Reload (Metallica album)

Last updated
Metallica - Reload cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 18, 1997
RecordedMay 1, 1995 – October 1, 1997
Studio The Plant Studios in Sausalito, California
Metallica chronology
St. Anger
Singles from Reload
  1. "The Memory Remains"
    Released: November 11, 1997 [6]
  2. "The Unforgiven II"
    Released: February 23, 1998 [7]
  3. "Fuel"
    Released: June 22, 1998 [8]
  4. "Better Than You"
    Released: July 16, 1998

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.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Elektra Records record company and music label

Elektra Records is an American major record label owned by Warner Music Group, founded in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickolt. It played an important role in the development of contemporary folk music and rock music between the 1950s and 1970s. In 2004, it was consolidated into WMG's Atlantic Records Group. After five years of dormancy, the label was revived as an imprint of Atlantic in 2009. As of October 2018, Elektra was detached from the Atlantic Records umbrella and reorganized into Elektra Music Group, once again operating as an independently-managed frontline label of Warner Music.



Reload was recorded at The Plant, a wood-panelled studio in Sausalito, California. The ringmaster for the session was Bob Rock, who produced Metallica's previous two albums. The album artwork displays a photo by Andres Serrano, titled "Piss and Blood XXVI" [9] . The original idea was to release Load and Reload as a double album. However, with problems recording so many songs at one time, the band decided that half of the songs were to be released and the band would continue to work on the remaining songs and release them the following year. Speaking about the recording sessions in an interview for Guitar World , guitarist Kirk Hammett stated that "We were gonna do them both as a double album, but we didn't want to spend that long in the studio. Also, if we did a double album, it would have been a lot more material for people to digest, and some of it might have gotten lost in the shuffle." [10] It was the final Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, though it was not his last release with the band.

Sausalito, California City in California, United States

Sausalito is a city in Marin County, California, located 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of San Rafael, 4 miles (7 km) north of San Francisco.

Bob Rock Canadian musician and record producer

Robert Jens "Bob" Rock is a Canadian musician, sound engineer, and record producer, best known for producing rock bands and music artists such as Metallica, the Tragically Hip, Aerosmith, the Cult, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, 311, Our Lady Peace, Bryan Adams, the Offspring, Michael Bublé, Black Veil Brides, David Lee Roth, and Ron Sexsmith.

Andres Serrano American photographer

Andres Serrano is an American photographer and artist who has become famous through his photos of corpses and his use of feces and bodily fluids in his work, notably his controversial work Piss Christ, a red-tinged photograph of a crucifix submerged in a glass container of what was purported to be the artist's own urine. He is also notable for creating the artwork for the heavy metal band Metallica's Load and Reload albums.

This was the second album to feature most songs in E♭ tuning, with "Bad Seed" being played in D♭ tuning and "Devil's Dance" in D tuning. D tuning was earlier used for "The Thing That Should Not Be" on Master of Puppets , "Sad but True" on Metallica and later used for "Sabbra Cadabra", and "Whiskey in the Jar" from Garage Inc . Six songs from the album have been played live, including "Fuel", "The Memory Remains", "Devil's Dance", "The Unforgiven II", "Carpe Diem Baby", and "Low Man's Lyric". There were occasional jam sessions of songs such as "Better Than You", "Bad Seed", and "Fixxxer". "Carpe Diem Baby" premiered at Metallica's 30th anniversary concert in 2011. [11] Songs that have not been played live in their entirety are "Better than You", "Slither", "Bad Seed", "Where the Wild Things Are", "Prince Charming", "Attitude", and "Fixxxer". [12]

D♭ tuning

D tuning, also called C tuning, is an alternative guitar tuning. Each string is one and one half steps lower than in standard tuning, or one half step lower than D tuning. The resulting notes can be described as D♭-G♭-B-E-A♭-D♭ or as C♯-F♯-B-E-G♯-C♯. "Extremely slack," it is very popular amongst alternative and heavy rock bands because it has a darker and lower-pitched sound compared to E standard.

D tuning


<i>Master of Puppets</i> 1986 studio album by Metallica

Master of Puppets is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on March 3, 1986 by Elektra Records. Recorded at the Sweet Silence Studios with producer Flemming Rasmussen, it was the first Metallica album released on a major record label. Master of Puppets 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. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and became the first thrash metal album to be certified platinum. It was certified 6× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2003 for shipping six million copies in the United States. The album was eventually certified 6× platinum by Music Canada and gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [13]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10 [14]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [15]
Entertainment Weekly B [4]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [16]

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine thought the record was worthwhile and noted it was heavily influenced by Southern rock. He did not approve the idea of doing the sequel "The Unforgiven II", but praised the collaboration with Marianne Faithfull on "The Memory Remains". [13] Dan Snierson from Entertainment Weekly said Reload "continues Metallica's journey into stripped-down maturity while toying with fresh melodic textures" and "also forsakes some of the punchy hooks and gut-clenching heft that elevated recent Metallica CDs". [4] Rolling Stone's Lorraine Ali opined the album was rooted in heavy metal despite some songs being influenced by "bluesy rock & roll". She said Reload was not Metallica's best, but named it a steppingstone in Metallica's legacy. [3] On the other hand, Musician described the album as "greasy, driving, full of fat grooves, lyric and rhythmic hooks, and sonic curveballs". The magazine felt it "captures one of rock's greatest bands at its peak". [17] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff lamented the "dull, unfinished, unrealized" songwriting in many songs, but praised the production and groove of the album. [14] British author Paul Stenning said Metallica were "at their best on the likes of opener "Fuel", the inspired follow up to an old favourite in "The Unforgiven II" and the closing "Fixxxer" which had a fantastic lead riff." [18]

AllMusic online music guide service website

AllMusic is an online database music website. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on artists and bands. It was launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine American music journalist

Stephen Thomas Erlewine is an American music critic and senior editor for the online music database AllMusic. He is the author of many artist biographies and record reviews for AllMusic, as well as a freelance writer, occasionally contributing liner notes.

Southern rock is a subgenre of rock music and a genre of Americana. It developed in the Southern United States from rock and roll, country music, and blues, and is focused generally on electric guitar and vocals. Although the origin of the term Southern rock is unknown, "many people feel that these important contributors to the development of rock and roll have been minimized in rock's history."

Reload sold 436,000 units in first week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. [19] The album remained on the chart for 75 weeks, [20] and sold just over four million copies in the United States by December 2009. [21] It was certified 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping three million copies in the United States. Reload peaked at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, and was certified double platinum by Music Canada.

The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.

In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards. Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns, which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct-to-consumer sales and other outlets.

Recording Industry Association of America voluntary association

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States." The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.

Track listing

All lyrics written by James Hetfield.

2."The Memory Remains" (featuring Marianne Faithfull)
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
3."Devil's Dance"
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
4."The Unforgiven II"
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
5."Better than You"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
7."Carpe Diem Baby"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Hammett
8."Bad Seed"
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
9."Where the Wild Things Are"
10."Prince Charming"
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
11."Low Man's Lyric"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
Total length:76:02


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. [22]



Weekly charts

Australian Albums Chart [25] 2
Austrian Albums Chart [25] 2
Belgian Albums Chart [25] 4
Canadian Albums Chart [26] 2
Danish Albums Chart [27] 2
Dutch Albums Chart [25] 3
Finnish Albums Chart [25] 1
French Albums Chart [25] 3
German Albums Chart [25] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart [25] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart [25] 1
Spanish Albums Chart [28] 5
Swedish Albums Chart [25] 1
Swiss Albums Chart [25] 3
UK Albums Chart [29] 4
US Billboard 200 [26] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1997)Position
German Albums Chart [30] 48
Chart (1998)Position
German Albums Chart [31] 30


RegionCertification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA) [32] Platinum70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria) [33] Gold25,000*
Belgium (BEA) [34] Gold25,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [35] 2× Platinum200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat) [36] Platinum45,271 [36]
Germany (BVMI) [37] Platinum500,000^
Poland (ZPAV) [38] Platinum131,494 [39] *
Sweden (GLF) [40] Platinum40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [41] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [42] 3× Platinum3,000,000^
Europe (IFPI) [43] 2× Platinum2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

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