Facts about Metallica
Metallica dominated heavy metal music in the 1980s and 1990s, emerging as one of the top musical acts in history by the end of the century. Drummer Lars Ulrich (26 December 1963) and guitarist James Hetfield (3 August 1963) started the band in 1981. After a few line-up changes (including guitarist Dave Mustaine, who left in 1982 to form Megadeath), the band released Kill ‘Em All in 1983 and toured the U.S. with Ulrich, Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett (18 November 1962) and bass player Cliff Burton (10 February 1962). In 1986 the band released Master of Puppets, signalling their development from speed metal thrashers to serious songsmiths who could pound out the heavy riffs. That same year a bus accident claimed the life of Burton, and Jason Newsted (4 March 1963) joined the band. Their major-label release …And Justice For All was a critical and popular success (they had a top 40 hit with “One”), and the band toured relentlessly. Their so-called “black” album in 1991 included the hit song “Enter Sandman,” and their exposure on MTV helped make them superstars. In 1996 they released Load, followed the next year by Reload, both top-selling albums that solidified Metallica’s presence in mainstream rock. In 2000 they were in the news regularly for their legal battle with the online file sharing service, Napster, and drummer Ulrich appeared before the United States Senate, explaining to a sympathetic Orrin Hatch that file sharing was, in fact, stealing. Eventually Metallica and Napster reached an agreement, but in 2001 Jason Newsted left the band and James Hetfield entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program, leaving the band’s latest recording on hold.