(Work in progress. This is just a list at the moment. Comments and scores need to added, and links updated to Spotify. March 2019. )
Metallica are probably the most well known, most acclaimed, most innovative, most influential, and best selling heavy metal act of all time. Quite possibly they epitomise heavy metal - both good and bad.
Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to form Megadeth) and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
Metallica earned a growing fan base in the underground music community and won critical acclaim with its first five albums. The band's third album, Master of Puppets (1986), was described as one of the heaviest and most influential thrash metal albums; its eponymous fifth album, Metallica (1991), the band's first to root predominantly in heavy metal, appealed to a more mainstream audience, achieving substantial commercial success and selling over 16 million copies in the United States to date, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era. After experimenting with different genres and directions in subsequent releases, the band returned to its thrash metal roots with the release of its ninth album, Death Magnetic (2008), which drew similar praise to that of the band's earlier albums.
In 2000, Metallica led the case against the peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster, in which the band and several other artists filed lawsuits against the service for sharing their copyright-protected material without consent; after reaching a settlement, Napster became a pay-to-use service in 2003. Metallica was the subject of the acclaimed 2004 documentary film Some Kind of Monster, which documented the troubled production of the band's eighth album, St. Anger(2003), and the internal struggles within the band at the time. In 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band wrote the screenplay for and starred in the 2013 IMAX concert film Metallica: Through the Never, in which the band performed live against a fictional thriller storyline.
Metallica has released ten studio albums, four live albums, a cover album, five extended plays, 37 singles and 39 music videos. The band has won nine Grammy Awards from 23 nominations, and its last six studio albums (beginning with Metallica) have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 145 million albums worldwide as of 2018. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked them at no. 61 on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list. As of 2017, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 66 million albums in the United States.
American quartet Metallica were one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the '80s and '90s, inspiring generations of rockers with their early thrash and later hard rock sounds before settling into their roles as a popular legacy act in the 2000s. Responsible for bringing the metal genre back to earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rock star games of metal musicians during the mid-'80s pop-metal renaissance. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal's underground, bringing new complexity and depth to thrash metal. With each album, the band's playing and writing improved; James Hetfield developed a signature rhythm playing that matched his growl, while lead guitarist Kirk Hammett became one of the most copied guitarists in metal. To complete the package, Lars Ulrich's thunderous (yet complex) drumming clicked in perfectly with Cliff Burton's innovative bass playing.
After releasing their masterpiece Master of Puppets in 1986, tragedy struck the band when their tour bus crashed while traveling in Sweden. Burton died in the accident. When the band decided to continue, Jason Newsted was chosen to replace Burton; two years later, the band released the conceptually ambitious ...And Justice for All, which hit the Top Ten without any radio play and very little support from MTV. But Metallica completely crossed over into the mainstream with 1991's Metallica, a self-titled effort that found the band trading in its long compositions for more concise song structures. Peppered with hits like "Wherever I May Roam" and "Enter Sandman," it resulted in a number one album that sold over seven million copies in the U.S. alone. To support the record, Metallica launched a long tour that kept the musicians on the road for nearly two years.
By the '90s, Metallica had changed the rules for all heavy metal bands; they were the leaders of the genre, respected not only by headbangers, but by mainstream record buyers and critics. No other heavy metal band has ever been able to pull off such a feat. However, the group lost a portion of its core audience with its long-awaited follow-up to Metallica, 1996's Load. The album moved the band toward alternative rock in terms of image -- the bandmembers cut their hair and had their picture taken by Anton Corbijn. Although the album was a hit upon its summer release, entering the charts at number one and selling three-million copies within two months, certain members of the Metallica fan base complained about the shift in image, as well as the group's decision to headline the sixth Lollapalooza. Re-Load, which combined new material with songs left off the original Load record, appeared in 1997; despite poor reviews, it sold at a typically brisk pace and spun off several successful singles, including "Fuel" and "The Memory Remains." Garage Inc., a double-disc collection of B-sides, rarities, and newly recorded covers, followed in 1998. Metallica's take on Bob Seger's "Turn the Page" helped maintain their presence in the charts, and the band continued its flood of product with 1999's S&M, which documented a live concert with the San Francisco Symphony. It debuted at number two, reconfirming the group's immense popularity.
Metallica spent most of 2000 embroiled in controversy by spearheading a legal assault against Napster, a file-sharing service that allowed users to download music files from each other's computers. Aggressively targeting copyright infringement of their own material, Metallica notoriously had over 300,000 users kicked off the service, creating a widespread debate over the availability of digital music that raged for most of the year. In January 2001, bassist Jason Newsted announced his amicable departure from the band. Shortly after the band appeared at the ESPN Awards in April of the same year, Hetfield, Hammett, and Ulrich entered the recording studio to begin work on their next album, with producer Bob Rock lined up to handle bass duties for the sessions (meanwhile, rumors swirled of former Ozzy Osbourne/Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez being considered for the vacated position). In July, Metallica surprisingly dropped their lawsuit against Napster, perhaps sensing that their controversial stance did more harm than good to their "band of the people" image. That same summer, the band's recording sessions (and all other band-related matters) were put on hold as Hetfield entered an undisclosed rehab facility for alcoholism and other addictions. He completed treatment and rejoined Metallica as they headed back into the studio in 2002 to record St. Anger, which was released in mid-2003.
The recording of St. Anger was capped with the search for a permanent replacement for Newsted. After a long audition process, former Ozzy Osbourne/Suicidal Tendencies bass player Robert Trujillo was selected and joined Metallica for their 2003-2004 world tour. The growing pains that the band experienced during the recording of St. Anger were captured in the celebrated documentary Some Kind of Monster, which saw theatrical release in 2004. Four years later, the band returned with Death Magnetic, an energized album that returned the band to its early-'80s roots. Former Slayerproducer Rick Rubin helmed the album, having replaced the band's longtime producer Bob Rock, while Kirk Hammett (who was forbidden to play guitar solos on St. Anger) peppered the record with metallic riffs and frenetic solos.
Death Magnetic spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and the group supported it with an extensive international tour that included a festival gig with Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica closed out their Warner contract with Death Magnetic -- outtakes from the sessions appeared as the Beyond Magnetic EP in late 2011 -- and while they were exploring their options, they struck up a collaboration with Lou Reed, releasing the ambitious, arty Lulu in the fall of 2011. In 2012, Metallica launched their own label, Blackened, which would be distributed by Universal; then, the following year, they announced the release of their second motion picture, Through the Never, which combined spectacular concert footage of them blasting through gems from their back catalog with a surreal road-trip odyssey starring Dane DeHaan. The film and its accompanying soundtrack album were released in September 2013. Over the next few years, Metallica played the occasional high-profile concert as they worked on a new studio album. In 2016, the band launched a series of expanded reissues, starting with deluxe editions of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning. These reissues were the preamble to the November release of Hardwired...To Self-Destruct, a double-album that was the band's first new music in eight years. Produced by Greg Fidelman, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich, Hardwired...To Self-Destruct debuted at number one throughout the world upon its November 2016 release. The following year saw the group release a massive expanded edtion of their landmark 1986 LP, Master of Puppets.
|Kill 'Em All (1983)|
The debut album is full of energy.
|Ride the Lightning (1984)|
|Master of Puppets (1986)|
|..And Justice for All (1988)|
|Live Shit: Binge & Purge |
|St. Anger (2003)|
|Death Magnetic (2008)|
|Lulu [with Lou Reed]|
|Hardwired... to Self-Destruct|
* Kill 'Em All (1983)
* Ride the Lightning (1984)
* Master of Puppets (1986)
* ...And Justice for All (1988)
* Metallica (1991)
Garage Inc. [covers] (1998)
553 April 2019