the more than twenty years since their emergence onto the
heavy metal scene, Metallica has become legendary, racking
up almost 100 million album sales worldwide during their
existence. Metallica is often considered one of the top
heavy metal bands of the 1980s, having taken heavy metal
into a louder and faster direction. Add to that their spot
at number 18 on the list of best selling acts ever in the
United States, and Metallica has certainly earned their
respect and superstardom.
many enduring bands, Metallica went through its share of
lineup changes through the years, though they started with
the quartet of Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Lloyd Grant,
and Ron McGovney.
was first formed in 1981 and by 1983 the metal outfit had
secured a recording contract with Megaforce Records. Their
debut album, “Kill ‘Em All,” appeared
in 1983, and the band was quickly hailed as the pioneer
in thrash metal. “Kill ‘Em All” produced
two singles, neither of which made the charts, “Whiplash,”
and “Jump in the Fire.”
the release of their debut album, Metallica signed with
Elektra Records and quickly released “Master of Puppets”
in early 1986. Lauded as one of the best heavy metal albums
in history, “Master of Puppets” was quickly
certified gold, having sold more than six million copies
worldwide. By this time, Metallica had fans around the world,
and Metallica concert tickets sold out in seconds.
of celebrating the success of “Master of Puppets,”
Metallica would find themselves mourning the death of bassist
Cliff Burton, who was killed when the band’s tour
bus crashed in Sweden.
death would lead to a two year hiatus, but Metallica would
be back – this time with Jason Newset on bass –
with “And Justice For All,” which would go on
to sell a stunning eight million copies.
follow-up to “And Justice For All” was a massive
hit. The self-titled album soared to the top spot on the
charts and when all was said and done, more than seven million
copies would fly off store shelves in the United States.
“Load” would follow in 1996.
the turn of the century, Metallica was battling the music
service Napster, claiming that by allowing fans to download
Metallica’s music for free, both Napster and the fans
were violating copyright law. By the end of 2001, however,
Metallica took a step back from their scathing criticism
– and dropped their lawsuit – against Napster.
continued recording music throughout the decade, their latest
an EP, “Some Kind of Monster,” released in 2004.