The History Of Metallica

What gets me through work every day is a band called Metallica. I listen to their music every single day and I never get tired of them. People all over the world listen to Metallica. Students, and teachers, here at iUprep also listen to Metallica! My friend Lucas Grimm, a fifth grader, says he loves Metallica. 


Metallica was formed in 1981 by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. James was born in California and Lars was born in Denmark, but he moved to America with his family when he turned 17. James wanted to play football, but his coach told him he couldn’t play with long hair. James chose to keep his long hair, and ended up forming Metallica with Lars Ulrich. Lars became the drummer, and James became the lead singer and rhythm guitarist. James and Lars found Dave Mustaine and Ron Mcgovney. Ron became the bassist, and Dave became the lead guitarist. 


In 1983, Metallica released their first album called Kill ‘Em All! They became popular with their song Seek and Destroy from their Kill ‘Em all album. By that time, Ron Mcgovney was fired from Metallica, James and Lars found Cliff Burton, a bassist, after watching him perform live with a band called Trauma. James and Lars begged Cliff to join Metallica, and Cliff ended up leaving Trauma and joining Metallica. Dave Mustaine was soon fired from Metallica after writing only 4 or 6 songs with them. Dave Mustaine became devastated and obsessed with revenge, so he formed his own metal band Megadeth. Metallica now needed to find a new guitarist, so they found Kirk Hammet, a young man who used to be in the band Exodus, but he eventually left. Kirk had amazing guitar skills, so James and Lars were like, “Heck yeah! This guy is in!” 


By 1984, Metallica released their second album Ride The Lightning. Fans and critics of Metallica said that it was their best album yet. Kirk Hammet had been doing amazing with Metallica. His insanely heavy riffs and amazing headbanging solos proved promising that Metallica would soon become an amazing and successful metal band. Cliff Burton, their bassist, was absolutely amazing. James Hetfield said, “Cliff was the only one in our group that had completely studied music, like went to a music school and stuff.” Cliff could make a bass guitar sound like a real guitar with insanely heavy distortion. Metallica started going on tours with their new album. People would get hyped up to hear Lars Ulrich’s machine gun drum hits, and James Hetfield’s aggressive guitar riffs. 


Metallica kept touring with their Ride the Lightning Album, which lasted until 1985 or 1986. They were working on recording a new album. By March 3rd, Metallica had released their third studio album. It was called Master of Puppets. This album contained beautiful works of art, such as Orion, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Battery, The Thing That Should Not Be, and Master of Puppets. Now that they had released a new album, they had to start touring. They played their songs from Master of Puppets and their earlier albums at various locations. By September 27, they were heading to a new place to play their songs, and they were traveling by bus. Cliff and Kirk played a card game, over sleeping arrangements. Cliff got to sleep back on one of the other bunks, and Kirk Hammett said “Fine! Take my bunk! I’ll sleep at the front of the bus, it’s probably better anyways.” 


In the middle of the night, while everyone in the band was asleep, the driver had been tired from not getting any sleep, and he wasn’t paying attention to the road. They hit a patch of black ice, and the bus rolled over on its side. The members all woke up in horror. Kirk remembered, “I remember hearing everyone scream, except for Cliff and I was like ‘Oh my god something’s wrong.’” After the crash, the members got out of the bus to look for Cliff. They saw a pair of legs sticking out from underneath the bus. It was Cliff. He had flown out of the bus window when they hit the black ice. The bus crushed him to death. They tried to get a crane to lift the bus off of Cliff, but the crane lost its grip and dropped the bus. Cliff was crushed again. They finally got Cliff out of underneath the bus and took him to the emergency room. Lars remembers, “After a few minutes a doctor came out and said ‘Your bass player is dead.’” Cliff was only 26 years old when he died. 


After the tragic death of Cliff Burton, Metallica needed a new bassist. They found a man named Jason Newsted, who played bass guitar. They listened to him play and decided to hire him, and by 1988 they were already working on recording a new album. It was called …And Justice For All. One particular song from this album would help Metallica win their first grammy award for the best ever heavy metal performance. The song was called One. One was about a soldier who loses his arms, legs, sight, hearing, and speech. Begging god to kill him. You can expect scary songs like that with twisted lyrics from Metallica. They just have a knack for writing songs like that. Metallica won a grammy award for their song One, and their …And Justice For All album. Metallica began touring again with their new album. By 1989, Metallica had done one of their most successful concerts ever. Live in Seattle 1989. They had done their …And Justice For All album and some of their earlier albums like Master Of Puppets, Ride The Lightning, and Kill ‘Em All! 


By 1991, Metallica was already working on recording a new album. This album was one of their best works since Master Of Puppets. This album was called Metallica, also known as The Black Album. Metallica wanted to keep a simple album cover, not something too colorful where you would get distracted by the look of the cover. One song from this album would make Metallica one of the greatest metal bands of all time. It was called Enter Sandman. Other songs on the album such as The Unforgiven and Nothing Else Matters made Metallica memorable by millions of people around the world. They earned a grammy for their black album. About the same time this album was released, their old band member, Dave Mustaine, was now becoming very successful with his band Megadeth. They had just released their newest and greatest album ever Rust In Peace. Metallica began to plan on making their next album, and they came up with the album Load, in 1996. This album had several fans disappointed with Metallica. Then a year later Metallica released Reload in 1997. Still, fans were disappointed. Metallica were having some pretty rough times together with their 2 most recent albums being a total bust. Then a year later they released their Garage Inc. Album. This album had amazing covers of other songs such as Whiskey in the Jar, and Turn the Page. Fans were now pleased with this new album.


Skipping over to 2001, Metallica started having some troubles holding the band together, then eventually Jason Newsted, their bassist, announced that he was leaving. Jason left, and now Metallica had to find another bassist. Two years later, Metallica started auditioning for a new bassist, and they found Robert Trujillo, and they played For Whom The Bell Tolls from their Ride the Lightning album, and Rob crushed it! He played it just like Cliff did! They hired him right on the spot and they got to work on their next album. It was called St. Anger. It was another album that didn’t do too well for Metallica. But it still had great songs. 


Fast forwarding to 2008, Metallica had been doing great with Rob Trujillo, he reminded them of Cliff. They got to work on their next album called Death Magnetic. They had a hit song on that album called The Day That Never Comes. Fans were happy with this album and thought it was great! 


In 2016, Metallica released another album. And Robert Trujillo was still in the band. This album was called Hardwired to Self Destruct! It was an amazing album. It had hits such as Atlas, Rise!, Moth Into Flame, and Hardwired, their title track. Metallica was riding high. They had come so far since 1981, when they first formed. 


Fast forward to 2023, Metallica has released a new album called 72 seasons. Metallica fans all over the world are listening to the album and enjoying it. Even students at IUP are listening to the new album. Metallica is an amazing band. They are really influential to guitar players and musicians. Their music has definitely helped shape the metal genre. Metallica’s music is legendary and will go down in history, and will never be forgotten.