Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson gave his opinion in an interview with Classic Rock magazine on the classic Metallica “Black Album” released in 1991.
“Ourselves, Judas Priest and Pantera all reached a crossroads where we had the chance to really step up to the next level. But none of us had the balls to do it. Metallica did, though. You have to give them huge credit for grabbing the opportunity when it came up, taking the risk and deservedly reaping the enormous rewards. You cannot underestimate their achievement with this album.”
“It’s one of those seminal albums that just gets it right. It’s extremely well-produced, and every note on that album is totally under control. I admire how they did it, and what they did with the songs, and it was very effective: it undoubtedly did help push metal into the mainstream. I know it wasn’t Mutt Lange who produced it, but Bob Rock had that similar thing where the producer was very much in control.”
“We could never do an album like that, because we’re not that under control, and we don’t want to be. With us, the wheels would fall off the bus and we’d end up firing the producer!”
Released on August 12, 1991, by Elektra Records, the album is commonly referred to as The Black Album because of its packaging design. Its recording took place at One on One Studios in Los Angeles over an eight-month span which frequently found Metallica at odds with their new producer Bob Rock. The album marked a change in the band’s music from the thrash metal style of their previous four albums to a slower, heavier, and more refined sound.
It debuted at number one in ten countries and spent four consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, making it Metallica’s first album to top the album charts. Also is one of the best-selling albums worldwide.
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