Metallica is the best-selling band of all time behind the Beatles. With being a successful band, Metallica has reached out to various audiences in their thirty- year career. Metallica is a heavy metal band that has had more success than other artists in more popular genres, like pop and hip hop. Since their formation in 1981, Metallica has released ten studio albums that have all been heralded as classics, even through tragedy.
With the forming of Metallica, music changed forever. Metallica was formed in 1981, when James Hetfield replied to an ad by Lars Ulrich. Hetfield, the lead singer/ guitarist, and Ulrich, the drummer, had an immediate connection (“Metallica-Britannica”). Shortly after ...view middle of the document...
“With their 1983 debut album, Kill Em’ All, Metallica staked their claim to be the fastest, heaviest metal band on the planet” (Brannigan and Winwood 1). Kill Em’ All was not a commercial success at first because of there not being a big metal influence in the United States yet (Hale 226). With the release of Kill Em’ All, the band prepared for their next release, Ride the Lightning.
Moving upon their initial ideas, Metallica released Ride the Lightning. Metallica followed up 1983’s Kill Em’ All with 1984’s Ride the Lightning, which even more redefined the genre of metal. Using their original album to build off of, they expanded on their initial sounds to produce the classic, Ride the Lightning (“Metallica-Allmusic”). With each album, Metallica’s playing and writing improved, especially the leap from Kill Em’ All to Ride the Lightning (“Metallica-Allmusic”). Although not a part of the band when the album was released, Dave Mustaine was given writing credit for “Ride the Lightning” and “Call of Ktulu” (“Guitar Hero: Metallica”). Ride the Lightning includes many social and political themes that also earn the album the genre of art rock, a title not seen for many metal artists (“Metallica-Britannica”). Coming off the success of Ride the Lightning, Metallica began their transcendence into superstardom with Master of Puppets.
Master of Puppets was the turning point in Metallica’s career. Their pivotal album, Master of Puppets, sold one million copies worldwide without any mainstream support, establishing them as the most compelling band of the 80’s (Brannigan and Winwood 1). The album’s title track has one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in music (“Metallica-Allmusic”). Regarded as a masterpiece by critics, Master of Puppets Sold more than three million copies with very little airplay (“Metallica-Allmusic”). “Songs such as “Battery” and “Damage Inc.” defined thrash metal for an entire generation of fans” (“Metallica-Allmusic”). Master of Puppets was the first Metallica album to be certified gold (“Guitar Hero: Metallica”). The immense glory of Master of Puppets would only last so long.
Shortly after the release of Master of Puppets, tragedy struck the band. While touring to support Master of Puppets, the band’s tour bus crashed while travelling in Sweden, killing bassist Cliff Burton instantly (“Metallica-Allmusic”). After his death, Metallica was unsure about continuing their career, but decided to do so, as Burton would have wanted them to (“Guitar Hero: Metallica”). After Cliff’s death, the band returned home to San Francisco, looking for a new bassist (“Metallica-Allmusic”). Roughly forty people tried out for the new role, including Kirk Hammett’s childhood friend, Les Claypool of Primus (“Guitar Hero: Metallica”). After weeks of tryouts, the band ultimately decided on Jason Newsted (“Guitar Hero: Metallica”). With the uncertainty of their career ahead of them, more pressure than ever was put on Metallica.
After a two-year hiatus upon...