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Metallica Announces ‘No Life ’til Leather’ Cassette Release


The guys in Metallica are reaching way back into their vaults for this year’s Record Store Day release — and they’re going appropriately retro with the format, too.

The band shared the news via Facebook, telling fans they’re “celebrating Record Store Day by taking a huge leap back in time to our humble beginnings.” That leap consists of reissuing their 1982 demo, No Life ’til Leather — but unlike most RSD releases, it won’t be on vinyl. Instead, they’re putting it out as a limited edition cassette.

“Twelve people will be able to play it, but everybody else will be able to hold it in their hands and, uh, have a great time with it,” drummer Lars Ulrich laughed to Rolling Stone, adding that they retained the original mix in order to reflect “the same innocence and, I guess, borderline ignorance, of four kids barely out of puberty, rockin’ along, doing their thing.”

This is just the first salvo in a longer reissue campaign for No Life ’til Leather, which is scheduled to arrive on expanded CD and vinyl over the summer. Originally recorded in the summer of 1982, the seven-track tape found the band working the kinks out of a number of songs that would ultimately appear on their 1983 debut LP, Kill ‘Em All, and captures the early lineup with Cliff Burton‘s predecessor, Ron McGovney, on bass.

We can expect to see more deep archival releases from Metallica, too. Telling Rolling Stone that “Instead of starting with Kill ‘Em All in 1983, we figured we’d go back another two years to when the band was formed in 1981,” he alluded to future reissues, saying, “It’s time for us to put out some next-level reissues and do the song and dance of the catalog that everyone else has done — the U2s and the Led Zeppelins and the Oasises.”

Like the rest of this year’s Record Store Day releases, No Life ’til Leather will arrive on April 18. For more information and to find a participating store near you, visit the official RSD site.

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