METALLICA - 33 Year Anniversary of 'Ride The Lighting' 









Shortly after arriving in New York in 1983, Dave Mustaine was replaced by the shredder of Exodus Kirk Hammett. James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett released a ground breaking album titled ‘Kill Em All’. Metallica originally wanted to call the album ‘Metal Up Your Ass’ except the record company would not allow this. This album was a combination of Punk, American hard core and New Wave British Heavy Metal, known as Thrash metal today. The album did not reach the top of the Billboard charts until 1986 when the album peaked at 155.

Today we celebrate Metallica’s 33rd year since ‘Ride The Lighting’ was released. On July27th 1984 Metallica released their second album ‘Ride The Lighting’ this album was produced with Flemming Rassmussen.  Ride the lighting hit number 100 on the billboard charts with songs such as ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ and ‘Fade To Black’.

Cliff Burton contribution to Metallica was huge as he stepped up and helped Metallica write 6 out of the 8 songs that were listed on this album. Cliff Burton encouraged his band mates to experiment with different tempos and song structures with songs such as ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ and the instrumental ‘The Call of Ktulu’.


In a interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Kirk Hammett got asked where the title for their album ‘Ride The Lighting’ came from, Kirk responded with “I was reading The Stand by Stephen King, and there was this one passage where this guy was on death row said he was waiting to "ride the lightning." I remember thinking, "Wow, what a great song title." I told James, and it ended up being a song and the album title.”

By the summer of 1984 Q Prime Management and Elektra Records signed Metallica, Metallica were touring on a regular basis and their fan base grew rapidly.

In 1986 Metallica released their third Studio album ‘Master Of Puppets’ which was produced with Michael Wagener. This album hit number 30 on the charts and the album featured their title song ‘Battery’.  Metallica secured a spot on Ozzy Osbourne’s tour which lead them to unbelievable success.

On September 27th 1986 an unthinkable tragedy hit Metallica. Metallica were on their way to a show in Denmark and their tour bus veered off the road, this accident caused the death of ‘Cliff Burton’ at the age of 24. Metallica learnt how to structure songs in different ways thanks to ‘Cliff Burton’.

The album ‘Ride The Lighting’ made a great contribution to Metallica’s music, It was one of the best classic albums of all time. The album is very melodic and it was their first album with a classic ballad titled ‘Fade To Black’.