Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981. Metallica has become one of the mostcommercially successful musical acts of recent decades, and are considered one of the "Big Four" pioneers of thrash metal, along with Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth. The band has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, including 57 million albums in the United States alone.
Kill 'Em All
In late spring 1983, the band travelled to Rochester, New York to record their first album,"Metal Up Your Ass." However, due to conflict with the record label regarding the title, the album was later renamed Kill 'Em All. The album was not an initial financial success, but it earned them a growing fanbase in the underground metal scene. Despite the animosity, Dave Mustaine still has co-writing credits for "Jump in the Fire" (with different lyrics from earlier demos), "Phantom Lord", "Metal Militia" and "The Four Horsemen" (originally titled "The Mechanix", [or alternately "Mechanics"], and listed as such on early demo tapes, with the earlier demo version having entirely different lyrics). The 1989 re-release included fan favorites "Am I Evil?", from Diamond Head, and "Blitzkrieg" from the band Blitzkrieg, which were later included in their Garage album.
Ride the Lightning
A year later, Metallica released Ride the Lightning. The album's inclusion of a slower, more introspective song, "Fade to Black", set Metallica apart from other thrash bands. In addition to the title track and "Fade to Black", it boasts "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Creeping Death", and the 9-minute instrumental "The Call of Ktulu." Last is the title track, "Ride the Lightning," a protest against capital punishment (However, in an interview with Guitar World magazine, James Hetfield has stated that the song is not an indictment of the death penalty, in which he is a believer, but simply an exploration of the concept of being in a terrible situation with no control.
Master of Puppets
when Ride the Lightning caught the attention of major labels, Metallica signed with Elektra Records. Their first release with Elektra was 1986's Master of Puppets, which would serve as their breakthrough album. Despite the fact that no singles were released from the album, the band received minor airplay from album tracks "Master of Puppets" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)". Fans looking for an alternative to glam metal bands of the day relished in furious songs such as "Battery" and "Damage, Inc.". The band gained even more exposure when they were asked to open for Ozzy Osbourne, and Master of Puppets climbed to number 29 on the Billboard Top Album Charts.Some critics consider the album to be the "greatest heavy metal album of all time".