Top Metallica Tracks

Alright, this is a post just to show my respect for James Hetfield, he turns 45 on the 3rd. Crazy. Death Magnetic, the new Metallica CD, comes out in mid-September. So this is my top 10 Metallica tracks from their previous works. And, I chose not to include any covers (aka. Garage inc/days) even though I really like Stone Cold Crazy, Turn the Page, Astronomy, Breadfan, and Tuesday’s Gone.

10. Of Wolf and Man (Black Album) – The “black” self-titled album was Metallica’s most commercially-successful CD. It’s what put Metallica on the map. The choice for me, for #10 was between this and the obvious “Enter Sandman”. Sandman was too easy to pick, and also, it’s never really been one of my favorites. It’s good, but ‘Wolf’ is awesome. This would seriously be the track that a wolf-pack would listen to while they were on the hunt…if they could afford iPods.

9. One (and Justice for All) – I’m reluctant to include anything from the Justice album. I think that was Metallica at their lowest point, mentally. (Not counting St. Anger…that was most sober point) They had just lost a vital member of the band in a very tragic way, and had to replace him with some kid who they treated like crap. But, ‘One’ is a great song regardless. The lyrics are very haunting and creepy. It’s also probably Lars at his best. The guitar solos aren’t too shabby either.

8. Whiplash (Kill ’em All) – The intro to this song is a little bass solo entitled “Anesthesia: Pulling Teeth”, which is pretty much the coolest thing anyone will ever do on a bass guitar. Then the song kicks in…it pretty much set the standard for thrash metal at that point. It’s a song about headbanging, how much more “metal” can you get?

7. Wherever I May Roam (Black Album) – My favorite intro to a Metallica song. The song just starts out amazing. You can play it on the crappiest headphones, laptop speakers,  phonograph horn…and you can still get the mental picture of how this song sounds live. I think this song is the real reason people bought the Black Album. I just wish they wouldn’t have done “the fade” at the end. 

6. Battery (Master of Puppets) – Oh, listen to this nice acoustic intro to this song, relaxing sigh…oh what the…?! This is heavy as hell. This song is the beginning of the best metal album ever. It really sets the tone for the next hour. And, I totally think “Shadows Fall – The light that blinds” rips off that intro…not that it’s a bad thing…

5. The Outlaw Torn (Load) – This is my only pick from the Load and Reload years. Many may ask why I did not choose something more obvious like Unforgiven, Until it Sleeps or Fuel. Well, the Unforgiven songs were cool, but not amazing, Fuel was just a radio single, and Until it Sleeps was close to making the list. What really sells ‘Outlaw’ is the S&M version. Its awesome. This is one of those songs that feature a cool bridge. This is a song full of angst. And, its more obscure…it’s always cool to name something obscure when talking about music.

4. I Disappear (MI: II) – I wrote about this song once already in “best use of songs in soundtracks”. I just really like how the song seems to revolve around Jason leaving the band…even though he wouldn’t leave for another couple years yet. This is how I was hoping the St. Anger CD would have sounded, little did I know, Bob Rock wouldn’t know how to use Pro-Tools, James would give up drinking, and suddenly its ok for Kirk to have input on lyrics and choose not to do solos.

3. Welcome Home: Sanitarium (Master of Puppets) – Great intro, great lyrics, great verses, and most importantly great bridge. This is such a good song, even Limp Bizkit sans Wes Borland didn’t screw it up. This song is heavy and melodic, with great guitar solos through the whole thing.

2. Fade to Black (Ride the Lightning) – Bet you thought I was gonna forget about the 2nd Cd…lol. Fade’ was the first song that Metallica dared to slow down. It’s pretty much the greatest song ever about suicide and death. Seriously, if you were thinking about jumping off a building or out of a plane without a parachute…listen to this song first, then do it. You’ll be singing the lyrics on the way down. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to do a little “air” guitar for the chorus before you hit the ground. (sorry, couldn’t resist a pun in all that dark humor)

1. Master of Puppets (Master of Puppets) – I told you this album was amazing! Why this song hasn’t been the final track for a guitar hero game still amazes me. This is Metallica at their best; the guitars rock, the bass is awesome, the drums are good, and the vocals are angry yet melodic. Besides, the irony is great…their greatest song is about none other than alcohol addiction.

*Honorable Mention* Human (S&M) – This is one of the least known Metallica tracks. It’s the other new song from the concert of Symphony and Metallica, besides the radio single – No Leaf Clover. I always thought it was a pretty cool song, and it has an awesome main riff.

So, lets see what “Death Magnetic” will come out sounding like. It probably won’t sound like Kill em all and Ride the Lightning, just because James voice can’t go that high and screamy anymore. It hopefully won’t be messy like St. Anger. It might come off radio friendly like Black Album/Load/Reload. It should have more bass in it than And Justice for All. Since there’s no symphony and its not full of covers…the next choice is for it to sound like Master of Puppets…here’s to hoping. Happy Birthday James.

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