|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genre(s)||Heavy metal, thrash metal|
|Label(s)||Megaforce, Elektra, Warner Bros., Vertigo/Virgin EMI/Universal, Blackened|
|Associated Acts||Megadeth, Flotsam and Jetsam, Newsted, Echobrain, Ozzy Osbourne, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Label Society, Exodus, Voivod, Lou Reed|
Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band's fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica was formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper. The band's current line-up includes founders Hetfield (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ulrich (drums), longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo, who joined the band in 2003. Lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, who went on to found Megadeth, bassists Ron McGovney (demos only), Cliff Burton (the first three records, died in 1986), and Jason Newsted (from 1987 to 2001) are former members of the band. Metallica collaborated over a long period with producer Bob Rock, who produced all of the band's 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 won critical acclaim with its first four albums; the third album Master of Puppets (1986) was described as one of the most influential and heaviest thrash metal albums. Metallica achieved substantial commercial success with its 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 consent from any band member. 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 of St. Anger and the tensions within the band during that time. In 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Metallica has released nine studio albums, four live albums, five extended plays, 26 music videos, and 37 singles. The band has won nine Grammy Awards and five of its albums have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The band's eponymous 1991 album has sold over 16 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan Era. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 120 million records worldwide. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 61st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. As of December 2012, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 54.26 million albums in the United States alone. In 2012, Metallica formed the independent record label Blackened Recordings and took ownership of all of the band's albums and videos. The band is currently in production of its tenth studio album, slated for a 2015 release.
Style and lyrical themes Edit
Metallica was influenced by early heavy metal and hard rock bands and artists Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Rush, Aerosmith, Judas Priest, and Scorpions. New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands Venom, Motörhead, Saxon, Diamond Head, and Iron Maiden, and early punk rock bands Ramones, Sex Pistols, and the Misfits also influenced Metallica's style. The band's early releases contained fast tempos, harmonized leads, and nine-minute instrumental tracks. Steve Huey of AllMusic said Ride the Lightning featured "extended, progressive epics; tight, concise groove-rockers". Huey said Metallica expanded its compositional technique and range of expression to take on a more aggressive approach in following releases, and lyrics dealt with personal and socially conscious issues. Religious and military leaders, rage, insanity, monsters, and drugs-among other themes-were explored on Master of Puppets.
In 1991, Huey said Metallica with new producer Bob Rock simplified and streamlined its music for a more commercial approach to appeal to mainstream audiences. Robert Palmer of Rolling Stone said the band abandoned its aggressive, fast tempos to expand its music and expressive range. The change in direction proved commercially successful; Metallica was the band's first album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica noticed changes to the rock scene created by the grunge movement of the early 1990s. In Load-an album that has been described as "an almost alternative rock" approach-the band focused on non-metal influences and changed musical direction. Metallica's new lyrical approach moved away from drugs and monsters, and focused on anger, loss, and retribution. Some fans and critics were not pleased with this change, which included haircuts, the cover art of Load, and headlining the alternative rock concert Lollapalooza. David Fricke of Rolling Stone described the move as "goodbye to the moldy stricture and dead-end Puritanism of no-frills thrash", and called Load the heaviest record of 1996. With the release of ReLoad in 1997, the band displayed blues and early hard rock influences, incorporating more rhythm and harmony in song structures.
St. Anger marked another large change in the band's sound. Guitar solos were excluded from the album, leaving a "raw and unpolished sound". The band used drop C tuning; Ulrich's snare drum received particular criticism. New York Magazine 's Ethan Brown said it "reverberates with a thwong". The album's lyrics deal with Hetfield's drug rehabilitation and include references to the devil, anti-drug themes, claustrophobia, impending doom, and religious hypocrisy. At the advice of producer Rick Rubin, for its ninth studio album Death Magnetic, the band returned to E tuning and guitar solos. As a return to Metallica's thrash roots, Death Magnetic was a riff-oriented album featuring intense guitar solos and subtle lyrics dealing with suicide and redemption.
Legacy and influenceEdit
Metallica has become one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, and is credited as one of the "big four" of thrash metal, along with Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth. The band has sold more than 120 million records worldwide, including an RIAA-certified 66 million and Nielsen SoundScan-reported 53,642,000 in the U.S., making Metallica one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. The writers of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll said Metallica gave heavy metal "a much-needed charge". Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Greg Prato of Allmusic said Metallica "expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions", and called the band "easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s, responsible for bringing the music back to Earth".
Jonathan Davis of Korn said he respects Metallica as his favorite band; he said, "I love that they've done things their own way and they've persevered over the years and they're still relevant to this day. I think they're one of the greatest bands ever." Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin said Metallica has been the biggest influence on the band, stating, "they really changed my life when I was 16 years old I'd never heard anything that heavy". Vocalist and guitarist Robb Flynn of Machine Head said that when creating the band's 2007 album, The Blackening, "What we mean is an album that has the power, influence and epic grandeur of that album Master of Puppets and the staying power }a timeless record like that". Trivium guitarists Corey Beaulieu and Matt Heafy said that when they heard Metallica they wanted to start playing guitar. M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold said touring with Metallica was the band's career highlight, and said, "Selling tons of records and playing huge shows will never compare to meeting your idols Metallica". God Forbid guitarists Doc and Dallas Coyle were inspired by Metallica as they grew up, and the band's bassist John Outcalt admires Burton as a "rocker". Ill Niño drummer Dave Chavarri said he finds early Metallica releases are "heavy, raw, rebellious. It said, 'fuck you'", and Adema drummer Kris Kohls said the band is influenced by Metallica.
Kerrang! released a tribute album titled Master of Puppets: Remastered with the April 8, 2006, edition of the magazine to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Master of Puppets. The album featured cover versions of Metallica songs by Machine Head, Bullet for My Valentine, Chimaira, Mastodon, Mendeed, and Trivium all of which are influenced by Metallica. At least 15 Metallica tribute albums have been released. On September 10, 2006, Metallica guest starred on The Simpsons eighteenth season premiere, "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer". Hammett's and Hetfield's voices were used in three episodes of the animated television series Metalocalypse. Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica released a tribute album titled Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which features eight Metallica songs played on cellos. A parody band named Beatallica plays music using a combination of The Beatles and Metallica songs. Beatallica faced legal troubles when Sony, which owns The Beatles' catalog, issued a cease and desist order, claiming "substantial and irreparable injury" and ordering the group to pay damages. Ulrich, a fan of Beatallica, asked Metallica's lawyer Peter Paterno to help settle the case.
MTV ranked Metallica the third "Greatest Heavy Metal Band in History", was listed fifth on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and the band was number one on VH1's 20 Greatest Metal Bands list. Rolling Stone placed the band 61st on its list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time"; its albums Master of Puppets and Metallica were ranked at numbers 167 and 252 respectively on the magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Master of Puppets was named in Q Magazinem's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time", and was ranked number one on IGN's "Top 25 Metal Albums", and number one on Metal-rules.com's "Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums" list. "Enter Sandman" was ranked number 399 on Rolling Stone 's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
On March 7, 1999, Metallica was inducted into the San Francisco Walk of Fame. The mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, proclaimed the day "Official Metallica Day". The band was awarded the MTV Icon award in 2003, and a concert paying tribute to the band with artists performing its songs was held. Performances included Sum 41 and a medley of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Enter Sandman", and "Master of Puppets". Staind covered "Nothing Else Matters", Avril Lavigne played "Fuel", hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg performed "Sad but True", Korn played "One", and Limp Bizkit performed "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)".
The Guitar Hero video game series included several of Metallica's songs. "One" was used in Guitar Hero III. The album Death Magnetic was later released as purchasable, downloadable content for the game. "Trapped Under Ice" was featured in the sequel, Guitar Hero World Tour. In 2009, Metallica collaborated with the game's developers to make Guitar Hero: Metallica, which included a number of Metallica's songs. Harmonix' video game series Rock Band included "Enter Sandman"; "Ride the Lightning", "Blackened", and "...And Justice for All" were released as downloadable tracks. In 2013, due to expiring content licenses, "Ride the Lightning", "Blackened", and "...And Justice for All" are no longer available for download . "Battery" was featured in the game's sequel, Rock Band 2.
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