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Old Metallica - JPop.com
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Old Metallica

Old Metallica

Old Metallica


Heavy metal group After almost 30 years, a dozen albums, and a slew of Grammy Awards, Metallica has more than proven its staying power as rock's preeminent metal group. The group paid its dues during the hair band era of the 1980s, but Metallica's self-titled 1991 release addressed the decidedly adult topics of nuclear holocaust, mental illness, suicide, and the dangers of drug addiction. Yet despite these grim themes, Metallica's music runs contrary Read more on Last.fm
Heavy metal group After almost 30 years, a dozen albums, and a slew of Grammy Awards, Metallica has more than proven its staying power as rock's preeminent metal group. The group paid its dues during the hair band era of the 1980s, but Metallica's self-titled 1991 release addressed the decidedly adult topics of nuclear holocaust, mental illness, suicide, and the dangers of drug addiction. Yet despite these grim themes, Metallica's music runs contrary to heavy metal's one-dimensional image; their sound involves more than just bone-breaking chords and fire-and-brimstone lyrics. The band has distinguished itself with a grungy sophistication well beyond the work of its predecessors to become one of the largest selling acts in the history of American music.

Members of Metallica may be rude and cheeky, but they're proficient. Spin magazine's Alec Foege called Metallica "a burnished black gem." Metallica coalesced in 1981 with singer-guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, bass player Cliff Burton, and lead guitarist Dave Mustaine. Mustaine, who had taken over for early collaborator Lloyd Grant, was replaced in 1983 by Kirk Hammett. Their first album, Kill 'Em All, attracted droves of "head-banging" fans.

The follow-up releases Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets were greeted with even more enthusiasm by the world's heavy metal constituency, which enabled the band to strut their stuff with fellow "metalheads" on the enormous Monsters of Rock Tour. That outing featured a free concert in Moscow that was attended by 500,000 Soviet metal fans, and Metallica was increasingly credited with single-handedly revitalizing heavy metal music, paving the way for other thrash bands like Slayer and Megadeath. Bassist Burton Killed in Accident Tragedy struck Metallica on September 27, 1986, when the band's tour bus went into a ditch in Sweden, killing bassist Cliff Burton. After a brief hiatus the band reassembled and began looking for a replacement for Burton, although duplicating his eccentric, unbridled style seemed an impossible task. Burton had never been a particularly smooth player, but other band members had not attempted to reign him in.

Attempts to persuade him to forego his bell-bottom jeans in favor of more traditional heavy metal garb were futile; Burton was set in his ways and rarely influenced by others. To refurbish their lineup, the members of Metallica decided to settle on someone completely different from Burton, and tapped Jason Newsted, then with the Phoenix band Flotsam & Jetsam. Newsted was raised in Niles, Michigan, and had decided to turn professional after playing in bands throughout high school. Burton had been a remarkable soloist, but Newsted provided Metallica with a more cohesive sound. Burton's sound had not been well-defined, particularly when he played low on the guitar's neck. Instead, Newsted chose to mirror the band's guitar riffs precisely, producing a newly unified guitar effect.

This sound dominated the new band's 1988 double album, titled … And Justice for All. The record went multiplatinum by 1989 and earned a Grammy Award nomination, despite a dearth of radio airplay. The release of Justice coincided with Metallica's return to its musical roots: the groundbreaking metal stylings of 1970s rock giants Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. This resolve became the cornerstone for the 1991 release Metallica, also known as the "Black" album. Still steely, but a little slicker, Metallica was produced by Bob Rock, who had also worked with metal acts Motley Crue, Loverboy, and Bon Jovi.

Buoyed by the dark, driving single "Enter Sandman," Metallica sold 2.2 million copies in its first week, and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide since its release. Metallica's hard-won versatility is showcased on the record with guitarist Hammett's winsome wah-wah, and open-throated, more melodic vocals from Hetfield. The band earned Grammys in both 1990 and 1991 and ascended to a new strata of heavy metal superstardom. Featured on the covers of both Rolling Stone and Spin, Metallica's popularity seemed to know no bounds.

With increased media coverage, it seemed that the band's appeal was not narrowly bohemian, political, or reflective of any trend—except perhaps anger. Village Voice contributor Erik Davis wrote that "Metallica's ‘image’—dark shades, frowns, and poorly conceived facial hair—allies them with a musical culture of refusal." The band's head-banging thrash metal songs are short but not sweet; they're delivered with grim, tight expressions and a minimum of emotion, which gives the impression that the entire band is grimacing. Metallica's albums have few tender spots; songs range from the brutal "Sad But True" to the sweet and gritty "Ride the Lightning," and from the praised pagan slant found on "Of Wolf And Man" to the metaphysical musings of "Through the Never." Commenting on their larger musical style, Davis said of the band, "They hew thrash to a rigorous minimalism." Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/metallica#ixzz1uKVGVV9U Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..

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