20 Years Ago Today Metallica’s Black Album Was Released.

Man, where does the time go? 20 years ago today I was in a Sam Goody record store and purchasing the Black album on cassette straight out of it’s shipping box the day of release. Then that same day I had it blasting on my little boombox because it was fucking new Metallica man! I don’t know if anyone would have ever expected the album to sell 15 million copies and be the biggest selling album on Soundscan for what was supposed to be in essence a thrash metal band. Thanks to the hype machine called MTV and other outlets we plunged into this thing and didn’t really bother to really digest it even though there were plenty of people voicing disapproval on the direction the album took. After being inundated with Metallica stuff for almost 2 years after though the criticisms started to become founded. Though I still liked the album it was not going to supplant Ride the Lightning as my favorite Metallica album. It was too polished and every song had some sort of video attached to it. So now it’s 20 years later. How does it hold up as the biggest selling metal album of all time? I’d have to say not too well. As is the case with many albums that sell outrageous numbers if you have a refined or discerning taste it’s going to be one of those situations where you listen to it and wonder, why is this album so huge? After the jump in honor of this historic album is my favorite track and least favorite.

Favorite: At the time it was Of Wolf and Man but two decades later my tastes have changed and this is about the only song I don’t skip anymore. Slow, doomy, and heavy riffs. The lyrics are one of the few carryovers from And Justice for All.

Least favorite: It’s very close between Holier then Thou and Through the Never and Through the Never wins out. There is absolutely nothing about this song I like. It’s boring and there is no groove or flow to it. It’s a lazy attempt to be thrash.

So there you go. If you were expecting Nothing Else Matters or the Unforgiven I hate to disappoint but I did appreciate the direction change for those two tracks. Because let’s face it those were not the first ballady songs Metallica put on record. Plus I enjoyed trying to play them on guitar. So how about you? What’s your memories of the Black album’s release and favorite or not so favorite tracks?

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0 responses to “20 Years Ago Today Metallica’s Black Album Was Released.

  1. Are we gettin’ old or what? I have many fond memories that had this as a soundtrack but I really can’t get into it anymore at all. I think if the drumming was a little heavier I could appreciate it a little more now. My favorite was My Friend of Misery and Enter Sandman has been so overplayed I really can’t judge a least favorite at this point.

  2. I think this album suffered from the fact that it hit the mainstream and was accepted by fans of all sorts. Suddenly, no “real” Metallica fans liked it anymore and it has got a bad rap ever since. It’s still a good record, regardless of what anyone says. It may not be your traditional Metallica in the thrash sense that they once were, but even load and reload were good ROCK albums.

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