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Clash of the Titans: The Beatles’ White Album vs. Metallica’s Black Album

They’re separated by a few decades and plenty of clicks on the volume knob, but the Beatles and Metallica do have a few things in common, such as the fact that they both released self-titled albums with simple monochrome artwork. In this installment of Clash of the Titans, we’re making you choose your favorite.

The Beatles’ White Album arrived first, arriving on November 22, 1968 — roughly a year and a half after the classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Like everything else the band touched at the time, it was a massive and immediate success, hitting No. 1 on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic while offering Fab Four fans an embarrassment of riches — 30 songs in all — that covered the gamut of the band members’ rapidly diverging musical interests, from sing-songy pop like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” to the aggressive sounds of “Helter Skelter.”

Metallica’s Black Album hit stores on August 12, 1991, ending nearly three years of pent-up anticipation following the band’s Top 10 hit … And Justice for All. Adopting a leaner, more radio-friendly sound at the hands of producer Bob Rock, the group soared to even greater commercial heights, hitting No. 1 in the U.S. and U.K. while notching a trio of Top 40 hits (“Enter Sandman,” “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters”). Before this record’s release, they were one of the world’s biggest metal bands; after, they were global superstars.

So which of these colored classics deserves to win this Clash of the Titans? As always, it’s all up to you, but if you’re having a hard time making your pick, don’t worry: You can keep coming back and casting your ballot once an hour between now and May 10 at 11:59PM ET. Check out both albums below.

Listen to the Beatles’ White Album

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Listen to Metallica’s Black Album

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See the Beatles and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’60s

Metallica Albums Ranked Worst to Best

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Next: Top 10 Beatles Albums

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