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Metallica - Ride The Lightning

We still haven't calmed down from "Kill ‘Em All" and here it is, exactly a year and two days after, this crazy and insane album comes out, this is "Ride The Lightning", "Metallica's" second album which was released on July 27, 1984 !!

So to drive you a little crazy because the first song is going to collapse you from the very first second, here are 36 facts about the album:


1. The album was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen Denmark, Lars Ulrich's hometown.


2. The band choose the studios both because it was cheap and because "Rainbow's" album "Difficult to Cure" was recorded there.


3. This time the duration of the recordings took three weeks (one week longer than the debut album).


4. The band members wanted to get the same sound as "Rainbow's" "Difficult to Cure" album that they loved so much, so they also took the same "Rainbow" recording technician - Flemming Rasmussen.


5. Whoever coined the name of the album was Kirk Hammet. He read Stephen King's book "The Stand" in which he talks about a death row inmate just waiting to "ride the lightning." Hammett thought Ride The Lightning would be a good name for the song, he told James Hetfield about it and the rest is history.



6. The Metallica logo with the big M and A that appears on the cover of the album was created by James Hatfield.


7. The cost of the album was twice as much as the previous one, about $ 30,000.


8. Since the record company Megaforce failed to pay the cost, Metallica's European label filled in the gaps.


9. This is the band's shortest studio album with 47 minutes of melody.


10. The album is much heavier and more melodic than its predecessor. It's slow and gloomy compared to the debut album.


11. The musical change is mainly attributed to the fact that this is the first time the four members have written together. The first album was written mostly by Dave Mustaine, Hetfield, and Ulrich. This time Hammett and Cliff Burton, who comes from a more melodic world, also entered the writing rotation, which is probably the reason for the musical change.


12. Before recording the album Hetfield was not sure that his voice was good enough and he wanted to focus on playing, so the singing role was offered to singer John Bush from the band "Armored Saint", who declined the offer cause his band was successful at the time.


13. Cliff wrote the acoustic opening track of the song "Fight Fire With Fire".

14. Cliff also wrote and plays the immortal opening riff of the song "For Whom the Bell Tolls".


15. The members of "Metallica" had no money so they had to sleep in the recording studio, similar to the previous album.


16. They always recorded at night and slept during the day, so during the entire recording period they did not see any daylight at all.


17. Technician Flemming Rasmussen remembers that after a week of recordings in the studio the smell was unbearable and he had to demand from the band members to take a shower.


18. "Mercyful Fate's" rehearsal room was adjacent to the recording studio. "Metallica" members were fans of the band and spent quite a bit in their company.


19. They finished writing the songs "Fade to Black", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Escape" in the rehearsal room of "Merciful Faith".

20. The band wrote the song "Escape" in order to include in the album a more friendly song in the style of "Foreigner" and "Journey", which will be a radio hit. The original name of the song was "The Hammer" - a pair of words that appear at the end of the song: "See them try to bring the hammer down".


21. Although it is one of the most catchy songs on the album, it has not been played by the band in performances for 28 years, until a performance in 2012 in which the entire album was played from beginning to end. Since then the song has not been played again.


22. The song "Fade To Black" was written by Hetfield after his amp was stolen. It was the first amp he purchased and it probably made him so depressed that he decided to write the song.


23. Jason Newsted's first album "Flotsam and Jetsam" had a song called "Fade to Black", but it's a different song and not a cover version of "Metallica's" song.


24. "Fade to Black" is also Newsted's favorite song by "Metallica", and was also the last song he played with the band on November 30, 2000, during a performance at the "VH1 Music Awards".


25. The intro to the song "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is played by Cliff Burton with a bass guitar attached to a distortion effect.


26. The song opens with a bell ringing that lasts throughout the first minute of the song.


27. Another famous song that opens with a bell ringing is "Hell's Bells" by "AC/DC" from the album "Back In Black" which we wrote to you yesterday, only that there is a fundamental difference between the two. The bell on "AC/DC's" album is a real bell to the memory of their lead singer Bon Scott. Not like in Metallica's song where they resembled the sound of a bell by Lars hammering an anvil.


28. The song "Creeping Death" was inspired by the movie "The Ten Commandments".


29. The song is actually an incarnation of a song by the band "Exodus" in which Kirk Hammett was a member, called "Die by His Hand". The song was recorded as a demo by Exodus but was never released on the album. "Metallica" changed the lyrics and slightly the riffs and created the masterpiece.



30. The song "Trapped Under Ice" was influenced by the movie "Never Cry Wolf" which was watched by the band members, and included a scene where one of the actors was trapped under the ice in a frozen lake. The riff for this song is also taken from a riff originally played by Hammett in his previous band Exodus.


31. If you try to play along with the album you will find that the instruments are not really tuned as the standard guitar. It was not a deliberate move by the band, they just tuned all their instruments based on an old and unintentional piano that was in the studio and that's the result.


32. The instrumental track "The Call of Ktulu" is one of two tracks on the album that Dave Mustaine co-wrote before being thrown out of the band (the second song is the theme song).


33. The track was influenced by a novel by the writer H.P. Lovecraft in which the character Cthulhu is mentioned - a kind of monstrous god. The band members deliberately confused the name for Ktulu because they thought the original spelling was complicated.


34. The original name of the piece is called "Hell Freezes Over".


35. Remember the caption that was behind the cover of "Kill 'Em All" ?? So this is the name given by the band members for the European tour to promote this album in 1984: "Bang That Head That Doesn't Bang".


36. Two months after the release of the album, record label Elektra Records signed "Metallica" on a multi-year contract. The signing came following their big impression of the band when they saw them as an opening show with Anthrax for the band Raven.


Listen to the album on: Spotify, Apple Music


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