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Metallica is an American heavy metal band of the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s.

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Biography They were a pivotal member of the thrash metal scene. Metallica were formed by drummer and former tennis protege Lars Ulrich[?] as a direct reaction to the prevalent rock and roll music of the early 1980s. They were inspired by bands such as Diamond Head and Saxon, the so-called New Wave of British Heavy Metal, as well as hardcore punk like the Misfits and Discharge. Metallica were single-minded in their desire to break the grip of soft metal[?] on heavy metal fans.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 for a one-off demo recording, they soon relocated to San Francisco, replacing two original members (Dave Mustaine, guitars - Ron McGovney[?], bass) with bass player Cliff Burton and guitarist Kirk Hammett. They built a healthy local following via word-of-mouth and, ironically given what was to come later, the band encouraging fans to produce and trade bootlegs of their live performances. By 1983 they'd signed with a small local label, MegaForce, who would release their first two albums. The first album, Kill Em All set the template that they would follow throughout the 1980s, strongly featuring the heavy vocals and rhythm guitar of James Hetfield[?]. The next, Ride The Lightning expanded and improved their form with longer songs featuring both instrumental pyrotechnics and lyrics which rose above some of the more puerile songs on Kill 'Em All.

Signing to a major label, Elektra, in 1986 they went on to produce yet another record, by many of the original fans regarded as their best work, "Master Of Puppets". The same year the band's bassist Cliff Burton perished in a coach-accident during a tour. The band eventually found a new bassist in Jason Newsted, and in 1988 they recorded the album entitled ...And Justice For All. As a preliminary effort with their new bassist Newsted, Metallica produced what would be a quarter of their album "Garage, Inc.," in the form of "The 9.98 CD: Garage Days Re-Visited." The rest of the entire second CD was recorded on and off during in 1989, resulting in some of their most famous live cover songs such as "So What," (Also the name of the Fan Club newsletter), and "Am I Evil."

In 1990, their self-titled album broadened the band's horizon again. Although still heavy rock, the record was produced with more of a pop sheen, and with a black cover that was a sly nod to Spinal Tap, featured the hits Enter Sandman (which was pure Metallica) and "Nothing Else Matters", an acoustic ballad that outraged some of their more hardcore fans. Nevertheless, the album was a massive crossover hit, and brought Metallica firmly into the mainstream.

Burnt out from years and years of touring upon the Black Album's success, Metallica took a respit until late 1995, when they came back into the studio with a new zest for recording. Ulrich and Hetfield, both of whom were very strict on Hammett and Newsted in previous albums, loosened the reigns upon the other bandmembers (although not enough, as history will show us.) To say that their new albums, Load and Reload were alternative rock-influnced would taint the truth of the matter. While the albums were not as Thrash their work of the early 80s, Metallica's music progressively softened over the years as a result of hard touring, hard knocks, and hard liquor. "Alcoholica's" reputation was catching up to them, and received flak for cutting their hair, a symbol many hardcore thrash fans saw as an earmark of Metallica going soft. As Metallica themselves say, "The Hair doesn't make the band."

During 1998, Metallica formed a double CD in the form of Garage, Inc.[?] an album of Metallica's favorite covers, ranging everywhere from Danzig to Bob Seger. Garage, Inc. was Metallica's take on Metallica's favorite music. A further venture with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra leader Micheal Kamen, who worked with Metallica as far back as the Black Album, met mixed reviews, as did Metallica's hair-cut incidence. Having (some of them) reformed their former locks, Metallica produce the live album with a full symphonic arrangement of classic Metallica tunes going as far back as Ride the Lightning and having two new songs.

Lars Ulrich found himself a new enemy, alienating himself further from the long-haired hard rockers and anti-Classical Thrashers in the form of every teenage boy on the face of American in his clash with the internet file sharing network Napster, claiming it was "sickening to know that our art is being traded like a commodity rather than the art that it is." In view of Metallica's bootlegging past, they managed to set forth action that brought down the fall of Napster. Metallica's logo could easily be "Destroying competition for 20 years." Metallica sucessfully took the evil sheen and feathered hair out of thrash music, pushing the competition to another level of success. Despite (or perhaps because of) two decades of hard rock, a reputation for excellence recorded and live, and attitude streaming out the ears, Metallica has not recorded since October 1999.

Before they went into the studio to record their next album in 2001, Jason Newsted signaled that he would leave the band. Producer Bob Rock[?] is played bass during the recordings and Newsted was eventually replaced by ex-Suicidal Tendencies bassist Rob Trujillo[?]. In 2003, Metallica released their ninth studio album, St. Anger, which debuted at number one on the album charts but has also received harsh criticism for its underproduced sound and lack of guitar solos by Kirk Hammett.

The band has, to date, received 6 Grammy Awards.

Band Members:

Former Band Members

Discography Metallica's albums (in chronological order):

The band also contributed one track, "I Disappear" to the Mission: Impossible II[?] soundtrack.

See also: Megadeth

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