In 1981 drummer Lars Ulrich and guitar player/singer James Hetfield, bass player Ron McGoveny and guitarist Dave Mustaine formed a band they called Metallica. They eventually recorded a demo that was circulated in the underground metal community. People caught wind and the band started gaining some attention, especially in San Francisco and New York. Soon Cliff Burton replaced Ron McGoveny on bass and Metallica began work on their first release.
Metallica released their first major album Kill 'em All in 1983 and toured behind that album throughout the year. 1984 brought a second album Ride the Lightning and with it, a little more maturity and a solid foundation for the band to build upon.
After signing to Electra Records in 1985 Metallica released their third album Master Of Puppets and began touring with Ozzy Osbourne. The group was reaching new highs and their new album enjoyed a 72-week run on the U.S. charts. After the Ozzy tour the band moved on to tour Europe. The overseas tour was cut short when on September 26th, 1986 a tour bus accident killed bassist Cliff Burton.
Knowing that Cliff would be the first to want them to move on, the band chose Jason Newsted to play bass. Metallica jumped right back into tour mode with Jason and released an EP of cover songs entitled Garage Days Re-Revisited. Once Newsted was established the band started work on their fourth full length album And Justice For All which was released in 1988. It received a Grammy Nomination for best Metal/Hard Rock album and reached number six on the US charts. It wasn't until 1991 when Metallica released the self-titled 'Black Album' that they finally had a number one album.
It would be five years before the next album was released. Load is the longest Metallica album ever. It was followed in 1997 by ReLoad, a collection of songs that were recorded at the same time as the previous album. Metallica has always been very much a garage band and after the touring for Load and ReLoad they headed right back to where they came from releasing a smattering of cover songs. The band chose 11 new songs for what was to be their third 'in the garage' project and entitled Garage Inc. In 2003 Metallic hit the studio once again to put together St. Anger and have continued touring and promoting their work since. Metallica currently consists of members Lars Ulrich on drums, James Hetfield playing guitar and doing vocals, Kirk Hammett on guitar and Robert Trujillo playing bass. With a line up like this and the history to back it, the next Metallica show is definitely a must-see.
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