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Metallica at The O2 Arena London 2008.jpg
Metallica at The O2 Arena in 2008. From left to right: Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo.
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresHeavy metal, thrash metal, hard rock, speed metal
Years active1981–present
LabelsElektra, Vertigo, Megaforce, Universal Music, Warner Bros.
Associated actsBob Rock, Megadeth, Echobrain, Spastik Children, Leather Charm, Exodus, Trauma, Flotsam and Jetsam, San Francisco Symphony, Black Label Society, Ozzy Osbourne, Suicidal Tendencies, Lou Reed
MembersJames Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Kirk Hammett
Robert Trujillo
Past membersRon McGovney
Dave Mustaine
Cliff Burton
Jason Newsted

Metallica is an American thrash metal/heavy metal band. They came together in Los Angeles in 1981 and helped to invent the thrash sub genre of heavy metal. They are well known for many of their songs, including "Master of Puppets", "The Unforgiven", "One", "Enter Sandman", and "Nothing Else Matters" Since then they have become one of metal's most popular and successful bands, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.[1] The band's fifth album, Metallica, has sold over 21 million copies, making it the twenty-fifth biggest selling album of all time in America.[1]

Band history

The band got started after drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a newspaper saying that he was looking for some musicians to play material consisting of Tygers of Pang Tang, Diamond Head and Led Zeppelin with. James Hetfield, a guitar player who would become the lead singer of Metallica, answered the advertisement. Later, Lars and James would have contact from another young aspiring guitar player seeking a band, Dave Mustaine Ulrich, Hetfield, Mustaine, and bass player Ron McGovney began playing in the band. Ulrich and Hetfield saw another bass player, Cliff Lee Burton, playing at a concert, and asked him to join the band to replace McGovney, who was having trouble getting along with other band members. Burton later joined the band after Ulrich and Hetfield saw him in a concert. In 1983, Mustaine was kicked out of the band for his drug and alcohol problems and violent behavior, and was replaced with guitar player Kirk Hammett who left his previous band, Exodus. Mustaine then went on to form his own band Megadeth becoming extremely popular on the metal scene, and have become one of Metallica's metal contemporaries, along with Slayer and Anthrax. All four bands are collectively known as the Big 4 of metal.

In 1983, Metallica released its first studio album Kill 'Em All, a couple of the songs were still credited to Mustaine. One year later, Metallica released their second studio album Ride the Lightning, The title track and The Call of Ktulu, the last track on the album were the last songs to give Dave Mustaine writing credits. Metallica was one of few bands at the time to deviate from the then popular hair/glam metal trend that was taking place during the 1980s, led by bands like Poison and Motley Crue.

In 1986, Metallica released its third studio album Master of Puppets, which is widely considered as one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time. On September 27, 1986, Burton was killed when the band's tour bus crashed in Sweden. Subsequently, Jason Newsted joined the band after auditioning.

With Newsted as bassist, Metallica released its fourth studio album ...And Justice for All, which reached #6 in the Billboard 200, the album features the song "One", which won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1990. The album is criticized for its production and inaudible bass guitar which is commonly believed to be a result of Jason Newsted's hazing, during which the other members turned down the bass guitar volume on the album. The album is also known for having much more complex song structures than previously.

Metallica reached the success with their self-titled fifth studio album, which debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200 and have sold over 15 million copies in the United States. The album won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1992, being Metallica's third consecutive Grammy (the second being Queen's cover of "Stone Cold Crazy").

Metallica's music changed towards a more mainstream hard rock style, and continued their success with Load and ReLoad, released in 1996 and 1997, both debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200. Despite the albums' success, many fans were didn't like the large change of style from Metallica's previous albums.

In 1998, Metallica released Garage, Inc. which was an album of cover songs by many of the artists that influenced Metallica, like Motorhead, Mercyful Fate, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, and others.

In 2001, Jason Newsted left Metallica due to start his own project, Echobrain, much against the wishes of the band, particularly James Hetfield. Their eighth studio album, St. Anger was released in 2003, with producer Bob Rock playing bass after the departure of Newsted, St. Anger also debuted at #1 in the Billboard 200, but was even further disliked by fans than Load and Reload. Shortly after the release of St. Anger, bassist Robert Trujillo joined the band after a long auditioning process Metallica had with many bassists. At Trujillo's request, his audition song was Battery, a very fast paced song from Master of Puppets.

Death Magnetic, the band's ninth studio album, was released in September 2008, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, making Metallica the first band to achieve five consecutive #1 albums in United States. Death Magnetic shows a return to the band's thrash metal roots. Through the end of 2008, 2009 and 2010, Metallica performed their World Magnetic Tour supporting the album's release. The tour concluded in Melbourne, Australia November 21, 2010.

In June 2010, Metallica attended the Sonisphere Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, in which also they were a part of the Big 4 alongside Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer. In between Metallica's encores, All 4 bands took the stage to perform 'Am I Evil?' by Diamond Head.

In 2011, Lulu, a collaboration album between Metallica and Lou Reed, was released. Many Metallica fans did not take a liking to it as Lou Reed has a different style than Metallica traditionally does, but the album has been successful.

In October 2013, Hetfield said in an interview that the band are going to start making their next album in early 2014.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1
James Hetfield | Lars Ulrich | Kirk Hammett | Robert Trujillo
Jason Newsted | Cliff Burton | Dave Mustaine | Ron McGovney
Kill 'Em All | Ride the Lightning | Master of Puppets | Garage Days Re-ReVisited | ...And Justice for All | Metallica | Load | ReLoad | Garage Inc. | S&M | St. Anger | Death Magnetic