A Look Back At Metallica's 'Black Album' 25 Years Later


(Radio.com) Metallica's self-titled album, referred to by fans as "The Black Album," turned 25 this month (August 12). Here, we look back at the album's place in Metallica's catalog and its impact.

Over the course of their first three albums, 1983's Kill 'Em All, 1984's Ride the Lightning and 1986's Master of Puppets, they were at the forefront of thrash metal, heavy metal's latest and most brutal subgenre. They were a defiantly underground band who refused to even shoot videos; this was during MTV's heyday.

With 1988's 'and Justice for All, their production got a bit more slick (although fans complained about how the drums sounded), and they even had a song that got played on the radio--"One"--and they eventually made a video for it. But despite the song's ballad-like beginning, it was an anti-war song about someone who'd lost all four limbs, was blind and unable to speak, as a result of war injuries. Suffice to say, it was not that commercial, and fans figured their moment in the mainstream would be short-lived.

Still, they headlined their first arena tour for that album; they could no longer truly be considered "underground." This became apparent a few seconds into "Enter Sandman," the "Black Album's" first single and lead-off track. It was also apparent that "One" was no one-off hit. Fans could see the metal underground fading in Metallica's rear-view mirror.

While Metallica didn't make any real concessions to glam metal bands that had dominated radio and MTV in the late '80s (and were on the wane), they did hire Bob Rock (who'd previously worked on albums by Motley Crue and Bon Jovi) as their producer for the "Black Album." A few seconds into the song it was clear that Metallica and Rock had stadium-sized ambitions. Read more here.

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Copyright Radio.com/CBS Local - Excerpted here with permission.


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