|Studio album by|
|Released||June 4, 1996|
|Recorded||May 1, 1995 – February 1, 1996|
|Studio||The Plant (Sausalito, CA)|
|Metallica studio album chronology|
|Singles from Load|
Load is the sixth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on June 4, 1996 by Elektra Records in the United States and by Vertigo Records internationally. The album showed more of a hard rock side of Metallica than the band's typical thrash metal style, which alienated much of the band's fanbase. 's more exploratory nature, "This album and what we're doing with it – that, to me, is what Metallica are all about: exploring different things. The minute you stop exploring, then just sit down and fucking die". Load is the first of Metallica's albums to feature only three songwriters, the other being 2016's Hardwired...To Self-Destruct. At 79 minutes, Load is Metallica's longest studio album.It also featured influences from genres such as Southern rock, blues rock, country rock and alternative rock. Drummer Lars Ulrich said about Load
Load debuted and spent four consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. Load sold 680,000 units in its first week, making it the biggest opening week for Metallica as well as the biggest debut of 1996.It was certified 5× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping five million copies in the United States. Four singles—"Until It Sleeps", "Hero of the Day", "Mama Said", and "King Nothing"—were released as part of the marketing campaign for the album.
Load, released approximately five years after the commercially successful album Metallica , saw the band shifting toward hard rock and away from their thrash metal roots. As on previous releases, the album's fourteen songs began as rough demos created by principal songwriters James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich in Ulrich's basement recording studio, "The Dungeon". In early 1995, the band took over thirty demos into The Plant Studios, where they would work for approximately one year. Metallica worked with producer Bob Rock, who had been at the helm during the recording process for Metallica.
The songwriting dispenses almost entirely with the thrash metal style that characterized the band's sound in the 1980s. In place of staccato riffs, Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett experimented with blues rock-based tones and styles. Additionally, Ulrich adopted a minimalist approach to his drum recording, abandoning the speed and complex double bass drumming patterns of previous albums, and using simpler techniques and playing styles. Hetfield displayed a lyrical evolution, writing what many said were his most personal and introspective lyrics. "Until It Sleeps", the album's lead single, addressed his mother's unsuccessful battle with cancer, and "Mama Said" also explores his relationship with her. All of this marked a departure from the political and social overtones of ...And Justice for All and Master of Puppets . Hammett, encouraged by producer Bob Rock, also played rhythm guitar on a Metallica album for the first time, having previously only played lead parts with Hetfield playing all the rhythm parts to achieve a tighter feel, in contrast to the looser feel they were looking for here.Hammett continued playing rhythm until Death Magnetic when Hetfield once again played all the rhythm parts.
At 79 minutes, Load is Metallica's longest studio album. With the CD length at 78:59, initial pressings of the album were affixed with stickers boasting of its long playtime, simply reading "78:59". "The Outlaw Torn" had to be shortened by about one minute to fit on the album; the full version of the track was released on the single "The Memory Remains" as "The Outlaw Torn (Unencumbered by Manufacturing Restrictions Version)", with a running time of 10:48. An explanation on the single's back cover stated:
When we were doing the final sequencing of the 'LOAD' album, the record company told us that we couldn't go a second past 78:59, or your CD's wouldn't play without potentially skipping. With our 14 songs, we were running about 30 seconds over, and something had to give, so the cool-ass jam at the end of 'Outlaw' got chopped.
Load was Metallica's first album on which all tracks were down-tuned to E♭ tuning. Hammett states:
I started tuning to E-flat for my riff tapes because I copied a lot of the Hendrix stuff. You know I used to try to figure out Jimi Hendrix solos, Stevie Ray Vaughan solos, Thin Lizzy solos and those three bands tune to E-flat. And so a lot of my riffs were in E-flat, and I guess when James would hear the riffs tuned in E-flat and he'd try to sing to 'em, I think he kind of liked it. He liked the break it kind of gave his voice. He didn't have to pitch that extra half step. And that's also why on both Load and Reload the primary tuning is E-flat rather than E.
Hetfield also felt that the change to E♭ was a bonus, as it was easier to perform string bends in the riffs.
The band had recorded songs on earlier albums in tunings lower than E; "The God That Failed" on Metallica which was in E♭, and the same album's "Sad but True" and "The Thing That Should Not Be" from Master of Puppets were in D tuning. The Australian CD release of Load includes a bonus interview CD that is unavailable elsewhere.10 songs from the album have been played live including "King Nothing", "Until It Sleeps", "Ain't My Bitch", "Bleeding Me", "Wasting My Hate", "Hero of the Day", "The Outlaw Torn", "2 X 4", "Poor Twisted Me", "Mama Said". Songs that have not been played live in their entirety are "The House Jack Built", "Cure", "Thorn Within", and "Ronnie".
The cover of Load is an original artwork titled "Semen and Blood III". It is one of three photographic studies that Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling bovine blood and his own semen between two sheets of Plexiglas.The liner notes simply state "cover art by Andres Serrano" rather than listing the title of the work. In a 2009 interview with Classic Rock , Hetfield expressed his dislike of the album cover and its inspiration:
Lars and Kirk were very into abstract art, pretending they were gay. I think they knew it bugged me. It was a statement around all that. I love art, but not for the sake of shocking others. I think the cover of Load was just a piss-take around all that. I just went along with the make-up and all of this crazy, stupid crap that they felt they needed to do.
Load also marked the first appearance of a new Metallica logo that rounded off the stabbing edges of the band's earlier logo, greatly simplifying its appearance. The M from the original logo was used to make a shuriken-like symbol known as the "ninja star", which was used as an alternate logo on this and future albums, and on related artwork. The album featured an expansive booklet containing photographs by Anton Corbijn. These photographs depict the band in various dress, including white A-shirts with suspenders, Cuban suits, and gothic. In the aforementioned 2009 interview, James Hetfield said:
Lars and Kirk drove on those records. The whole 'We need to reinvent ourselves' topic was up. Image is not an evil thing for me, but if the image is not you, then it doesn't make much sense. I think they were really after a U2 kind of vibe, Bono doing his alter ego. I couldn't get into it. The whole, 'Okay, now in this photoshoot we're going to be '70s glam rockers.' Like, what? I would say half – at least half – the pictures that were to be in the booklet, I yanked out. The whole cover thing, it went against what I was feeling.
|Drowned in Sound||9/10|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|Los Angeles Times|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
|The Village Voice||C+|
Load received positive to mixed reviews from critics. Rolling Stone said, "The foursome dams the bombast and chugs half-speed ahead, settling into a wholly magnetizing groove that bridges old-school biker rock and the doomier side of post-grunge '90s rock." [ citation needed ]Q enthused, "These boys set up their tents in the darkest place of all, in the naked horror of their own heads... Metallica make existential metal and they've never needed the props... Metallica are still awesome... What is new is streamlined attack, the focus and, yes, the tunes."
Melody Maker expressed reservations about Load's heaviness compared to its predecessors: "A Metallica album is traditionally an exhausting event. It should rock you to exhaustion, leave you brutalised and drained. This one is no exception. It is, however, the first Metallica album to make me wonder at any point, 'What the fuck was that?' It's as if the jackboot grinding the human face were to take occasional breaks for a pedicure."AllMusic considered Load repetitive, uninteresting and poorly executed. In The Village Voice , Robert Christgau said "this is just a metal record with less solo room, which is good because it concentrates their chops, and more singing, which isn't because they can't."
"Some of that stuff was pretty cool," remarked Lars Ulrich of the album and its sequel. "With Load, it was disappointing that some people's reaction to the music was biased by how they dealt with the pictures – the hair and all that crap [see Artwork, above]. People have come up to me years afterwards and said, 'I never gave the record a fair chance because I couldn't get beyond Jason Newsted wearing eyeliner.' But 'The Outlaw Torn', some of that shit is pretty fucking awesome."
All lyrics are written by James Hetfield.
|1.||"Ain't My Bitch"||5:04|
|2.||"2 X 4"||5:28|
|3.||"The House Jack Built"||6:39|
|4.||"Until It Sleeps"||4:28|
|6.||"Hero of the Day"||4:22|
|9.||"Poor Twisted Me"||4:00|
|10.||"Wasting My Hate"||3:57|
|14.||"The Outlaw Torn"||9:49|
Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.
|Australian Albums Chart||1|
|Austrian Albums Chart||1|
|Belgian Albums Chart||1|
|Danish Albums Chart||1|
|Dutch Albums Chart||1|
|Finnish Albums Chart||1|
|French Albums Chart||1|
|German Albums Chart||1|
|New Zealand Albums Chart||1|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||1|
|Spanish Albums Chart||2|
|Swedish Albums Chart||1|
|Swiss Albums Chart||1|
|UK Album Charts||1|
|US Billboard 200||1|
|European Top 100 Albums ( Music & Media )||10|
|German Albums Chart||6|
|US Billboard 200||81|
} } }
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Platinum||50,000*|
|Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)||Gold||100,000*|
|Canada (Music Canada)||4× Platinum||400,000^|
|Germany (BVMI)||5× Gold||1,250,000^|
|Greece (IFPI Greece)||Gold||31,000|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Platinum||50,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||5× Platinum||5,000,000^|
|Europe (IFPI)||2× Platinum||2,000,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Kirk Lee Hammett is an American musician who has been lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.
Master of Puppets is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on March 3, 1986, by Elektra Records. Recorded at Sweet Silence Studios with producer Flemming Rasmussen, it was the band's last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident in Sweden during the album's promotional tour.
Metallica is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on August 12, 1991, through Elektra Records. It was recorded in an eight-month span at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles. The recording of the album was troubled, however, and, during production, the band frequently came into conflict with their new producer Bob Rock. The album marked a change in the band's sound from the thrash metal style of the previous four albums to a slower and heavier one rooted in heavy metal.
Kill 'Em All is the debut studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 25, 1983, by the independent record label Megaforce Records. Kill 'Em All is regarded as a groundbreaking album for thrash metal because of its precise musicianship, which fuses new wave of British heavy metal riffs with hardcore punk tempos. The album's musical approach and lyrics were markedly different from rock's mainstream of the early 1980s and inspired a number of bands who followed in similar manner. The album did not enter the Billboard 200 until 1986, when it peaked at number 155, following Metallica's commercial success with its third studio album Master of Puppets; the 1988 Elektra reissue peaked at number 120. Kill 'Em All was critically praised at the time of its release and in retrospect, and was placed on a few publications' best album lists. It was certified 3× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1999 for shipping three million copies in the United States. The album generated two singles: "Whiplash," and "Jump in the Fire".
St. Anger is the eighth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on June 5, 2003. It was the last Metallica album released through Elektra Records and the final collaboration between Metallica and longtime producer Bob Rock, with whom the band had worked since 1990. This is the band's only album not to feature an official bass player, as Jason Newsted left Metallica prior to the recording sessions; Rock played the album's bass parts in his place.
The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited is an EP by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on August 21, 1987 by Elektra Records. It consists entirely of covers of late-'70s and early-'80s new wave of British heavy metal bands and punk rock music rehearsed in Lars Ulrich's soundproofed garage and then recorded in Los Angeles over the course of six days. It is the group's first release following the death of bassist Cliff Burton and the first to feature his replacement, Jason Newsted.
James Alan Hetfield is an American musician and songwriter best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield is mainly known for his intricate rhythm playing, but occasionally performs lead guitar duties and solos, both live and in the studio. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering an advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler. Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards and released ten studio albums, three live albums, four extended plays and 24 singles.
"One" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third and final single from their fourth studio album, ...And Justice for All (1988). Written by band members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, "One" is an anti-war song that portrays a World War I soldier who is severely wounded—arms and legs blown off by a landmine, blind and unable to speak or move—begging God to take his life. His only hope is to devise a way to communicate with the hospital staff. In the music video, he jolts in the hospital bed, spelling "Kill me" in Morse code. Production of the song was done by the band alongside Flemming Rasmussen. The song was the band's first top 40 hit single in the U.S., reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a number one hit in Finland.
"The Memory Remains" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, with British singer Marianne Faithfull on backing vocals.
"King Nothing" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica from their 1996 album Load.
"The Unforgiven" is a power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the second single from their eponymous fifth album Metallica. Though one of the slower tracks on the album, its chord progression is distinctly one of the heaviest ballads featured on the album. The song deals with the theme of the struggle of the individual against the efforts of those who would subjugate him.
"Some Kind of Monster" is the fourth single from the American heavy metal band Metallica's eighth studio album St. Anger. The song appeared in 2003 along with the album, but it was released as a single on July 13, 2004. "Some Kind of Monster" was Nominated for Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2005 but lost to Velvet Revolver for the song "Slither".
Death Magnetic is the ninth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on September 12, 2008 through Warner Bros. Records. The album was produced by Rick Rubin, marking the band's first album since ...And Justice for All (1988) not to be produced by longtime collaborator Bob Rock. It is also the first Metallica album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo, and the second to be completely co-written by all of the band's members.
"The God That Failed" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, from their 1991 self-titled album. The song was never released as a single, but was the first of the album's songs to be heard by the public. It is one of Metallica's first original releases to be tuned half a step down.
"Cyanide" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, the third single taken from their ninth studio album, Death Magnetic. On September 1, 2008, it was made available for streaming on the band's official website, as well as a download from the Death Magnetic website Mission: Metallica. It has since been made available for purchase as a digital single in the iTunes Store.
The Metallica Collection is a digital box set by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released to the iTunes Store on April 14, 2009. The box set features all of the band's studio albums and extra material from 1983 to 2008. The box set was later released to other digital music stores such Amazon MP3 and UOL Megastore.
Reload is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on November 18, 1997 by Elektra Records. The album is a follow-up to Load, released the previous year, and Metallica's last studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted. Reload debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. It was certified 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping three million copies in the United States.
"Enter Sandman" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It is the opening track and lead single from their self-titled fifth album, Metallica, released in 1991. The music was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Hetfield wrote the lyrics, which deal with the concept of a child's nightmares.
Hardwired... to Self-Destruct is the tenth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released as a double album on November 18, 2016 by their vanity label Blackened Recordings. It is their first studio album in eight years following Death Magnetic (2008), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in the band's career. It is also their first studio album released through Blackened. Hardwired... to Self-Destruct was produced by Greg Fidelman, who engineered and mixed Death Magnetic.
The band re-emerged with Load, a less metalish and more hard-rock album that downplayed the group's previous headbanging.