Metallica

Metallica is an American trash metal band that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Founded when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, Metallica’s original line-up consisted of Ulrich, rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, and bassist Ron McGovney. McGovney and Mustaine were later ejected from the band, in favor of Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett, respectively. The ejection of Mustaine has subsequently resulted in a feud between him and Metallica. Mustaine later went on to form Megadeth. In 1986, Metallica’s tour bus skidded out of control, and Burton was crushed under the bus and was killed. Jason Newsted replaced him, although he left the band in 2001 and was replaced by Robert Trujillo in 2003.

Metallica’s early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the “Big Four” of the thrash metal genre alongside with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. The band earned a growing fan base in the underground music community, and some critics say the 1986 release Master of Puppets is one of the most influential and “heavy” thrash metal albums. The band rose to fame with its 1991 self-titled album Metallica, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Some critics and fans believed the band changed its musical direction to appeal to the mainstream audience.

With the release of Load in 1996, Metallica distanced itself from earlier releases in what has been described as “an almost alternative [rock] approach”, and the band faced accusations of “selling out“. Metallica filed a lawsuit in 2000 against Napster for sharing the band’s copyrighted material for free without the members’ consent. 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 in 2003 disappointed some critics and fans with the exclusion of guitar solos, and the “steel-sounding” snare drum. A film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording process of St. Anger.

Metallica has released eight studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, nine videos, and is working on a ninth studio album. The band has become one of the most commercially successful and influential musical acts. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, including 57 million in the United States alone, the band has won seven Grammy Awards, and has had four albums peak at number one on the Billboard 200. The band’s 1991 album Metallica, has sold over 15 million copies, which makes it the 25th highest selling album in the United States.

Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California, in early 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper—The Recycler—which read “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with” Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden.” Guitarist James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm answered the advertisement. Although he had not formed a band, Ulrich asked Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel if he could record a song for the label’s upcoming compilation Metal Massacre. Slagel accepted, and Ulrich recruited Hetfield to sing and play rhythm guitar.[3]

Ulrich talked to his friend Ron Quintana, who was brainstorming names for a fanzine. Quintana had proposed the names Metal Mania and Metallica. Convincing him to use Metal Mania, Ulrich used Metallica for the name of his band. A second advertisement was placed in The Recycler for a position as lead guitarist. Dave Mustaine answered and after seeing his expensive guitar equipment, Ulrich and Hetfield recruited him. In early 1982, Metallica recorded its first original song “Hit the Lights” for the Metal Massacre I compilation. Hetfield played bass on the song and Lloyd Grant was credited with a guitar solo. Released on June 14, 1982, early pressings of Metal Massacre I listed the band incorrectly as “Mettallica”. Although angered by the error, Metallica managed to create enough “buzz” with the song and the band played its first live show on March 14, 1982, at Radio City in Anaheim, California with newly recruited bassist Ron McGovney.[4] Metallica recorded its first demo titled Power Metal, a name inspired by Quintana’s early business cards in early 1982. In the Fall of 1982, Ulrich and Hetfield attended a show at the nightclub Whisky a Go Go, which featured bassist Cliff Burton in a band called Trauma.

The two were “blown away” by Burton’s use of a wah-wah pedal and asked him to join Metallica. Hetfield and Mustaine wanted McGovney out as they thought that he “didn’t contribute anything, he just followed.” Although Burton initially declined the offer, by the end of the year he accepted on the condition the band move to San Francisco. Metallica’s first live performance with Burton was at the nightclub The Stone in March 1983, and the first recording to feature Burton was the 1983 Megaforce demo.

Metallica was ready to record its debut album, but when Metal Blade was unable to cover the additional cost, the band began looking for other options. Concert promoter Johnny “Z” Zazula, who had heard the 1982 No Life ‘Till Leather demo, offered to broker a record deal with Metallica and New York City-based record labels. After receiving no interest from various record labels, Zazula borrowed the money to cover the record’s recording budget and signed Metallica to his own label, Megaforce Records. Band members decided to kick Mustaine out of the band due to drug and alcohol abuse, and violent behavior. Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett flew in to replace Mustaine the same afternoon. Metallica’s first show with Hammett was on April 16, 1983, at the nightclub The Showplace in Dover, New Jersey.

Mustaine has shown a disliking to Hammett, which he has expressed in interviews. He said Hammett “stole my job, but at least I got to bang his girlfriend before he took my job — how do I taste, Kirk?” Mustaine is “pissed off” because he believes Hammett became popular by playing the guitar leads that Mustaine wrote. In a 1985 interview with Metal Forces, Mustaine slammed Hammett saying, “it’s real funny how Kirk Hammett ripped off every lead break I’d played on that No Life ‘Til Leather tape and got voted No. 1 guitarist in your magazine.” On Megadeth’s 1985 debut album Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!, Mustaine included the song “Mechanix”, which Metallica renamed as “The Four Horsemen” on Kill ‘Em All. Mustaine said he did this to “straighten Metallica up”, as Metallica referred to Mustaine as a drunk and said he could not play guitar.

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