Early years (1981–1983)
The classic Metallica logo, used on their early releases. It was also used on their ninth studio album Death Magnetic (2008) and on Guitar Hero: Metallica, albeit in a slightly more slanting form.
Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California, in late 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 andIron Maiden." Guitarists 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 album Metal Massacre. Slagel accepted, and Ulrich recruited Hetfield to sing and play rhythm guitar. The band was officially formed in October 1981, five months after Ulrich and Hetfield first met.
Ulrich talked to his friend Ron Quintana, who was brainstorming names for a fanzine. Quintana had proposed the names MetalMania and Metallica. 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 performance on March 14, 1982 at Radio City in Anaheim, California with newly recruited bassist Ron McGovney. Metallica recorded its first demo, 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 West Hollywood 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 El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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 Megaforce demo (1983).
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 Johny "Z" Zazula, who had heard the demo No Life 'til Leather (1982), 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.
Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning (1983–1984)
In May 1983, Metallica traveled to Rochester, New York to record its debut album, Metal Up Your Ass, with production duties handled by Paul Curcio. Band members decided to kick Mustaine out of the band due to drug and alcohol abuse and violent behavior just prior to the sessions on April 11, 1983. Exodus guitarist Kirk Hammett flew in to replace Mustaine the same afternoon.
Mustaine, who went on to found Megadeth, has expressed his dislike for Hammett in interviews. He said Hammett "stole my job." Mustaine was "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 debut album Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good! (1985), Mustaine included the song "Mechanix", which Metallica reworked and retitled "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. Metallica's first live performance with Hammett was on April 16, 1983 at the nightclub The Showplace in Dover, New Jersey.
The band's debut studio album was initially going to be titled Metal Up Your Ass. Due to conflicts with its record label and the distributors' refusal to release an album with that name, it was renamed Kill 'Em All. Released on Megaforce Records in the United States and Music for Nations in Europe, the album peaked at number 120 on the Billboard 200 in 1988, and although the album was not initially a financial success, it earned Metallica a growing fan base in the underground metal scene. The band embarked on the Kill 'Em All for One tour with Raven to support the release. In February 1984, Metallica supported Venom on the Seven Dates of Hell tour, where the band performed in front of 7,000 people at the Aardschok Festival in Zwolle, Netherlands.
Metallica recorded its second studio album, Ride the Lightning, at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. Released in August 1984, the album reached number 100 on the Billboard 200. A French printing press mistakenly printed green covers for the album, which are now considered collectors' items. Other songs on the album include "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Fade to Black", "Creeping Death" (which tells the biblical story of the Hebrews' exodus from slavery in Egypt, focusing on the final plague that was visited on the Egyptians), and the instrumental "The Call of Ktulu". Mustaine received writing credit for "Ride the Lightning" and "The Call of Ktulu".
Master of Puppets (1984–1986)
Elektra Records A&R director Michael Alago, and co-founder of Q-Prime Management Cliff Burnstein, attended a September 1984 Metallica concert. Impressed with what they saw, they signed Metallica to Elektra Records and made the band a client of Q-Prime Management. Metallica's burgeoning success was such that the band's British label Music for Nations released a limited edition "Creeping Death" single, which sold 40,000 copies as an import in the United States. Two of the three songs on the record (cover versions ofDiamond Head's "Am I Evil?", and Blitzkrieg's "Blitzkrieg") appeared on the 1989 Elektra reissue of Kill 'Em All. Metallica embarked on its first major European tour with Tank to an average crowd of 1,300. Returning to the U.S. marked a tour co-headlining with W.A.S.P. and Armored Saint supporting. Metallica played its largest show at the Monsters of Rock festival on August 17, 1985, with Bon Jovi and Ratt at Donington Park in England, playing in front of 70,000 people. A show in Oakland, California, at the Day on the Greenfestival saw the band play in front of a crowd of 60,000.
Metallica's third studio album, Master of Puppets, was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios and was released in March 1986. The album reached number 29 on the Billboard 200, and spent 72 weeks on the chart. The album was the band's first to be certified gold on November 4, 1986, and was certified six times platinum in 2003. Steve Huey ofAllmusic considered the album "the band's greatest achievement". Following the release of the album, Metallica supported Ozzy Osbourne for a United States tour. Hetfield broke his wrist skateboarding down a hill and continued the tour performing vocals, with guitar technician John Marshall playing rhythm guitar.
Burton's death and Garage Days Re-Revisited (1986–1987)
On September 27, 1986, during the European leg of Metallica's Damage, Inc. Tour, members drew cards to see which bunk of the tour bus they would sleep in. Burton won and chose to sleep in Hammett's bunk. Around dawn near Dörarp, Sweden, the bus driver lost control and skidded, which caused the bus to flip several times. Ulrich, Hammett, and Hetfield sustained no serious injuries; however, bassist Burton was pinned under the bus and was killed. Hetfield recalls, "I saw the bus lying right on him. I saw his legs sticking out. I freaked. The bus driver, I recall, was trying to yank the blanket out from under him to use for other people. I just went, 'Don't fucking do that!' I already wanted to kill the [bus driver]. I don't know if he was drunk or if he hit some ice. All I knew was, he was driving and Cliff wasn't alive anymore." Burton's death left Metallica's future in doubt. The three remaining members decided that Burton would want them to carry on, and with the Burton family's blessings, the band sought a replacement.
Roughly 40 people tried out for auditions including Hammett's childhood friend, Les Claypool of Primus, Troy Gregory of Prong, and Jason Newsted, formerly of Flotsam and Jetsam. Newsted learned Metallica's entire setlist, and after the audition Metallica invited him to Tommy's Joynt in San Francisco. Hetfield, Ulrich, and Hammett decided that Newsted was the one to replace Burton, and Newsted's first live performance with Metallica was at the Country Club in Reseda, California. The members took it on themselves to "initiate" Newsted by tricking him into eating a ball of wasabi.
After Newsted joined Metallica, the band left its El Cerrito practice space (dubbed "the Metalli-mansion", a suburban house formerly rented by sound engineer Mark Whitaker) and relocated to the adjacent cities of Berkeley and Albany before eventually settling in the Marin County city of San Rafael, North of San Francisco.
Metallica finished its tour in the early months of 1987. In March 1987, Hetfield broke his wrist a second time skateboarding, forcing the band to cancel a Saturday Night Liveappearance. In August 1987 an all-covers extended play titled The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited was released. The extended play was recorded in an effort to utilize the band's newly constructed recording studio, test out the talents of Newsted, and to relieve grief and stress following the death of Burton. A video titled Cliff 'Em All was released in 1987 commemorating Burton's three years in Metallica. Footage included bass solos, home videos, and pictures.
..And Justice for All (1988–1990)
...And Justice for All, the band's first studio album since Burton's death, was released in 1988. The album was a commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard 200, the band's first album to enter the top 10. The album was certified platinum nine weeks after its release. Newsted's bass was purposely turned down on the album as a part of the continuous "hazing" he received, and his musical ideas were ignored (however, he did receive writing credit on the track "Blackened"). There were complaints with the production; namely, Steve Huey of Allmusic noted Ulrich's drums were clicking more than thudding, and the guitars "buzz thinly". TheDamaged Justice tour followed to promote the album.
In 1989, Metallica received its first Grammy Award nomination for ...And Justice for All, in the new Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrument category. Metallica was the favorite to win; however, the award was given to Jethro Tull for the album Crest of a Knave. The result generated controversy among fans and the press, as Metallica was standing off-stage waiting to receive the award after performing the song "One". Jethro Tull had been advised by its manager not to attend the ceremony as he was expecting Metallica to win. The award was named in Entertainment Weekly's "Grammy's 10 Biggest Upsets".
Following the release of ...And Justice for All, Metallica released its debut music video for the song "One". The band performed the song in an abandoned warehouse, and footage was remixed with the film, Johnny Got His Gun. Rather than organize an ongoing licensing deal, Metallica purchased the rights to the film. The remixed video was submitted to MTV, with the alternate performance-only version held back in the event that MTV banned the remix version. MTV accepted the remix version, and the video was viewers' first exposure to Metallica. It was voted number 38 in 1999 when MTV aired its "Top 100 Videos of All Time" countdown, and was featured in the network's 25th Anniversary edition of ADD Video, which showcased the most popular videos on MTV in the last 25 years.
In October 1990, Metallica entered One on One studio in North Hollywood to record its next album. Bob Rock, who had worked with the bands such as Aerosmith, The Cult, Bon Jovi, and Mötley Crüe, was hired as the producer. Metallica (also known as The Black Album) was remixed three times, cost US$1 million, and ended three marriages. Although the release was stalled until 1991, Metallica debuted at number one in ten countries, selling 650,000 units in the United States during its first week. The album was responsible for bringing Metallica to the attention of the mainstream and has been certified 15 times platinum in the United States, which makes it the 25th best-selling album in the country.The making of Metallica and the following tour was documented in A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica. Dubbed the Wherever We May Roam Tour, it lasted 14 months and included dates in the United States, Japan, and the UK. In April 1992, Metallica appeared at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performing a three-song set. Hetfield later performed "Stone Cold Crazy" with the remaining members of Queen and Tony Iommi.
On August 8, 1992, during the co-headlining Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour with Guns N' Roses, Hetfield suffered second and third degree burns to his arms, face, hands, and legs. There was confusion with the new pyrotechnics setup, which resulted with Hetfield walking into a 12-foot (3.7 m) flame during "Fade to Black". Newsted recalls that Hetfield's skin was "bubbling like on The Toxic Avenger". Guitar technician John Marshall, who had previously filled in on rhythm guitar and was now playing in Metal Church, replaced Hetfield for the remainder of the tour as Hetfield was unable to play guitar, although he was able to sing. Later in 1993, Metallica went on the Nowhere Else to Roam Tour, playing five shows in Mexico City. The band's first box set was released in November 1993 called Live Shit: Binge & Purge. The collection contained three live CDs, three home videos, and a book filled with riders and letters.
Load, ReLoad, Garage Inc., and S&M (1994–1999)
After almost three years of touring to support Metallica, including a headlining performance at Woodstock '94, Metallica returned to the studio to write and record its sixth studio album. The band went on a brief hiatus in the summer of 1994 and played three outdoor shows which included headlining Donington Park in the United Kingdom, supported bySlayer, Skid Row, Slash's Snakepit, Therapy?, and Corrosion of Conformity. The short tour was titled Escape from the Studio '95. The band spent roughly one year writing and recording new songs, resulting in the release of Load in 1996, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and ARIA Charts, marking the band's second number one. The cover of Load was created by Andres Serrano, and was called Blood and Semen III. Serrano pressed a mixture of his own semen and bovine blood between sheets of plexiglass.The release marked a change in musical direction for the band and a new image with band members receiving haircuts. Metallica headlined the alternative rock festival Lollapaloozain the summer of 1996.
ReLoad. The cover was created by Serrano, this time using a mixture of blood and urine. ReLoad debuted number one on the Billboard 200, and reached number two on the Top Canadian Album chart. Hetfield noted in the 2004 documentary film Some Kind of Monster that some of the songs on these albums were initially thought by the band to be of average quality, and were "polished and reworked" until judged to be releasable. To promote ReLoad, Metallica performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live in December 1997, performing "Fuel" and "The Memory Remains" with Marianne Faithfull.
In 1998, Metallica compiled a double album of cover songs titled Garage Inc. The first disc contained newly recorded covers of songs by bands such as Diamond Head, Killing Joke,The Misfits, Thin Lizzy, Mercyful Fate, and Black Sabbath. The second disc featured the original The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, which had become a scarce collectors' item. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two.
On April 21 and 22, 1999, Metallica recorded two performances with the San Francisco Symphony orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. Kamen, who had previously worked with producer Rock on "Nothing Else Matters", approached the band in 1991 with the idea of pairing Metallica's music with a symphony orchestra. Kamen and his staff of over 100 composed additional orchestral material for Metallica songs. Metallica wrote two new Kamen-scored songs for the event, "No Leaf Clover" and "-Human". The audio recording and concert footage were released in 1999 as the album and concert film S&M. It entered the Billboard 200 at number two, and the Australian ARIA charts and Top Internet Albums chart at number one.
Source : wikypedia
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