Thursday, 9 February 2012



   Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California whose early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the founding "big four" of thrash metal alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. They formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. As of 2003, the line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (who joined the band in 1983) and bassist Robert Trujillo (a member since 2003) alongside Hetfield and Ulrich. Previous members of the band are lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to found the band Megadeth), and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted. The band also had a long collaboration with producer Bob Rock, who produced all of its albums from 1990 to 2003 and served as a temporary bassist between the departure of Newsted and the hiring of Trujillo.

   The band earned a growing fan-base in the underground music community and critical acclaim with its third album Master of Puppets (1986), described as one of the most influential and "heavy" thrash metal albums. Metallica achieved substantial commercial success with their eponymous fifth album (also known as The Black Album), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With this release the band expanded its musical direction resulting in an album that appealed to a more mainstream audience.

   In 2000, Metallica was among a number of artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band's copyright-protected material for free without any band member's consent. A settlement was reached, and Napster became a pay-to-use service. Despite reaching number one on the Billboard 200, the release of St. Anger (2003) alienated many fans with the exclusion of guitar solos and the "steel-sounding" snare drum. A film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording process of St. Anger and the tensions within the band during that time.

   Metallica has released nine studio albums, three live albums, five extended plays, 24 music videos, and 45 singles. The band has won nine Grammy Awards, and has had five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200, making Metallica the first band to do so; this record was later matched by the Dave Matthews Band. The band's 1991 album, Metallica, has sold over 15 million copies in the United States, and 22 million copies worldwide, which makes it the 25th-best-selling album in the country. In December 2009, it became the best-selling album of the SoundScan era, surpassing 1997's Come on Over by country artist Shania Twain. The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide as of the release of their latest album, Death Magnetic (2008). As of December 2009, Metallica is the fourth best-selling music artist since the SoundScan era began tracking sales on May 25, 1991, selling a total of 52,672,000 albums in the United States alone. As of 2011, Metallica is working on a new album. On October 31, 2011, a collaborative album with Lou Reed, titled Lulu, was released.

Early years (1981–1983):

   Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California, in late 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper—The Recycler—which read "Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden." Guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm answered the advertisement. Although he had not formed a band, Ulrich asked Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel if he could record a song for the label's upcoming compilation album Metal Massacre. Slagel accepted, and Ulrich recruited Hetfield to sing and play rhythm guitar. The band was officially formed in October 1981, five months after Ulrich and Hetfield first met.

   Ulrich talked to his friend Ron Quintana, who was brainstorming names for a fanzine. Quintana had proposed the names MetalMania and Metallica. Ulrich used Metallica for the name of his band. A second advertisement was placed in The Recycler for a position as lead guitarist. Dave Mustaine answered, and after seeing his expensive guitar equipment, Ulrich and Hetfield recruited him. In early 1982, Metallica recorded its first original song "Hit the Lights" for the Metal Massacre I compilation. Hetfield played bass on the song and Lloyd Grant was credited with a guitar solo. Released on June 14, 1982, early pressings of Metal Massacre I listed the band incorrectly as "Mettallica". Although angered by the error, Metallica managed to create enough "buzz" with the song and the band played its first live performance on March 14, 1982 at Radio City in Anaheim, California with newly recruited bassist Ron McGovney. Metallica recorded its first demo, Power Metal, a name inspired by Quintana's early business cards in early 1982. In the fall of 1982, Ulrich and Hetfield attended a show at the West Hollywood nightclub Whisky a Go Go which featured bassist Cliff Burton in a band called Trauma. The two were "blown away" by Burton's use of a wah-wah pedal and asked him to join Metallica. Hetfield and Mustaine wanted McGovney out as they thought that he "didn't contribute anything, he just followed." Although Burton initially declined the offer, by the end of the year he accepted on the condition the band move to El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. Metallica's first live performance with Burton was at the nightclub The Stone in March 1983, and the first recording to feature Burton was the Megaforce demo (1983).

   Metallica was ready to record its debut album, but when Metal Blade was unable to cover the additional cost, the band began looking for other options. Concert promoter Johny "Z" Zazula, who had heard the demo No Life 'til Leather (1982), offered to broker a record deal with Metallica and New York City-based record labels. After receiving no interest from various record labels, Zazula borrowed the money to cover the record's recording budget and signed Metallica to his own label, Megaforce Records.

Style and lyrical themes:

   Metallica is influenced by early heavy metal and hard rock bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Scorpions, New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Venom, Motörhead, Diamond Head, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden, as well as early punk rock bands such as the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Misfits. Early Metallica releases contained fast tempos, harmonized leads, and nine-minute instrumentals. Steve Huey of Allmusic said that Ride the Lightning featured "extended, progressive epics; tight, concise groove-rockers". Huey felt Metallica expanded its compositional technique and range of expression to take on a more aggressive approach in following releases, and lyrics dealt with more personal and socially conscious issues. Lyrical themes explored on Master of Puppets included religious and military leaders, rage, insanity, monsters, and drugs.

Band members:

Current members:
  • James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1981–present)
  • Lars Ulrich – drums (1981–present)
  • Kirk Hammett – lead guitar, backing vocals (1983–present)
  • Robert Trujillo – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)

Former members:

  • Ron McGovney – bass (1982)
  • Dave Mustaine – lead guitar, backing vocals (1982–1983)
  • Cliff Burton – bass, backing vocals (1982–1986)
  • Jason Newsted – bass, backing vocals (1986–2001)


  Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on July 25, 1983. Since its release, it has been certified 3x platinum by the RIAA, having sold over 3 million copies just in the United States.

   The band initially intended to title the album Metal Up Your Ass with the cover featuring a toilet bowl with a hand clutching a dagger emerging from it. However, Megaforce urged them to change this, and they agreed, switching to Kill 'Em All. This time the cover featured the shadow of a hand letting go of a bloodied hammer. Burton is credited with coming up with the name Kill 'Em All (referring to timid record distributors) as a response to the whole situation. Even though the original title was unused, the band did later release a "Metal Up Your Ass" t-shirt with the proposed artwork. A live bootleg recording of a 1982 performance is in existence, titled Metal Up Your Ass (Live), and includes the originally intended cover artwork.

   Original pressings of the album came with an inner sleeve that included pictures and lyrics as well as a silver label on the vinyl. Subsequent pressings had a blank white sleeve and standard album label. The 1988 re-release re-introduced the lyrics and photos. The original release can be distinguished by the words "Bang That Head That Doesn't Bang" at the top of the back cover. This was dropped from the re-release.


   Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on July 27, 1984 through the independent record label Megaforce Records. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on November 5, 1987 and was most recently certified 5x platinum on June 9, 2003.

   Ride the Lightning contains the speed of Kill 'Em All on songs like "Trapped Under Ice" and "Fight Fire with Fire", but also contains the first of Metallica's longer, more intricate tracks, such as "Fade to Black" and the nearly 9-minute closing instrumental "The Call of Ktulu". It was the last Metallica album to credit former lead guitarist, Dave Mustaine.

   The album was listed at number 3 on a list compiled by of the Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time and #5 by IGN Music on the Top 25 Metal Albums.

   Q magazine (Summer/01, p. 127) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Reaffirms their status as the pre-eminent metal band of the modern era....They broke with the conventions of thrash metal to record the genre's first power ballad in 'Fade to Black'."

   Kerrang! (p. 50) - "[The album included] melody, maturity and musical intelligence. It was these traits which helped them broaden metal's scope."

   In 1984, the French record label Bernett Records misprinted the color of the album cover in green, rather than blue. 400 copies with the green cover were pressed. Because of their rarity, this misprint caused these green albums to become a guaranteed collectors item.


   Master of Puppets is the third studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on March 3, 1986 through Elektra Records, making it the group's major label debut. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 chart and was the group's first record to be certified gold for sales of over 500,000 copies. This was done without any radio airplay or the release of a music video. The album eventually was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA.

   Master of Puppets marks the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident while touring to promote the album. It was met with positive reviews at the time of its release.


   ...And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. The album was released on August 25, 1988 through Elektra Records. It was the group's first studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, following the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. Newsted had previously participated on the cover album The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited EP, which was his first recorded work with Metallica. ...And Justice for All was certified 8x platinum by the RIAA on June 9, 2003.

   The front cover depicts the statue of Lady Justice cracked, bound by ropes, her breasts exposed, and both of her scales filled with dollars. The words "…And Justice for All" are written in graffiti to the right. The cover was made by Stephen Gorman after a concept by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. ...And Justice for All was the last Metallica album that Rasmussen worked on as a co-producer. The album was initially released on one vinyl disc, but soon after re-released (without additional tracks) as a double-album.

   The album's dark lyrical material features a conceptual uniformity around notions of political and legal injustice, as seen through the prism of war, censored speech, and nuclear brinkmanship. This is musically accompanied by what may be the most complex song structures in Metallica's discography. The arrangements are particularly complicated for a thrash metal album, being likened to progressive metal in their complexity. The album is also noted for its nearly-inaudible bass guitar (Newsted was quoted as saying "The Justice album wasn't something that really felt good for me, because you really can't hear the bass") and dry, sterile production, and therefore has been called a "slightly flawed masterpiece and the pinnacle of Metallica's progressive years" by


   Metallica (also known as The Black Album) is the eponymously-titled fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on August 12, 1991 through Elektra Records to critical acclaim. Metallica produced six hit singles that are considered today among the band's best-known songs: "Enter Sandman", "Don't Tread on Me", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", and "Sad but True". The band promoted the album with a series of tours. In 2003, the album was ranked number 252 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album marked the debut of a sound less complex than the thrash metal of previous albums.

   The recording of Metallica was troubled, with the band frequently entering conflicts with Rock during production. The album debuted at number one in ten countries, and spent four consecutive weeks at the top spot of the Billboard 200, making it Metallica's first album to top album charts. Metallica is the group's best-selling album, selling more than 22 million copies worldwide. It is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era. The album was certified 15x platinum (diamond) by the RIAA on November 13, 2009. On November 10, 2011, Lars Ulrich revealed (on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show) that Metallica will be playing the album, in its entirety, at Download 2012.


   Load is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. Released on June 4, 1996 through Elektra Records, it sold 680,000 units in its first week (making it the biggest opening week for Metallica) and debuted (and spent four consecutive weeks) at #1 on Billboard 200. The album has sold over five million copies worldwide and is certified 5x platinum by the RIAA. Six singles were released in part of the marketing campaign of the album: "Until It Sleeps", "Ain't My Bitch", "Hero of the Day", "Mama Said", "King Nothing", and "Bleeding Me".

   The album garnered backlash from a portion of the band's fan base because of a shift in tone from the group's previous efforts (Load features a bluesier sound than the band's previous outings). According to drummer Lars Ulrich: "This album and what we're doing with it – that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and fucking die." "The House Jack Built", "Cure", "Ronnie", and "Thorn Within" have never been played live. Only "Thorn Within" and "Cure" had occasional jam sessions throughout 1997 but were stopped thereafter.


   ReLoad is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on November 18, 1997 through Elektra Records. It is a sequel or counterpart to the band's previous album, Load. ReLoad debuted #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 417,000 copies in its first week. Only six of the thirteen songs have ever been played live. They include "Fuel", "The Memory Remains", "Devil's Dance", "The Unforgiven II", "Low Man's Lyric", and "Carpe Diem Baby". There are also occasional jam sessions of songs including "Bad Seed", "Better Than You" and "Fixxxer". ReLoad is currently certified 4x platinum by the RIAA. It was the final Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, though it was not his last release with the band. ReLoad also marked the second and the last appearance of a new Metallica logo on an album, until the release of Garage Inc..

   The original idea was to make Metallica's sixth album a double album. However, with problems recording so many songs at one time, the band decided that half of the songs were to be released and the band would continue to work on the remaining songs and release them the following year. Drummer Lars Ulrich stated that "it's the second half of Load. It's just coming out a year and a half later." This was the second album to feature all songs in E♭ tuning, though "Bad Seed" was played in D♭ tuning and "Devil's Dance" was played in D tuning which was earlier used for "Sad but True" on Metallica and later used for "Whiskey in the Jar" from Garage Inc. Recently the song "Carpe Diem Baby" premiered at the "Metallica's 30th Anniversary Party" in 2011. The songs that have never been played are "Better than You", "Slither", "Bad Seed", "Where the Wild Things Are", "Prince Charming", "Attitude", and "Fixxxer".


   St. Anger is the eighth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on June 5, 2003 through Elektra Records. It was the band's last album released through Elektra, thus marking the end of the longest timespan between studio albums from Metallica, with nearly six years between the release of ReLoad and this album. St. Anger was originally intended for release on June 10, 2003, but was released five days earlier due to concerns over unlicensed distribution through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. The album marks the final collaboration between Metallica and producer Bob Rock, whose relationship began with the band's fifth studio album, 1991's Metallica.

   St. Anger is the first Metallica album since Master of Puppets that does not feature long-time bassist Jason Newsted. Newsted left the band prior to the initial sessions for the album, leaving Rock to temporarily take his place until a permanent replacement could be found. It is also the first album since ...And Justice for All to have a title track. Recording of the album initially started on April 24, 2001, but was postponed indefinitely when rhythm guitarist and singer James Hetfield entered rehab for "alcoholism and other addictions". St. Anger is often recognized for being a radical musical departure from Metallica's earlier work; it features a more modern heavy metal style, raw production, and no guitar solos. It is also the first and only album by Metallica to be recorded as a three piece band instead of four.

   St. Anger debuted at the top of sales charts in 30 countries, including the US Billboard 200. Upon its release, it met mixed critical reviews and has since gained less favorable reception. In 2004, the album's lead single, "St. Anger", won a Grammy Award for "Best Metal Performance". The album was certified 2x platinum by the RIAA.


   Death Magnetic is the ninth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on September 12, 2008 through Warner Bros. Records. It was the band's first album to be produced by Rick Rubin, making this Metallica's first album since 1988's ...And Justice for All that was not produced by Bob Rock. The album received mostly positive reviews upon release, with critics describing it as a return to the musical style of their early albums.

   Musically, the album is a radical departure from Metallica's previous album, St. Anger, which featured no guitar solos, a very modern sound, and low-quality production. Death Magnetic, on the other hand, features very long, technical guitar solos from both Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield, marking a return to the band's thrash metal roots. The album was also the band's first album released through Warner Bros. Records, although they still remain with Warner Music Group, which also owns their previous label, Elektra Records. Outside of North America, they are distributed through Universal Music Group as they remain signed to Vertigo Records in the UK. The album is also the band's fifth consecutive studio album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the US, making Metallica the first band ever to do so.

   A number of unreleased songs from Death Magnetic, including the above mentioned "Shine", but also "To Hell and Back" and "Hate Train", were left off the album, but were rumored to be released as b-sides or on the next album. The titles were confirmed by Hammett and Ulrich on the MetOnTour video from December 20, 2008.

   On December 5, 7, 9 and 10, 2011, the band played four new songs, "Hate Train", "Just a Bullet Away", "Hell and Back" and "Rebel of Babylon" respectively, at the Met Club concerts, which celebrate 30 years of Metallica. The day after each concert, Met Club members were sent an e-mail with a code for a free download of a rough mix of the song played at the show.

   The songs were released officially as the Beyond Magnetic - EP on December 13, 2011. However, one song, based off of The New Song (performed in 2006), still remains unreleased, and was seen being worked on in multiple videos.


   Lulu is a collaborative album between rock singer-songwriter Lou Reed, and heavy metal band Metallica. The album was recorded in San Rafael, California, during April through June 2011, after Reed had played with Metallica at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary Concert which led to them wanting to collaborate. The lead single from the album, titled "The View", was released on September 27, 2011. The second single was announced to be "Iced Honey" and will receive a music video directed by film maker Darren Aronofsky.

   Conceptually, the album is based on Lulu - two plays originally written by the German playwright Frank Wedekind. A majority of the album's composition is centred around spoken word delivered by Reed over instrumentals composed by Metallica, with occasional backing vocals provided by Metallica lead vocalist James Hetfield. Reed wrote a majority of the lyrics. The album was released worldwide on October 31, 2011, and on November 1 in North America. Upon its release, Lulu received mixed to negative reviews from music critics.

   Lou Reed has stated that Metallica fans have threatened to shoot him due to the collaboration on Lulu. In response to this and the overall negative reaction to the album, Reed commented, "I don't have any fans left. After Metal Machine Music (1975), they all fled. Who cares? I'm essentially in this for the fun of it." Lars Ulrich also noted the negative reaction to Lulu, and stated that he wasn't surprised by the criticism due in part because, "In 1984, when hard-core Metallica fans heard acoustic guitars on "Fade to Black", there was a nuclear meltdown in the heavy-metal community," and also noted that Reed's poetry is "not for everyone." Talking about the negative reactions, James Hetfield expressed understanding of "fearful people", who are "typing from their mom’s basement that they still live in", stating that the band needed "to spread our wings" and try something new, while Lou Reed stated that Lulu is for "literate people".

   In the United States, the album debuted at number 36 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 13,000 copies. The album's first-week sales is the lowest a Metallica album has sold in its debut week since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991. The album also debuted at number 36 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 6,019 copies in its first week in the United Kingdom. Elsewhere, the album has so far debuted in the top 20 of the charts in seven countries. Worldwide sales have topped 100,000 copies in two weeks.

And now metal friends let Metallica shake you whole:

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