Friday, September 26, 2008
Metallica was easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s. Responsible for bringing the genre back to Earth, the bandmates looked and talked like they were from the street, shunning the usual rockstar games of metal musicians during the early '80s. Metallica also expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions. The release of 1983's Kill 'Em All marked the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal's underground, bringing new complexity and depth to thrash metal. With each album, the band's playing and writing improved; James Hetfield developed a signature rhythm playing that matched his growl, while lead guitarist Kirk Hammett became one of the most copied guitarists in metal. To complete the package, Lars Ulrich's thunderous (yet complex) drumming clicked in perfectly with Cliff Burton's innovative bass playing.
After releasing their masterpiece Master of Puppets in 1986, tragedy struck the band when their tour bus crashed while traveling in Sweden. Burton died in the accident. When the band decided to continue, Jason Newsted was chosen to replace Burton; two years later, the band released the conceptually ambitious ...And Justice for All, which hit the Top Ten without any radio play and very little support from MTV. But Metallica completely crossed over into the mainstream with 1991's Metallica, a self-titled effort that found the band trading in their long compositions for more concise song structures. Peppered with hits like "Wherever I May Roam" and "Enter Sandman", it resulted in a number one album that sold over seven million copies in the U.S. alone. To support the record, Metallica launched a long tour that kept the musicians on the road for nearly two years.
Posted by Donmark at 6:25 AM