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Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles , California .Metallica was formed in 1981 when vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper.
The band’s current line-up comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo . Lead guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney , Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
Metallica collaborated over a long period with producer Bob Rock , who produced all of the band’s albums from 1990 to 2003 and served as a temporary bassist between the departure of Newsted and the hiring of Trujillo.
The band’s fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding “big four” bands of thrash metal , alongside Anthrax ,Megadeth, and Slayer .
The band earned a growing fan base in the underground music community and won critical acclaim with its first four albums; the third album Master of Puppets (1986) was described as one of the most influential and heaviest thrash metal albums. Metallica achieved substantial commercial success with its eponymous fifth album —also known as The Black Album—which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With this release the band expanded its musical direction, resulting in an album that appealed to a more mainstream audience. In 2000, Metallica was among a number of artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band’s copyright-protected material for free without consent from any band member. A settlement was reached and Napster became a pay-to-useservice.
Despite reaching number one on the Billboard 200, the release of St. Anger (2003) alienated many fans with the exclusion of guitar solos and the “steel-sounding” snare drum. A film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording of St.
Anger and the tensions within the band during that time. In 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .
Metallica has released nine studio albums, four live albums, five extended plays, 26 music videos, and 37 singles. The band has won eight Grammy Awards and five of its albums have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.
The band’s eponymous 1991 album has sold over 16 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era.
Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time , having sold over 110 million records worldwide. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 61st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
As of December 2012, Metallica is the third best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 54.26 million albums in the U.S. In 2012, Metallica formed the independent record label Blackened Recordings and took full ownership of its albums and videos.
As of 2015, the band is in production of its tenth studio album, slated to be released in 2016.
Formation and early years (1981–83)
Metallica was formed in Los Angeles , California , in late 1981 when Danish-born drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler, which read, “Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang , Diamond Head and Iron Maiden .” Guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm answered the advertisement. Although he had
not formed a band, Ulrich asked Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel if he could record a song for the label’s upcoming compilation album Metal Massacre .
Slagel accepted and Ulrich recruited Hetfield to sing and play rhythm guitar.
The band was officially formed in October 1981, five months after Ulrich and Hetfield first met.
Burton’s death and Garage Days Re-Revisited (1986–87)
On September 27, 1986, during the European leg of Metallica’s Damage, Inc. Tour ,members drew cards to determine which bunks on the tour bus they would sleep in.
Burton won and chose to sleep in Hammett’s bunk. At around sunrise near Dörarp , Sweden, the bus driver lost control and skidded, which caused the bus to overturn several times. Ulrich, Hammett, and Hetfield sustained no serious injuries; however, bassist Burton was pinned under the bus and died. Hetfield said:
” I saw the bus lying right on him. I saw his legs sticking out. I freaked. The bus driver, I recall, was trying to yank the blanket out from under him to use for other people. I just went, ‘Don’t fucking do that!’ I already wanted to kill the [bus driver]. I don’t know if he was drunk or if he hit some ice. All I knew was, he was driving and Cliff wasn’t alive anymore.”