Origin: Los Angeles, Calif.
Members: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo
Genre: Heavy metal, specifically thrash metal
Studio albums: Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ... And Justice for All, Metallica, Load, ReLoad, St. Anger and Death Magnetic
Awards: Throughout its career, the band has received nine Grammy awards, two MTV Music Video Awards, two American Music Awards, three Billboard Music Awards and a Kerrang! Award
Death Magnetic facts: Death Magnetic is the first Metallica album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo. It is their fifth consecutive album to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
In 1981, drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a California newspaper looking for band members. Through this ad he met rhythm guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, who has been a staple in the band over the years. Dave Mustaine was originally recruited for lead guitarist, but was soon kicked out of the band for drug and alcohol abuse. He was replaced by guitarist Kirk Hammett in 1983. After a series of bassists, Robert Trujillo has been with the band since 2003. The name Metallica was originally proposed by Ulrich's friend Rob Quintana.
Metallica recorded its first album in 1982. This album was originally titled Metal Up Your Ass, but the record label and distributors did not approve of this name, and the album was renamed Kill 'Em All. This album managed to appear on the Billboard 200 list, as did Metallica's second album, Ride the Lightning. The band's popularity really began to rise, though, with the release of its third studio album, Master of Puppets, in 1986.
Metallica suffered a traumatic setback in September of 1986 with the death of bassist Clifford Burton. On tour in Europe, the driver of the tour bus lost control of the vehicle in Sweden, and the bus flipped over several times. In the crash, Burton got pinned underneath the bus and was killed. The shock of Burton's death left the band with questions about whether to carry on. With the blessings of Burton's family, however, the band eventually found a replacement bassist in Jason Newsted.
The 1988 release of ... And Justice for All marked the band's first Billboard top 10 album, peaking at No. 6. In 1990, the band reached its first No. 1 position on the chart with the release of its self-titled album. The 1996 album Load also made it to the No. 1 spot, as did the follow-up, ReLoad.
In 2000, Metallica took legal action against music sharing site Napster for allowing its songs to be distributed for free among users. The band alleged that Napster violated copyright infringement, unlawfully used a digital audio interface device, and violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Also named in the lawsuit were three universities who allowed use of Napster service on their campuses. Over 335,000 Napster users were banned from the site for sharing Metallica's music. The band and Napster eventually came to a settlement, but not long after Napster was forced to liquidate under Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws.
Newsted left Metallica in 2001. Not long after, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky began documenting the process of Metallica recording its next studio album, St. Anger. During this time, Hetfield entered rehab, and again the future of the band was unclear. Hetfield was able to return to the band, however, and the documentary produced by Berlinger and Sinofsky, entitled Some Kind of Monster, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Robert Trujillo became Newsted's permanent replacement in 2003. St. Anger debuted as No. 1 on the Billboard list, followed by Death Magnetic in 2008.
2009 Metallica Tour:
In 2009, Metallica toured to promote their newest album, Death Magnetic, released in September of 2008. Their first American tour in several years, the band will have riled up crowds in 26 North American cities with their unique brand of thrash metal by the end of the tour. Metallica's popularity has raged on through the years, and by the time they released Death Magnetic, they were estimated to have sold 100 million copies of their records worldwide.
Now, 28 years after their formation in 1981, Metallica is not showing signs of slowing. Metallica's ninth studio album, Death Magnetic debuted as the No. 1 album in several countries, including the United States, and stayed at the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart for three weeks—one of only two albums to accomplish this feat in 2008. In the weeks after its release, the album made it to the No. 1 spot in a total of 32 countries.
Metallica's style has evolved throughout its history, but Death Magnetic marks a return to its '80s roots. This album is a true heavy metal/thrash metal masterpiece, and was nominated for four Grammy awards. It won two of the awards, for Best Metal Performance (for the song "My Apocalypse") and for Best Recording Package.