Metallica Biography

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MetallicaMetallica is an American heavy metal band that is considered as one of the pioneers of thrash metal. The band was formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich.

The two founders auditioned for other members to fill up their line-up. They eventually went with Dave Mustaine who became their lead guitarist and Ron McGovney as bassist. In 1982, the band made several demos of their songs. A full demo drew some attention among the underground heavy metal fans.

1983 saw the band going through a line-up change with Kirk Hammett replacing Dave Mustaine and Cliff Burton, who replaced Ron McGovney on bass. The band was able to sign with Megaforce Records.

They also was able to release their first album, Kill ‘Em All but did not become a financial success initially. But the album helped them build up a growing underground fan base. It was their second album, Ride the Lightning, which was released the following year that got the attention of the major record labels to this upcoming thrash metal band.

By 1986, Metallica signed with major label Elektra Records and released their Master of Puppets album. It became their breakthrough album that climbed up to the 29th spot on the Billboard Top Album Charts that same year. In the same year, tragedy struck Metallica with the death of Cliff Burton during a bus accident in Sweden while the band was on tour. Burton was replaced by James Newsted on bass.

In 1988, the band went to release the album And Justice for All which also became a commercial success, reaching number 6 on the Billboard 200 Charts. The band eventually went on to go mainstream on their following albums, shortening the length of their songs which previously releases more than 5 minutes long. The success of the album was then followed by tours and several live performances.

1991 saw the band releasing their self-titled album, also known popularly as the Black Album due to its largely black and almost featureless cover. The album became the band’s best selling album to date, selling nearly 15 million copies in the US alone. It included the popular Metallica hits "Enter Sandman", "Nothing Else Matters", "Sad But True", "The Unforgiven" and "Wherever I May Roam". The band then took three years touring in order to promote the album. The released another studio album before they took a breather in the summer of 1995.

The band went on to produce several albums until the end of the 90’s. 2001 saw the departure of James Newsted from the band and was eventually replaced by Robert Trujillo. The band then released another album in 2003 entitled St. Anger which debuted at number one on the album charts. Despite a number of criticisms for its raw and unpolished nature, the album was able to win a Grammy Award for the band at the 2004 Grammy’s. The band continues to tour worldwide and do live performances along with seeing several re-releases of their previous hits.

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