Connect with us

The early Metallica album James Hetfield picked as his favorite

James Hetfield
Photo by Brett Murray


The early Metallica album James Hetfield picked as his favorite

Formed in 1981, Metallica already released 11 studio albums and sold an estimated amount of more than 125 million records worldwide. Their songwriting is quite versatile and they can do really heavy tracks and also ballads, like “Nothing Else Matters”, for example. But as the band’s main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield revealed once in an interview with Newsweek in 2017, he prefers an early Metallica album.


The early Metallica album James Hetfield picked as his favorite

“I like ‘Ride the Lightning’ (1984) a lot. Because I think that was the first time we got to be a part of it. ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ obviously we recorded and wrote all the songs for it. They were basically songs from the first couple of years we had been playing in the clubs.”

“So we just went in and recorded them. But we weren’t allowed to be in there for the mix or anything. With ‘Ride the Lightning,’ there was no manager telling us, ‘Stay away from this studio’ [laughs]. We were really integrated into it. We were able to help with the sounds, help with the ideas and all that stuff,” James Hetfield said.

At the time, the band was also formed by Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and the late Cliff Burton. That album was curiously recorded at the Sweet Silence studio in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is the country where the band’s drummer and co-founder was born. “Ride The Lightning” is not only one of the most praised Metallica albums but one of the most praised Metal albums of all time.

Besides the title track, it also has: “Fight Fire With Fire”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Fade To Black”, “Trapped Under Ice”, “Escape”, “Creeping Death” and “The Call of Ktulu”. All those songs are frequently featured on the band’s live setlists.

He once explained what inspired the title-track

Back in 1993, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Hetfield explained what inspired the song “Ride The Lightning”, which also became the name of the album. He explained that it could have been after watching CNN, for example.

“I don’t know if CNN was the thing starting out then. We just got into some social topics. The death penalty was a big question and the electric chair. That’s heavy. What if that was you, mistakenly? That’s what that song was about, being accidentally found guilty and put to death with no way to stop it. It was just a matter of putting myself into other people’s situations. (Also) trying to get these feelings out,” James Hetfield said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top