Jim Florentine of ‘That Metal Show’ Cuts Metallica’s ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’ Down to One Album
Comedian and 'That Metal Show' co-host Jim Florentine made an interesting statement about Metallica's complimentary 'Load' and 'Reload' albums on his excellent 'Metal Comedy Midgets' podcast recently. He said that he thought the band could have pared the songs on those two records down to one, much stronger, collection.
It's a sentiment we've heard from other Metallica fans before regarding the two albums, which were largely written at the same time but released separately, over a year apart from each other. So we called Mr. Florentine to find out exactly what tracks he'd cut and keep to form this new album.
Despite the fact that he's a very busy man, preparing for the Aug. 20 season eight premiere of 'That Metal Show,' a new comedy LP with a Metallica-referencing title ('Cringe and Purge,' out in October), as well as promoting his pranks DVDs, 'Meet the Creeps' and appearing in the new movie 'A Little Help' with Jenna Fischer and Chris O'Donnell, Jim was so generous with his time that this is going to end up being a multi-part interview.
Before cutting two of Metallica's best selling albums ever in half, Florentine is quick to lay out his overall feelings for the band, who he clearly loves: "I respect Metallica, they take chances. The thing is... as a fan you say, 'OK, I like this one, I didn't like that one, I'll probably like the next one.' It's like your favorite actor: he's gonna do three great films in a row, and then he might do a dud."
Which brings us to Metallica over-extending themselves with the twin 'Load' and 'Reload' releases: "...And that's true for any (double album). I hate when bands get so big, they get an ego where they [think] everything we write, we have to put out, and this is amazing, and we have to make this two albums instead of one. Guns N' Roses are guilty of it -- 'Use Your Illusion' I and II should have been one record. System of a Down, Smashing Pumpkins... the only double album that I think worked was Led Zeppelin's 'Physical Graffiti.' I'd rather a band just put out one great album and leave the bonus tracks for later, for a remaster of when you want to put a box set out."
As you can see from the playlist below, Florentine's compacted collection runs heavy on songs from the first of the two albums, 1996's 'Load.' As he explains, "Now you look at it, for me, 'Load' was definitely front-ended. The first nine songs, I loved, and the last three or four are clunkers for me. I would take the best three or four from 'Reload' and put them at the end -- or just mix them about -- and that album's a masterpiece. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give that at least an 8.5 or 9."