Metallica Essay, Research Paper
If you came here to see spandex and big hair, this ain t your band , Metallica s war cry throughout the early eighties. While the rest of the hard rock bands wanted to get rich and a lot of women, Metallica, as in the words of former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, Our hole existence pretty much was guitar, dominating the world and getting liquored up .
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a new wave a British Heavy Metal entering the cassette and 8-track decks of people everywhere. Over in Denmark, current Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, was a hug fan of this type of music. So obsessed with this music, Lars Ulrich wanted to start a heavy metal band… a band that he could play his favorite songs with.
On the other side of the globe, James Hetfield, Metallica s current rhythm guitarist and lead singer, was looking to start a band of his own. His current roommate had taught him how to play guitar and James was very motivated to get something started. In effect, James had put a listing in a worldwide music magazine, The Recycler under H for Heavy Metal . James and Lars, were the only ones listed, so it was obvious that the two should talk to each other.
In the fall of 1981, the band Metallica was formed. Playing drums was Lars Ulrich, on bass guitar was Ron McGoveny, playing lead guitar was Dave Mustaine, and rhythm guitar and lead vocalist was James Hetfield. During the song writing process over the next few months, the band became very addicted to Alcohol. When drunk, Dave Mustaine would get very violent, while the rest of the band would get happy. Happy and Violent people just don t mix. Ron McGoveny could not handle the situation with Dave, and so he left the band.
Lars, James, and Dave then went around to local clubs to check out bassists from other bands. At one club, they found Cliff Burton playing with a band called Trauma. Cliff Burton was a technical engineer and could do certain things on a bass that would make it sound like noises from a guitar. After the show that night, Lars, James, and Dave confronted Cliff asking him to join Metallica . Cliff said he would join, only if the band relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
In Los Angeles, Metallica recorded their first demo tape entitled No Life Till Leather . This tape was quickly distributed across the country and landed in the hands of John and Marsha Zazula. John and Marsha owned a record store in New Jersey called Rock N Roll Heaven. Quickly, John and Marsha got in touch with Metallica and asked them to drive to Queens, New York, expenses paid, to talk about a record contract. After arriving in Queens, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich announced to John Zazula that they were kicking Dave Mustaine out of the band next week.
Within the next week of this meeting, Metallica kicked Dave Mustaine out of the band. In exchange, they offered Kirk Hammet, former Exodus lead guitarist, a job in the band. The same day that Dave Mustaine was kicked out of the band, Kirk Hammet flew in by plane to try out for the band.
A week after Kirk Hammet entered Metallica, they began to record their first album, Kill Em All . The album was released in the fall of 1983 on Mega Force Records. At first, people had no idea of how to act when they heard Metallica. To help promote the album, Metallica did relentless touring to show that they knew the real meaning of Rock.
Early in 1984, Electra Records offered Metallica a record contract. Obviously, with a little bit of greed backing them up, Metallica signed the contracts with Electra. Later that year, they released Ride The Lightning.” From word of mouth, people everywhere bought the album.
Two years later, Metallica released Master Of Puppets in 1986. This album sold over a million copies without the benefit of a music video or any radio promotion. To help promote this album, Metallica toured for 6 months with Ozzy Ousbourne. This tour would be Metallica s last time as a support act.
Near the end of the tour, Metallica was making a few detours between Stockholm and Copenhagen to do some concert apart from the Ozzy tour. On September 27, 1986, early in the morning, Metallica s tour bus slipped on some black ice and toppled over. Every person on the bus escaped from the bus, except Cliff. The bus had fell on top of him. A truck had arrived to lift the bus up with a crane… at that point no one knew if Cliff was dead yet because the bus slipped back down on top of him. Cliff Burton died that night, at 2 a.m. (Rest In Peace)
Within a month, Metallica was already auditioning for a new bassist. James Hetfield comments, Cliff would be pissed if Metallica didn t go on . Auditioning for a new bassist was, in the word of Jason Newstead, Cold . A bassist would come in for only a few minutes and would be sent out right afterwards. Metallica ended up with Jason Newstead as their new bassist. To welcome in their new bassist, Metallica released Garage Days Re-Revisited (AKA: The 5.98 LP, the 9.98 CD, or The 5.98 Tape) in the summer of 1987.
In 1988, Metallica released there first real album with Jason Newstead, …And Justice For All. This album had been written with corrupt government in mind and guitar and bass wrifs that Cliff Burton had written before he died. This album went double platinum in record setting times. The album included the song ONE, based on the novel Johnny Got His Gun, written by Dalton Trumbo. In 1989, Metallica released their first ever music video for this song. he music video has clips from the movie, Johnny Got His Gun, released in 1971 and directed by Dalton Trumbo.
In 1991, Metallica released there 6th album, simply entitled Metallica. (AKA The Black Album and Black Edition) This album is often referred as Metallica s break-through album, drawing over 5 million sales. The song Enter Sandman, was Metallica s song for everybody. Clubs and party places had to play the song at least twice a night. Other songs on this album include The Unforgiven, which is about growing up in a society where all of your decisions are made for you, and Nothing Else Matter, which is a love song that James Hetfield had wrote for his wife. By the time the album was finished in 1991, 3 out of the 4 of them were divorced.
After the release of this album, Metallica relentlessly toured for the next 2 1/2 years, proving that they were the ultimate road dogs. While they were on tour, they decided to release a Live box set entitled (SORRY SHAYS) Live Shit, Binge and Purge. This box set included three 2-hour longs concerts, a 3-CD concert from Mexico City, a Snake-Pit pass, a traceable cut-out of Scary Guy and a 100 page book showing pictures, letters and notes that Metallica had made up to the point of the tour.
In 1995, recording began on Metallica s next album. After many months of recording this album, they realized that they had recorded too many songs. In all, they recorded 24 songs. The band then decided to cut the songs in half, and release two separate albums. Between the release of each album, Metallica would get some more touring under their belts. In June of 1996, Metallica released their seventh album, Load. Upon its release, fans and media were shocked to find the CD with a cover containing a picture of blood and semen, and the back cover showing the band with their hair cut,wearing Cuban pimp suits and smoking cigars. The album went Triple Platinum and the band went off touring.
Before the release of Load, Metallica made a stop at MTV s Unplugged, the Alice In Chain s session. In the words of Jerry Cantrel, They were GQ looking. In their defense, Metallica claims its about the music, not the length of out hair.
After a year of touring, Metallica put some finishing touches on the left-over songs from the last album, and released their 8th album Reload in November of 1997. This album, also went triple platinum. The fans and the media were calmed down by this time about the New Metallica, and weren t as shocked about this album. This album showed a picture of a pregnant women s baby, still in the stomach, and a picture of the band rocking out on the back. Metallica, then went back on tour, but couldn t resist having a free concert somewhere in America for the fans.
Metallica was originally started on the interest of playing cover tunes. Since Metallica ever started doing concert, they have been playing these covers. The cover songs are mostly from the bands that were in that New Form of British Heavy Metal. Such bands as Motor Breath, and Diamond Head. When Metallica released Garage Days Re-Revisited, it contained nothing but cover songs. In commemoration of that album, Metallica, in October of 1998, released a 2-CD set, containing nothing but cover songs, entitled Garage Inc. One song in particular, Turn the Page, written by Bob Segar, was placed on this album. James Hetfield states, When I first heard this song, the lyrics spoke to me and I realized that this song was written for me, written for Metallica. The Video released for this song showed a story of a prostitute trying to support and provide a normal life for herself and her daughter, accompanied by the song in the back-ground.
Since the start of Metallica, the members have always been about the fans, and for the fans. The members of Metallica consider themselves to be four lucky fans who got together in a garage. Metallica s music goes much more deeper in emotions than rap and other new forms of popular music. Since the day I started listening to Metallica, there hasn t been a day that went by where I didn t listen to them. Metallica has a song for every person and every emotion. By cutting there hair, by changing what ways they allow their music to be produced, they have grown up. Metallica was started by 17 year olds and while they are in their ripe, current age 37, they will continue making music that suits them, and only them. For that reason, they have my full and undivided respect.