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Metallica is an American heavy metal band, formed on October 28, 1981. They have become one of the most commercially successful heavy metal bands, with more than 30 million albums sold worldwide,[2][3] including 57 million albums sold in the United States. Metallica is also credited as one of the "big four" thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax.

James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963 in Downey, California) is the main songwriter, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and a founding member of the American thrash/heavy metal band Metallica.

Kirk Lee Hammett (born on November 18, 1962) is the lead guitarist in the band Metallica. Hammett is one of the better-known students of guitar virtuoso and instructor Joe Satriani. In 2003, he was ranked 11th in the Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Lars Ulrich (born December 26, 1963) is the drummer and co-founder of Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to an upper middle-class family.

Roberto Trujillo (born on October 23, 1964) is a bassist, who has played in Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne's band before joining Metallica in 2003.

Band history

Early days
Metallica was formed in Los Angeles, California, in October 1981 by guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, after both placing classified advertisements in the publication The Recycler,{and now one answering to either one of thier ads} about forming a band. The duo recruited bassist Ron McGovney, and the early incarnation of the band went through a number of lead guitarists, such as Lloyd Grant, Brad Parker, and Jeff Warner. Metallica got its name when San Francisco-area metal promoter Ron Quintana asked Ulrich to help pick out a name for his new magazine to promote U.S. and British metal bands. Quintana came up with a list that included "Metallica," but Lars suggested "Metal Mania" and used "Metallica" for the band. The band's music was inspired by bands such as Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Diamond Head, Saxon, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, and other British metal bands. They also took inspiration from punk bands like the Misfits, Zeroption, Discharge, and The Ramones.

In early 1982, Ulrich convinced Metal Blade's Brian Slagel to include the song "Hit the Lights" on the first Metal Massacre compilation. Desperate for a full time lead guitarist, Ulrich posted an ad in a local newspaper. Dave Mustaine from Huntington Beach, California, who at the time was playing in the band Panic responded and met for an audition. Ulrich and Hetfield were so impressed with Mustaine's warm-up and equipment, they asked him to join before the audition even began.

In March and April of 1982, several minor demos were recorded with this line up including Hit The Lights, Ron's Garage which was recorded in McGoveney's garage and the Power Metal demo. A few months later the band recorded a full demo, No Life 'Til Leather, which quickly drew attention on the underground tape trading circuit. They then went on to release a live demo titled Metal Up Your Ass.

Later that year, after Dave Mustaine poured beer on his bass, Ron McGovney left the band. After seeing a band named Trauma play, Metallica asked Trauma bassist Cliff Burton to become their bassist. Burton agreed under the condition that the band relocate to his hometown of San Francisco. With Burton the band recorded the Megaforce Demo. After establishing themselves in the Bay Area thrash metal scene, Metallica traveled to the New York Tri-State Region in 1983 at the urging of promoters Jon and Marsha Zazula. After a few gigs the band signed with the Zazulas' new label, Megaforce Records. Shortly after being signed, Ulrich and Hetfield decided Mustaine's aggressive and disruptive behavior relating to his alcohol and drug problems was becoming too much to handle. Mustaine was asked to leave the band, and Kirk Hammett was brought in from the band Exodus. After leaving Metallica, Mustaine would go on to create the hugely-successful Megadeth.

Audio samples:

Am I Evil was one of the first demos to be made by Metallica, this sample of a cover song features Dave Mustaine on Lead Guitar. In late spring 1983, the band travelled to Rochester, New York to record their first album, Kill 'Em All. The album was not an initial success financially, but it earned them a growing fanbase in the underground metal scene. A year later, Metallica released Ride the Lightning. The album's inclusion of a slower, more introspective song, Fade To Black, set Metallica apart from most other thrash bands.

Breakthrough success
The cover image of Master of PuppetsWhen Ride The Lightning caught the attention of major labels, Metallica signed with Elektra Records. Their first release with Elektra was 1986's Master of Puppets, which would serve as their breakthrough album. Despite the fact that no singles were released from the album, the band received minor airplay from album tracks "Master of Puppets" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)." The band gained even more exposure when they were asked to open for Ozzy Osbourne, and Master of Puppets climbed to number 29 on the Billboard Top Album Charts. Critics consider the album to be one of the "greatest heavy metal albums of all time".

On September 27, 1986, during the European leg, Cliff Burton was killed near Ljungby, Sweden when Metallica's tour bus skidded off an allegedly icy road and flipped over. Burton was thrown out of the window and the bus landed on top of him. It is debatable whether Burton was dead at this point or not, although he would certainly have been critically injured. A winch that was lifting the bus off him snapped, causing the bus to crush him a second time.

Burton's death left the band's future in doubt. The three remaining members decided that the bassist would want them to carry on; with the Burton family's blessings the band sought a replacement and began auditions almost immediately. Among the auditions was Les Claypool, a childhood friend of Hammett's. The band liked Claypool but felt his style was "too funky." In the band's Behind the Music episode, Hetfield explains that Claypool was "too good" and "out there" for Metallica. Ultimately Claypool was not offered the job, and Jason Newsted, formerly of Arizona's Flotsam and Jetsam was asked to join. Newsted officially joined Metallica on October 28, 1986 three weeks after Burton's funeral.[citation needed] The band finished their tour in the early months of 1987. Following the tour, the band recorded The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited in July 1987 as a way to test a new studio they had constructed and to test the talents of Newsted.

...And Justice for All, the first studio album since Burton's death, was released in 1988. On the album very little of Newsted's bass is audible and some fans have speculated this was done intentionally as a reaction to Burton's death or as a way of hazing Newsted. The most likely reason, as mentioned by Hetfield and Ulrich in subsequent interviews, was that because Newsted was not at the mixing sessions he was not able to affect the final mixing process. Ulrich has also stated his opinion that the lack of perceived bass resulted from Newsted exclusively mirroring Hetfield's rhythm tracks.

Although the song-writing was praised, the production of this album was heavily criticized as Lars Ulrich's drums clicked more than thudded and the guitars had a thin sound. The Damaged Justice tour followed to promote the new album.

Despite criticism, in 1989, Metallica received its first Grammy nomination for the album. The nomination was for the newly created Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrument categories. However, the award was given to Jethro Tull for the album Crest of a Knave. The result generated much controversy, as Metallica was widely expected to take home the award and was standing off-stage waiting to receive it after performing the song "One" for the telecast. Jethro Tull (who was considered by most to not even be a Hard Rock/Metal group) had not even bothered to attend the ceremony, assuming that their chance of winning would be a long-shot. Lars Ulrich even referenced the snub in accepting a Grammy for "Enter Sandman" three years later, stating, "We gotta thank Jethro Tull for not putting out an album this year."

It was during this time the band embraced the mainstream music world with their debut music video for the song "One." The band performed the song in an abandoned warehouse, and was then extensively "remixed" with footage of the film version of Johnny Got His Gun. Rather than organize an ongoing licensing deal, Metallica simply bought the rights to the film outright. This is why the film has not had a subsequent DVD pressing. The end result featured a coherent but shortened "mini-movie" version of "Johnny Got His Gun" with an intricate level of synchronization between the song and the film's dialogue, creating a singular narrative between the two.

The "remix" video was submitted to MTV, with the alternate "performance only" version held back in the event that MTV would ban the remix version. MTV accepted the remix version despite its length (the video ran for nearly ten minutes). The video would be viewers' first exposure to Metallica and was voted #25 in the fall of 1999 when MTV aired its last "Top 100 Videos of All Time" countdown. The video was also prominently featured during MTV's 25th Anniversary edition of "ADD Video," which showcased the top videos to air on MTV in the last 25 years.

In 1991, Metallica released their self-titled album, Metallica (popularly known as The Black Album by fans). The record was co-produced with Bob Rock, whose resume included work with hard rock acts The Cult, Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe, The album featured a black cover that had a very pale image of a snake in one of the corners, with the band's name in the opposite corner. The album evoked humorous comparisons to Spinal Tap. The majority of the making of the Metallica album and the following tour was documented in A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica. The recording sessions were a long and arduous process, lasting over a year due to infighting among the band's members and endless arguments with Rock about the album's direction, scope, and sound. The cost of recording the album was over $1 million (as stated on Behind the Music: Metallica). However, despite the battle to finish the album, it quickly became the band's most successful release, charting at number one on the Billboard charts.

The album's first single was, "Enter Sandman," which showed off the new album's slowed-down style of music compared to Metallica's previous work. The Black Album is currently tied for the 26th spot of highest selling album of all time in America.

Due to the albums new style of sound, more charges of selling out would be aimed at Metallica throughout the 1990s, to which the band often joked that they did indeed sell out - each and every date of the tour. In 1992 during a hugely financially successful co-headlining tour with Guns N' Roses, Hetfield suffered severe second and third degree burns to his left arm due to pyrotechnics during the opening of "Fade To Black," leaving him unable to play guitar for a portion of the tour. Former Metallica roadie and Metal Church guitarist John Marshall filled in for the rest of the tour on guitar while Hetfield continued to sing.

Load, ReLoad, Garage Inc., S&M

Lars Ulrich (2004)After almost three years of touring to support The Black Album, including a headlining performance at Woodstock 1994, Metallica went straight back into the studio to write and record their Sixth studio album Load. They took a break in the summer of 1995 and played 3 outdoor shows which included Metallica organizing and headlining Donington Park UK supported by Slayer, Skid Row, Slash's Snakepit, Therapy? and Corrosion of Conformity The Short Tour was entitled Escape from The studio Tour 1995. On December 13 of that year, they recorded their rehearsal for Lemmy's 50th birthday party; four Motörhead covers which was entitled 'Motorhead'achemess when it was release as part of the Hero of the Day singles collection. The band spent around a year writing and recording new songs, resulting in 1996's Load. During early production, Load was intended to be a double album. Ultimately, it was decided that it would be best to release half of the songs first, and continue to work on the remaining songs, and release them the following year. This resulted in the follow up album, ReLoad.

By 1996, with the release of Load, all band members had cut their hair (although Hammett eventually grew it back), which was ridiculed by fans, including band friends Alice in Chains, whose edition of MTV's Unplugged featured, on Mike Inez's bass, the words "friends don't let friends get Friends haircuts."

These albums represented a significant musical change for Metallica. The band's breakneck metal tempos and layered guitar compositions had largely been replaced by bluesy guitar tones and slide guitar. Several songs include the use of new instruments including the use of the hurdy-gurdy and violin in "Low Man's Lyric". The changes on Load and ReLoad had been anticipated by earlier experiments (especially on The Black Album).

Sales of these albums were lower than sales of the previous three albums. Hetfield noted later in the documentary film Some Kind of Monster that the songs on these two albums were initially thought by the band to be of only average quality, and polished and reworked repeatedly until judged to be releasable.

In 1998, Metallica compiled a double CD called Garage Inc.. The first CD contained newly recorded covers ranging from Killing Joke, The Misfits, Thin Lizzy, Mercyful Fate, and Black Sabbath to more unexpected choices like Nick Cave and Bob Seger (the band's cover of Seger's "Turn the Page" garnered extensive radio airplay). The second CD gathered together previously released covers, including the original The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, which had become a scarce collector's item. The CD also included B-side covers going as far back as 1984.

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" in San Francisco. A month later, on April 21-22, 1999, Metallica recorded two performances with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, then conducted by Michael Kamen. Kamen, who had previously worked with Bob Rock on "Nothing Else Matters", approached the band with the idea of pairing Metallica's music with a symphony orchestra. Kamen and his staff composed additional orchestral material for a number of Metallica songs and the concerts featured broad selection of songs dating as far back as Ride the Lightning. Metallica also wrote two brand new Kamen-scored songs for the event, "No Leaf Clover" and "Minus Human." The audio recording and concert footage were released later that year as the album/concert film S&M, in November 1999, on CD, VHS, VCD, and DVD.

Napster controversy
James Hetfield (2004)In 2000, Metallica discovered that a demo of their song "I Disappear" was being distributed via the Napster P2P file-sharing network. Not only was the song unfinished, it was supposed to be released in combination with the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack.

They soon discovered that in addition to the demo, their entire catalogue was freely available. The band initiated legal action against Napster, demanded that 300,000 Napster users found to be trading Metallica songs be banned from the network. Legal actions were also filed against Yale University, University of Southern California, and Indiana University for not blocking Napster from their campuses. In 2001, Metallica and Napster agreed to an out-of-court settlement which led to Napster user accounts being locked out (the band did not take legal action against any individuals for copyright infringement). This led to Lars Ulrich providing a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding copyright infringement on July 11, 2000.

The lawsuit created a public relations nightmare. Throughout the controversy, websites hosted cartoon parodies of band members, portraying them as selfish rock stars who were out of touch with their fans. The most popular of these was a cartoon parody entitled Napster Bad!, by Camp Chaos, which spawned an entire series. Critics mocked Ulrich by spelling his name as "Lar$". In retaliation to the controversy, Ulrich appeared during the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, in a skit with that year's host Marlon Wayans, that blasted the idea of using Napster to share music. Marlon played a college student sitting in his dorm room, listening to Metallica's "I Disappear". Ulrich, playing himself, walked in and asked for an explanation. Upon receiving Wayans' excuse that using Napster was just "sharing", Lars retorted that Marlon's idea of sharing was simply borrowing things that were not yours without asking. He called in the Metallica road crew, who proceeded to confiscate all Wayans' belongings, leaving him almost nude in an empty room. Napster creator Shawn Fanning responded later in the ceremony by presenting an award wearing a Metallica shirt, saying "I borrowed this shirt from a friend. Maybe, if I like it, I'll buy one of my own".

Public ridicule was widespread as Metallica had gotten their start via underground trading of bootleg recordings of their performances. Metallica's defense was that Napster was allowing free access to their back catalogue and not live bootleg recordings, which the band had always encouraged. In 2006, years after the controversy, Metallica was still subject to ridicule for its actions, even being named #17 on Blender magazine's list of "biggest wusses in rock" for its "anti-Napster crusade".

Since 2003, however, the band, Lars in particular, has warmed up to the digital media age, and has since withdrawn itself from any further actions against any P2P sites. [citation needed]

Newsted's departure, St. Anger
Kirk Hammett (2004)As plans were being made to go into the recording studio in 2001, Newsted left the band, due to as he put it, "the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love." However, subsequent interviews with Newsted and the remaining members revealed that Newsted's desire to release a CD and tour with his Echobrain side project - and Hetfield's intense resistance to such an idea - was the primary cause of Newsted's departure. Additionally, a Playboy interview revealed that the "hazing" that Newsted received since joining the band had not lessened over time. Finally, Newsted had never shared the songwriting partner status that Burton had enjoyed (in 15 years with the group, Newsted only co-wrote credit on three songs: "Blackened" from ...And Justice For All, "My Friend of Misery" from Metallica and "Where The Wild Things Are" from Re-Load). The 2004 documentary, Some Kind of Monster provided more insight into the reasons for Newsted's departure. In the film he says he felt his former bandmates decision to hire a therapist to help solve their problems was "really fucking lame. And weak."

In July, 2001, Hetfield entered rehab due to "alcoholism and other addictions". For nearly a year, Metallica ceased to function in any meaningful way. Ulrich and Hammett, for the first time, seriously considered the possibility that Metallica might be finished. Hetfield eventually returned to the band following his rehab hiatus and was required to work only four hours a day and spend the rest of his time with his family. Metallica continued slowly as a three-piece throughout the writing and recording of their next album. Longtime producer Bob Rock handled bass duties for the sessions. The making of the album was documented for the movie, "Some Kind of Monster". The film also exposed to fans that Metallica had sought the guidance of a therapist, Phil Towle, to deal with a vast amount of the band's inner turmoil.

Following the album's recording, Metallica held auditions for Newsted's permanent replacement in early 2003. Robert Trujillo formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, and Ozzy Osbourne's band, was chosen as the new bassist. Robert's resume also included Infectious Grooves as well as a stint with Black Label Society on their Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned DVD. As Metallica moved on, Jason Newsted also found a new musical home joining Canadian thrash metal legends Voivod in 2002. In an interesting turn of events, Jason also became Robert's replacement in Ozzy's band during the 2003 Ozzfest tour (which included Voivod as part of the touring bill).

In June 2003, Metallica's eighth full-length recording, St. Anger, debuted at number one on the album charts. Being an intentionally raw and unpolished album, harsh criticism from fans followed. The record's under-produced sound, Hetfield's "flexible" sense of pitch, Ulrich's steely sounding snare, and the absence of any guitar solos received particular criticism. Despite this, the album won the best metal performance at the 2004 Grammys.

Having toured extensively for two years in support of St. Anger on the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003 in festivals featuring Mudvayne, Deftones, Linkin Park, and Limp Bizkit and then the lengthy Madly in Anger with the World tour with Godsmack (in which nearly every performance was professionally recorded and sold on Metallica took a break from performing and spent most of 2005 with friends and family, however for two historic shows on November 13, 2005 and November 15, 2005, the band opened for the Rolling Stones at AT&T park in San Francisco.

Recent events, ninth studio album

Robert Trujillo (2004)On February 16, 2006, Metallica announced on their official website that after their 15+ year relationship, longtime producer Bob Rock was stepping down and would not be recording Metallica's next studio album. Rock had produced every Metallica album since 1991. Metallica is currently working on a studio album with legendary producer Rick Rubin who has produced albums for other prominent metal bands such as System Of A Down, Slipknot, Slayer, and Rage Against the Machine.

Metallica debuted an untitled song nicknamed "The New Song" in Berlin, Germany on June 6th, 2006 on the European leg of the Escape from the Studio '06 mini tour. On August 12th, 2006, Metallica debuted another song in Tokyo, Japan on the Asian leg of the tour, nicknamed "The Other New Song". They have also supported the Summer Sonic tour in Tokyo and Osaka, along with Linkin Park.

The band has previously unveiled new songs prior to their release: Four songs from Ride the Lightning ("Fight Fire with Fire", "Ride The Lightning", "Creeping Death", and "The Call Of Ktulu") were performed before the release of the album; Master of Puppets' "Disposable Heroes" was debuted on September 14th of 1985; ...And Justice for All's "Harvester of Sorrow" received its live debut in 1987, Load's "2x4" was played during the Escape from the Studio '95 mini-tour; and Reload's "Fuel" and "Devil's Dance" were played at various points during the Load tour 1996-97 and again during the 3 shows European mini-tour in August 1997 ("The Memory Remains" and "Bad Seed" were teased numerous times at shows throughout 1996 and 1997).

It was during this time on tour that the band finally bowed to fan pressure decided to make each of their albums available at the iTunes Store - though strictly only in the U.S. and Canada until issues with their European label are resolved - allowing individual tracks to be legally downloaded for the first time. Exclusive tracks from the Seattle '89 shows were added to the band's first four albums.

On October 13, 2006 Metallica announced that they would release a DVD containing all their videos from 1989 to 2004. The DVD is called The Videos 1989-2004, and was released on December 4, 2006 worldwide and on December 5 in North America.

On February 9, 2007 Metallica confirmed that pre-production on the new studio album had been completed, and recording of the new album will begin on March 12, 2007. The band also announced that a summer tour was in the early planning stages.

Awards and Recognition

Metallica has won seven Grammy Awards:

1990: Best Metal Performance - "One"
1991: Best Metal Performance"Stone Cold Crazy"
1992: Best Metal Performance With Vocal - Metallica
1999: Best Metal Performance - "Better Than You"
2000: Best Hard Rock Performance - "Whiskey in the Jar"
2001: Best Rock Instrumental Performance - "The Call of Ktulu" with Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Symphony
2004: Best Metal Performance - "St. Anger"

MTV Video Music Awards:

1992: Best Metal Video - "Enter Sandman"
1996: Best Metal Video - "Until it Sleeps"

American Music Awards:

1996: Favorite Artist: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock: Metallica - ReLoad
1996: Favorite Metal/Hard Rock Song - "Until it Sleeps"


1997: Outstanding Drummer: Lars Ulrich
1997: Outstanding Hard Rock Album: ReLoad

Billboard Music Awards:

1997: Billboard Rock and Roll Artist of the Year: Metallica (RIAA Diamond Award)
1999: Catalog Artist of the Year: Metallica
1999: Catalog Album of the Year: Metallica (The Black Album)
Governor's Award:

2004: Governor's Award - Metallica

Kerrang! awards:

2003: Hall of Fame

Metallica were ranked by MTV the 3rd "Greatest Heavy Metal Band in History", and is listed at #5 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock".[18]
They were recently ranked at #1 on VH1's "20 Greatest Metal Bands."
They will first be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.