Saturday, December 10, 2011


METALLICA!!! Formed in San Francisco, California in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica is THE most popular heavy metal band in the world today! Along with their definitive lineup during the 1980's which included lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and virtuoso bass player Cliff Burton (1962-1986) Metallica was a powerful part of the Bay area Thrash Metal scene. Through all of the lineup changes (Dave Mustaine fired in 1982), deaths (Cliff Burton death in 1986), injuries (James' burning in 1992), breakups (Jason Newstead leaving in 2000) and controversies (Napster) Metallica is still #1. With their current lineup of James, Lars, Kirk and bassist Robert Trujillo, this year Metallica celebrates their 30th Anniversary with special perfomances (Metallica's 30th Anniversary Shows) and releasing previously unreleased songs from their last album Death Magentic. So to celebrate Metallica's 30th Anniversary, CHERNOOG'S BLOG Presents: The Top 10 Metallica Songs!

#10 "Some Kind of Monster", St. Anger (2003) - After bassist Jason Newstead left the band to pursue other projects it formed a schism in the group that also unearthed other problems as well, such as James' alcohol problems. James entered rehab and returned over a year later to begin work on a new album. With the addition on a new bass player, Robert Trujillo the band became whole again and released St. Anger, an album which would cause much controversy in critics and fans alike. "Some Kind of Monster" reflects the bands inner demons that revealed themselves during that time. The song title also happens to be the name of the documentary released in 2003 which revealed the turmoil in the group as they went into therapy.

#9 "The Day That Never Comes", Death Magnetic (2008) - The single and accompanied music video to this song is very powerful. As the band returned to more of a heavier thrash sound with Death Magnetic, the song's arrangement is much like "Master of Puppets" era Metallica. "The Day That Never Comes" addresses the issues of forgiveness and resentment while the music video reveals scenes of soldiers in the Middle East.

#8 "Until It Sleeps", Load (1996) - When Metallica returned after a long break in 1996 they stunned their fans and the music industry with drastic changes to their style and image to a more alternative sound and short hair! "Until It Sleeps" is a hauntingly powerful song about anger, loss and emotional pain. The music video is a surprisingly artistic and surreal visions featuring hellish images akin to the artwork of Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch.
Metallica circa 1983
#7 "Orion", Master of Puppets (1986) - One of the few instrumental songs in Metallica's career, "Orion" is a progressive symphonic masterpiece. The song features solo's from former bassist Cliff Burton, with his classical-style rhythm and harmony. Coincidentally the song was played at Cliff's Funeral and is rarely played live.

#6 "Enter Sandman", Metallica, a.k.a. 'The Black Album' (1991) - The "Black Album" is Metallica's most commercially and critically successful albums to date earning a #1 spot on the Billboard charts and has sold 22 million copies worldwide. With producer Bob Rock, the band spent almost a year in the studio recording it and fine tuning it until it's release. Although there was much tension and animosity between Rock and the band the final result would soon become Metallica's most popular album. "Enter Sandman" would become the most played single from that album and would earnt hem a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1992.

#5  "Master of Puppets", Master of Puppets (1986) - One of Metallica's most popular and complex songs ever, "Master of Puppets" deals with drug addiction and their power to control your mind. One of bassist Cliff Burton's favorites, it is notable for it's extensive use of heavy downpicking style and instrumental bridge.

#4 "Fade To Black", Ride the Lightning (1984) - When Metallica released their second album Ride the Lightning in 1984, the first single to be released from that album was "Fade To Black", a controversial ballad about death and suicide. The song features an accoustic introduction by James Hetfield. The album would cause much controversy from fans who were used to Metallica's signature speed and thrash style, critics and the industry would pan this uncharacteristic song but would soon define Metallica's style and evolution. It remains one of their most popular song and live favorites. Coinidentally, it was during the intro to this song when James Hetfield was accidentally burned by pyrotechnics while on tour with Guns 'n Roses in Canada in 1992.
Metallica circa 1991
#3 "One", ...And Justice For All (1988) - Even though Metallica had already released 3 albums and several singles, they were mostly ignored by mainstream media includeing radio and MTV. In 1988 when Metallica released their 4th album ...And Justice For All  with new bass player Jason Newstead the band finally decided to produce a music video for the song "One", a song about a soldier who is severly wounded during battle and is unable to speak or move. The song was based on the novel Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (1939). The black and white music video would feature the band playing in a warehouse setting followed by scenes from the 1971 film version. The band also released a band-only version of the video for the home video "2 of One". The song features sound wartime effects in the introduction followed by a slow ballad and then into a heavy machine gun-like guitar buildup.

#2 "For Whom The Bell Tolls", Ride the Lightning (1984) - Inspired by the 1940 Ernest Hemingway novel, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is one of Metallica's most popular and intricate songs, also a live fan-favorite the song features a haunting bell-chime not unlike AC/DC's "Hells Bells". Another of Cliff Burton's arrangements, the introduction is comprised of one of his signature distorted bass-solos.

#1 "Whiplash", Kill 'Em All (1983) - When Metallica was signed by Megaforce Records in 1982 following the success of their popular demo No Life 'til Leather, they planned to release their debut album originally titled Metal Up Your Ass! However due to conflicts with the record label and distributors, they decided to change the name to Kill 'Em All reflecting the bands initial disdain for the mainstream music industry. As they grew in popularity in the underground metal scene who would've thought that 30 years later they would be THE most popular heavy metal band in the world! The first single to be released from the album was "Whiplash", a heavy, pounding song describing the life of a touring metal band and the energy you get from a performance. The following lyrics would say it best in summing up what would be the life legacy and power that is METALLICA:

"The show is through, the metal is gone, It's time to hit the road!
Another town another gig, again we will explode!
Hotel rooms and motorways, life out here is raw
But We will never stop, We will never quit,
Cause we're METALLICA!"
Metallica's Official Website: