No band has defined and upheld the standards of ‘80s metal as much as Metallica. Even with the lineup changes, the new haircuts and the streamlined music that have marked the latter part of the ‘90s and ‘00s, Metallica earned their rep as one of rock’s post-‘70s innovators. They barreled out of the ‘80s’ metal scene with a tougher, faster and more abrasive thrash sound that put all of their California contemporaries to shame. Their third album, 1986’s ‘Master of Puppets,’ is a landmark recording of the genre. Four years later they entered the mainstream with their self-titled ‘Black Album,’ which made them stars and set in motion two decades of ambitious projects, including a live album with the San Francisco Symphony and a much-maligned collaboration with Lou Reed. Despite the bumps, they remain one of the best and most popular bands on the planet.
15 Years Ago: Metallica Returns to Thrash on 'Death Magnetic'
This album served as an open apology to long-suffering fans.
How Metallica Preached Forgiveness on 'The Day That Never Comes'
Lead single from 'Death Magnetic' revealed a revitalized group.
Hear Metallica's 'Kill 'Em All' Played in the Style of ZZ Top
Musician Denis Pauna reimagines the metal legends' entire debut with 'Top 'Em All.'
40 Years Ago: Metallica Thrashes All Around on 'Whiplash'
'Kill 'Em All' lead single crystalized their essence into one four-minute blitzkrieg.
Metallica, Pantera and Mammoth WVH Hit the US: Set List, Videos
Pantera and Mammoth WVH supported the metal giants.
40 Years Ago: Metallica Transforms Metal With ‘Kill ‘Em All’
The band first had to abandon their hometown of Los Angeles.
Hear 25 AI 'James Hetfield' Covers: Toto, Wham!, Seal and More
Metallica frontman's replicated voice can also be heard covering Genesis and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
How Metallica Catered to Diehards With Their 'Fan Can' Series
Collectors' items combine rare audiovisual footage with exclusive merchandise.
How James Hetfield's Car Passion Powered Metallica's 'Fuel'
Frontman was content to let the engines do the talking in one of the strongest songs from 'Load'/'Reload' era.