Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in 1981. The group was founded by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, who met at the San Francisco Music College in California.
Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California. They are often referred to as the Kings of Metal or simply The Metal Gods. The group was formed when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement for a guitar player in the local newspaper and James Hetfield responded. The two became friends and decided to form a band.
Metallica is one of the most significant and influential metal bands of all time, having laid the groundwork for thrash metal in their early years and then pushed the limits of mainstream metal and hard rock as they grew into their position as a popular legacy act throughout the decades.
Between their 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All and the layered, radio-ready production of 1991’s self-titled “black album,” the band released great album after classic album, each each chapter driving the worldwide growth of metal. The group remained very busy as a stadium-level touring act throughout the 1990s and beyond, releasing new songs on an irregular basis.
Even when they explored new concepts on subsequent albums like 2003’s St. Anger or their eleventh studio album, 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, razor-sharp riffs, snarling vocals, and high-power precision drumming remained at the heart of their sound.
Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica, founded the band in Los Angeles in 1981. He sent out a request for local musicians to join a new band, and a lineup that comprised guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, bassist Ron McGovney, and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine ultimately came together.
Metallica’s early lineup blended the fast tempos of hardcore punk bands like Discharge with the influence of more obscure artists from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, which was gaining traction at the time, resulting in some of the first thrash metal. When they met inventive bassist Cliff Burton, the band produced a few test recordings with McGovney before requesting him to quit.
Burton ultimately became a member of Metallica, and the band began work on their first album in 1983. However, Mustaine’s drug and alcohol issues caused him to be dismissed from the band during the recording sessions, and they immediately hired new lead guitarist Kirk Hammett to finish the album.
Metallica’s first long-player, Kill ‘Em All, was released in 1983 on the independent thrash-focused label Megaforce Records and heralded the beginning of the legitimization of heavy metal’s underground, adding new intricacy and depth to thrash metal. Ride the Lightning, the band’s second album, was released in 1984, and included classically inspired guitar themes as well as the gloomy ballad “Fade to Black.”
Metallica joined with big label Elektra Records shortly after the debut of Ride the Lightning. They collaborated with the label for the publication of their third album, Master of Puppets, in March 1986. Master of Puppets would prove to be a watershed moment for Metallica, allowing the band to reach out to a wider audience without jeopardizing their status in the metal world.
It was not only their best-selling album at the time, but also their most creative and boundary-pushing, and it went on to become one of the most influential metal albums of all time. Later that year, tragedy overtook the group when their tour bus collapsed while traveling through Sweden. Burton was killed in the collision. When the band opted to continue, bassist Jason Newsted of Flotsam and Jetsom was selected to take Burton’s position.
By 1987, Newsted had joined Metallica on tour, and his first recorded work with the band was published on The $5.98 E.P. – Garage Days. Re-Revisited is a self-produced EP of ragged covers recorded in the band’s rehearsal room. In 1987, Metallica produced Cliff ‘Em All, a film homage to their late bassist that featured previously unseen performance material and personal home recordings of Burton.
…And Justice for All, the band’s thematically complex fourth studio album, was released in 1988. Metallica had previously been vocal about rejecting elements of the music business that they believed were deceptive, such as pandering for popular appeal by making their music more accessible or producing music videos, which were still a relatively new medium in the 1980s. With the premiere of Justice’s first-ever video for the song “One,” this changed.
Despite little backing from MTV or mainstream radio, the album quickly reached the Top Ten and sold over a million copies. Metallica, a self-titled album released in 1991, was the band’s first foray into the mainstream, with the band abandoning their lengthy compositions in favor of more compact song formats.
It was a number one album that sold over seven million copies in the United States alone, thanks to Bob Rock’s slick, layered production and a move away from the band’s early thrash for more palatable, almost pop-leaning hard rock singles like “Wherever I May Roam” and “Enter Sandman.” Metallica embarked on a lengthy tour to promote the album, which kept the band on the road for almost two years.
Metallica had rewritten the rules for all heavy metal bands by the 1990s; they were the genre’s leaders, revered not just by headbangers but also by mainstream record consumers and reviewers. No other heavy metal band has ever managed to do this. However, with their long-awaited follow-up to Metallica, Load, released in 1996, the band lost a part of their core fanbase.
The album shifted the band’s image toward alternative rock, with members cutting their hair and having Anton Corbijn photograph them. Although the album was a smash success upon its release in the summer, debuting at number one and selling three million copies in less than two months, some Metallica fans were unhappy with the change in image, as well as the band’s choice to headline the sixth Lollapalooza.
Re-Load, which blended new material with songs from the original Load album, was released in 1997; despite receiving mixed reviews, it sold well and spawned many hit singles, including “Fuel” and “The Memory Remains.” In 1998, he released Garage Inc., a double-disc compilation of B-sides, rarities, and freshly recorded covers. Metallica’s cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” helped keep them in the charts, and the band kept releasing new music with S&M in 1999, which recorded a live performance with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. It debuted at number two, reiterating the band’s enormous popularity.
Metallica was involved in a legal battle against Napster, a file-sharing program that enabled users to download music files from each other’s computers, throughout the most of 2000. Metallica famously had over 300,000 users removed from the site after aggressively targeting copyright violation of their own work, igniting a year-long controversy about the availability of digital music.
Jason Newsted, the band’s bassist, announced his amicable resignation in January 2001. Hetfield, Hammett, and Ulrich entered the studio shortly after appearing at the ESPN Awards in April of that year to begin work on their next album, with producer Bob Rock lined up to handle bass duties (rumors swirled that former Ozzy Osbourne/Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez was being considered for the vacated position).
Metallica unexpectedly withdrew their lawsuit against Napster in July, possibly realizing that their divisive position was doing more damage than good to their reputation as a “band of the people.” Hetfield joined an unknown treatment center for alcoholism and other addictions the same summer, putting the band’s recording activities (and all other band-related issues) on hiatus. In 2002, he finished his therapy and rejoined Metallica in the studio to record St. Anger, which was released in mid-2003.
The hunt for a permanent successor for Newsted ended with the recording of St. Anger. Former Ozzy Osbourne/Suicidal Tendencies bassist Robert Trujillo was chosen after a lengthy audition process and joined Metallica for their 2003-2004 world tour. The band’s growing pains during the production of St. Anger were documented in the critically acclaimed documentary Some Kind of Monster, which was released in theaters in 2004. Metallica returned four years later with Death Magnetic, an energizing record that harkens back to the band’s early-’80s origins. Kirk Hammett (who was banned to perform guitar solos on St. Anger) studded the album with metallic riffs and furious solos. Former Slayer producer Rick Rubin produced the album, having replaced the band’s longtime producer Bob Rock.
Death Magnetic spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, and the band backed it up with a lengthy worldwide tour, which included a festival appearance with Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica finished their Warner contract with Death Magnetic in late 2011 — outtakes from the sessions were released as the Beyond Magnetic EP in late 2011 — and while they were pondering their options, they teamed up with Lou Reed on the ambitious, arty Lulu, which was released in the fall of 2011.
Metallica established its own record label, Blackened, in 2012, which was distributed by Universal. They announced the release of their second film, Through the Never, the following year, which blended stunning performance footage of them blasting through treasures from their back catalog with a bizarre road-trip adventure starring Dane DeHaan. In September 2013, the film and its associated music CD were released.
Metallica performed a few high-profile concerts over the following several years while working on a new studio album. Beginning with deluxe versions of Kill ‘Em All and Ride the Lightning, the band began a series of extended reissues in 2016.
These reissues served as a build-up to the release of Hardwired…To Self-Destruct in November, the band’s first new music in eight years. Hardwired…To Self-Destruct, produced by Greg Fidelman, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich, debuted at number one worldwide in November 2016. The group released a huge extended version of their classic 1986 album, Master of Puppets, the following year.
Metallica returning with the San Francisco Symphony for another set of performances featuring symphonic versions of their own songs to commemorate the 20th anniversary of S&M in 2019. This served as the foundation for S&M2 in 2024.
Metallica is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1981. They are known for their fast paced music, aggressive sound and controversial lyrics. The band members are James Hetfield (vocals), Lars Ulrich (drums), Kirk Hammett (lead guitar) and Robert Trujillo (bass). Reference: metallica singer.