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Country United States
Style Trash Metal
Heavy Metal
Year 1981

Metallica is an American thrash metal/heavy metal band known for establishing the thrash metal genre along with Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax (known as the "Big Four of Thrash Metal"). Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by guitarist and lead vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich,[1] they are one of the most popular in-concert bands while selling about 90 million records worldwide.[2]

They have released a total of eight studio albums, the most well known being Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and Metallica (The Black Album). In September 2008, the band released its ninth album, Death Magnetic.[3]

The band has come under criticism following their campaign to sue internet users who shared their music on Napster.

Original lineup

Originally, the band consisted of;

  • James Hetfield (Rhythm Guitar and vocals)
  • Lars Ulrich (Drums)
  • Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar)
  • Ron McGovney (Bass)

Kill 'Em All lineup

Before Metallica's first album was recorded, both McGovney and Mustaine were fired, Mustaine due to his struggles with alcohol and drugs, and McGovney due to his inability to get along with other members. Metallica hired Kirk Hammett to replace Mustaine, and Cliff Burton to replace McGovney. This would be known as the "classic" Metallica lineup.

After Master Of Puppets

After Master Of Puppets, widely believed to be Metallica's best album, bassist Cliff Burton died in a tour bus accident in Sweden. He was replaced with Flotsam and Jetsam's bassist, Jason Newsted who left after making his one and only album with them Doomsday For The Deciever.

St. Anger

Just before the recording of Metallica's 8th studio album, Newsted left the band, saying that he felt like he never quite fit in. Producer Bob Rock took over the duty of playing the bass for St. Anger.

Napster Controversy

In 2000, Metallica discovered that its song "I Disappear", which was supposed to be released in combination with the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack was being played on the radio. They traced the source of the leak, the band found the file on the Napster website which was owned by a liberal, and also found that the band's entire catalogue was freely available on the website. They sued Napster. Ulrich led the case against Napster.

Ulrich provided a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding copyright infringement on July 11, 2000. Federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ordered the site place a filter on the program in three days or be shut down. A settlement was reached between Metallica and Napster. Under the terms of this settlement, Napster agreed to block users who shared music by artists who don't want their music shared.

Current lineup

  • James Hetfield (rhythm guitar and vocals)
  • Lars Ulrich (drums)
  • Kirk Hammett (lead guitar)
  • Robert Trujillo (bass)


  • Kill 'Em All (1983)
  • Ride the Lightning (1984)
  • Master of Puppets (1986)
  • ...And Justice for All (1988)
  • Metallica (1991)
  • Load (1996)
  • ReLoad (1997)
  • Garage Inc. (1998) - Cover album
  • S&M (1999) - Live album with San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (lead by Michael Kamen) backup
  • St. Anger (2003)
  • Death Magnetic (2008)
  • "Lulu" (2011) - Collaboration with Lou Reed providing spoken-word vocals
  • Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2016)

See also




External links