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Metallica were easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s and '90s. Responsible for bringing the 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 Slayer producer 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. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Beyond Magnetic - EP

1. Hate Train

2. Just A Bullet Away

3. Hell And Back

4. Rebel Of Babylon


Track List: Death Magnetic

1. That Was Just Your Life

2. The End Of The Line

3. Broken, Beat & Scarred

4. The Day That Never Comes

5. All Nightmare Long

6. Cyanide

7. The Unforgiven III

8. The Judas Kiss

9. Suicide & Redemption

10. My Apocalypse


Track List: Garage Inc.

Disc 1

1. Free Speech For The Dumb

2. It's Electric

3. Sabbra Cadabra

4. Turn The Page

5. Die, Die My Darling

6. Loverman

7. Mercyful Fate

8. Astronomy

9. Whiskey In The Jar

10. Tuesday's Gone

11. The More I See

Disc 2

1. Helpless

2. The Small Hours

3. The Wait

4. Crash Course In Brain Surgery

5. Last Caress / Green Hell

6. Am I Evil?

7. Blitzkrieg

8. Breadfan

9. The Prince

10. Stone Cold Crazy

11. So What

12. Killing Time

13. Overkill

14. Damage Case

15. Stone Dead Forever

16. Too Late Too Late


Track List: Reload

1. Fuel

2. The Memory Remains

3. Devil's Dance

4. The Unforgiven II

5. Better Than You

6. Slither

7. Carpe Diem Baby

8. Bad Seed

9. Where The Wild things Are

10. Prince Charming

11. Low Man's Lyric

12. Attitude

13. Fixxxer


Track List: Load

1. Ain't My B**ch

2. 2 X 4

3. The House Jack Built

4. Until It Sleeps

5. King Nothing

6. Hero Of The Day

7. Bleeding Me

8. Cure

9. Poor Twisted Me

10. Wasting My Hate

11. Mama Said

12. Thorn Within

13. Ronnie

14. The Outlaw Torn


Track List: Live S**t: Binge & Purge

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5

Track List: Metallica

1. Enter Sandman

2. Sad But True

3. Holier Than Thou

4. The Unforgiven

5. Wherever I May Roam

6. Don't Tread On Me

7. Through The Never

8. Nothing Else Matters

9. Of Wolf And Man

10. The God That Failed

11. My Friend Of Misery

12. The Struggle Within


Track List: ...And Justice For All

1. Blackened

2. And Justice For All

3. Eye Of The Beholder

4. One

5. The Shortest Straw

6. Harvester Of Sorrow

7. The Frayed Ends Of Sanity

8. To Live Is To Die

9. Dyers Eve


Track List: Master Of Puppets

1. Battery

2. Master Of Puppets

3. The Thing That Should Not Be

4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

5. Disposable Heroes

6. Leper Messiah

7. Orion (Instrumental)

8. Damage, Inc.


Track List: Ride The Lightning


Track List: In The Beginning... Live (Live)


Track List: Kill 'Em All


Track List: One (Awards Show Rehearsal Version) (Single)

1. One (Awards Show Rehearsal Version)


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METALLICA!! no more needs to be said except F**K YA
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The"Four Horsemen" , ROCKS!!!!-JT
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King Nothing,, this one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend.. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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King Nothing,,,, Another killer Metallica jam,,, @chaparrovic t o r 3 2 5 2 I agree completely. An @samtheallig a t o r 2 0 0 3 u obviously have never heard JUDAS PRIEST, MAIDEN, SABBATH, they were all still around in the 90s. F**k there still here now sounding better than they did 30/40 yrs ago. I gotta lot of ppl that will agree. But everyone has there own opinion.. That's mine.
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For whom the bell tolls. The best song !!
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I've said it before and I will day IT AGAIN-OLDER METALLICA IS THE GREATEST-Yep if Ur a man U PROBLY R Evil Lol!
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mason x7 what the f**k?
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No Pantera weren't the best metal band of all time just the best of the 90s
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Master of pupets is the last good album thay put out
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With the release of justice for all they lost there edge! Went to main stream! !
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One of my favs from Metallica
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My fav metallica song is Nothing Else Matters....
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Pantera had some good jams but i dont tink they were the best metal band...
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Pantera were the best metal band of the 90s
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Orion will be played at my funeral
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
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bernal.isabe l . i b
What started it all
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Master of Puppets,,, oh yea this one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Finally Pandora plays my all time favorite Metallica,, For Whom The Bell Tolls,,, Classic... Johnheater75 this one's 4 u my friend and when ur playing it I can here ya all the way over here in Ft Lauderdale.. Lol.. I've said it more than once but oh well I'm gonna say it again. This killer f**kin jam will b played at my funeral... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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It reminds me of old school rock but alwase has a twist to make fresh or now school wich is why i like them
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Its amazing how many people think I'm a pleb for having Metallica as my favorite thrash metal band instead of Sodom, Slayer or Exodus.
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I'm an old school Metallica fan from way back but after the Album And Justice For All they lost something arfer that i can't put my finger on it
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Is it possible to just like Metallica without the drama? For a long time I didn't listen to a lot of secular music then started listening to these guys and got hooked. Different songs hit my mood and then there's just bad a** Metallica songs that fits when I'm cruising down the road on my Road Glide. Some songs they sing just sounds like the singer is just garbling into the mic but no big deal.
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Am I Evil,,,,, Another Classic Metallica... . My all time favorite is For Whom The Bell Tolls,, that will b played at my funeral.... Johnheater75 my friend I can c ya now jamming on ur electric.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Well put coppersnake1 1 1 , , , Enter Sandman,, This one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend HAPPY FATHER'S DAY,,, ROCK ON EVERYONE
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charlesparta i n
Great song especially live!!!!
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@ bbuckman if torture were legal in America I would pour early Metallica into your skull til your ears bleed, your eyeballs explode, and your teeth shatter! Ahhh! Good to get that out of my system. I feel better
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Turn this one up to 11 fellow metalheads!
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Thanks April. One of my faves,off ride the lightning.
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Creeping Death,,, Another Classic Metallica... Killer jam. This one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Justice for all was their best in my opinion, too bad they took the frickin bass out.
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Metallica is better than your mom.
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Idk about anyone else but growing up listening to metallica, I thought it was all original but to my dismay I found later on that they did alot of covers and lars b**ching about napster after making millions of dollar's pissed me off bad. Glad they dumped Dave and was the only good thing they did besides making good original music. And justice was the last for me. Greedy p**sies is a real turn off.
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If u don't like Metallica,u r mistaken for what true metal is.they are pioneers for the metal heads!!!
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Remember this one Crystal?
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Metallica freakin ROCKS!!!
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Jump In The Fire,,, here's one more 4 ya johnheater75 my friend. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Nothing Else Matters,,,, awesome tune... Luv this find gem. This one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend ROCK ON EVERYONE
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Awesome song
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theodoro0309 1 1
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Man Metallica Slayer and MEGADETH are the best none of that other hip hop s**t people my age listen to
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I find it weird that nobody ever talks about how resistant they were to making music videos and once they did, they were launched into mega stardom. And their first video was the BEST VIDEO EVER ( One)
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Of Wolf And Man,,, Classic Metallica.. This one's 4 u johnheater75 my friend. ROCK ON EVERYONE
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in high school I listened to Metallica and Slayer, what are kids listening to now? some wannabe actress/mode l that will be forgotten in a week.
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Are they still around having heard about them for a while now
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And Justice For All
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Yea Spotify
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Y Pandora a joke?? U got a better way to listen?? For real asking...
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Pandora? Its a joke. F
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