corrected and that Popovich was just trying to milk more money out of the logo agreement. The company plans to appeal.