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Metallica is an American heavy metal band that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Along with Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, they are considered to be pioneers of thrash metal.

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. Mustaine and McGovney were later ejected from the band, in favor of Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton, respectively. The loss of Mustaine resulted in a feud between him and Metallica, leading to him eventually forming Megadeth. In September 1986, Metallica's tour bus skidded out of control and flipped, which resulted in Burton being crushed under the bus and killed. Jason Newsted replaced him less than two months later. Newsted left the band in 2001 and was replaced by Robert Trujillo in 2003, who has been the band's bassist ever since.

Metallica have released 10 studio albums, four live albums, three extended plays, and one cover album. Three of their albums - Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, and Metallica (also known as The Black Album) have been certified platinum multiple times. The Black Album, in particular, is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and was ranked 252 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums list.

Metallica is considered to be one of the most successful heavy metal acts in music history, having sold over 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018. They have won six Grammy Awards and were ranked 61 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2009, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Early days[]

Metallica's early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship that placed them as one of the "Big Four" of the thrash metal subgenre alongside 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 achieved substantial commercial success with its self-titled 1991 album, 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".

In 2000, Metallica was among several artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band's copyright-protected material for free without the band 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 nine studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, twenty-two music videos, forty three singles. The band has become one of the most commercially successful and influential heavy metal acts. With 100 million records sold worldwide, including 57 million in the United States, the band has won seven Grammy Awards, and has had four albums peak at number one on the Billboard 200. The band's 1991 Black Album, has sold over 15 million copies, which makes it the 25th highest selling album in the United States

Ride the Lightning (1983–1984)[]

Ride the Lightning was produced on August 1984 and reached #100 on the Bilboard 200. The singles "Ride the Lightning", and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" came from the album.

Master of Puppets (1984–1986)[]

Metallica's third studio album, Master of Puppets was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios and released in March 1986. The album peaked at 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. Following the release of the album, Metallica supported Ozzy Osbourne for a U.S. tour. James broke his wrist skateboarding down a hill and continued the tour performing vocals, with guitar technician John Marshall playing rhythm guitar.

Death of Burton[]

Cliff Burton, was the bassist of Metallica for the first three albums, and James says was one of the reasons for the band's early success. Cliff Burton died from as they were on their tour bus on the Damage Inc tour. He won a bet and slept in Hammett's bed. During the night the driver skidded and crashed the bus, Cliff died from his injuries.

...And Justice for All[]

...And Justice for All is the first album the group released following the death of Cliff and gained the group a Grammy award. The singles "One" and "other" came from the album. The "One" music video was based on the movie Johnny get his Gun which Metallica purchased the rights to.

Metallica (The Black Album)[]

The Black Album was also one of the best albums, with singles including "Sad But True", "Enter Sandman" and "Nothing Else Matters". Metallica went on various tours to include various albums.

Load, ReLoad and Garage Inc.[]

Load and ReLoad were Metallica's first album's of the 90's, including the singles "Until it Sleeps", "Fuel", "The Memory Remains", "The Unforgiven II". The cover was mixed with semen and also blood making it not very appealing to fans.

Napster Incident[]

Metallica's song "I Disappear..." was available on Napster as a illegal download, and when Metallica heard it had been on the radio they decided to sue Napster, forcing Napster to change to a pay-to-use service and providing the songs of artists who approved.


This was poorly received, and widely criticised as one of the worst Metallica albums. "St. Anger" was released as a single from the album. Metallica later agreed that the album was poor in comparison to their others, explaining the tensions that were present in the group at the time of recording.

Death Magnetic[]

Metallica's ninth studio album was released in September 2008. Up to now the singles "The Day That Never Comes", "My Apocalypse", "Cyanide" and "The Judas Kiss" have been released.

Beyond Magnetic[]

Metallica's 3rd EP or Extended Play. This is the four songs not released on Death Magnetic. Released in January 2012.



Date Album Singles
1983 Kill 'Em All "Whiplash", "Jump in the Fire"
1984 Ride the Lightning "Fade to Black", "Creeping Death", "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
1986 Master of Puppets "Master of Puppets"
1988 ...And Justice for All "Harvester of Sorrow" "Eye of the Beholder", "One"
1991 Metallica "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", "Sad But True"
1996 Load "Until It Sleeps", "Hero of the Day", "Mama Said", "King Nothing"
1997 ReLoad "The Memory Remains", "The Unforgiven II", "Fuel", "Better Than You"
2003 St. Anger "St. Anger", "Frantic", "The Unnamed Feeling", "Some Kind of Monster"
2008 Death Magnetic "The Day That Never Comes", "All Nightmare Long", "Broken, Beat & Scarred" 
2011 Lulu "The View"
2016 Hardwired... to Self-Destruct "Hardwired", "Moth Into Flame", "Atlas, Rise!", "Now That We're Dead", "Spit Out the Bone"

Group Members[]

Current members[]

Former members[]

  • Jason Newsted - bass, backing vocals (1986–2001)
  • Cliff Burton - bass, backing vocals (1982–1986)
  • Dave Mustaine - Lead Guitar (1982-1983)
  • Ron McGovney - bass, backing vocals (1982)
  • Bob Rock - bass, backing vocals (2001-2003)

External links[]


File:Lars Ulrich on the GRAMMYs Red Carpet 2014

Grammys Red Carpet 2014