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Metallica

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Metallica
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In every genre of music, there are artists who both define and transcend their roots, reinventing a musical scene in the process. Throughout the rich history of Elektra, artists from the Doors to Queen, from Tim Buckley to Joni Mitchell, from Linda Ronstadt to the Eagles have reshaped the modern musical landscape. In 1984, with the signing of Metallica, another game-changing artist joined the Elektra family.
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In every genre of music, there are artists who both define and transcend their roots, reinventing a musical scene in the process. Throughout the rich history of Elektra, artists from the Doors to Queen, from Tim Buckley to Joni Mitchell, from Linda Ronstadt to the Eagles have reshaped the modern musical landscape. In 1984, with the signing of Metallica, another game-changing artist joined the Elektra family. The California-born band was initially signed by the Megaforce label, which released their first two albums. In the fall of ’84, Metallica entered major labeldom when Elektra inked the band and reissued their innovative album, Ride the Lightning, which had been released just four months earlier. In 1986, the group was catapulted from the underground metal scene into the mainstream with the album that metal aficionados consider their masterpiece, Master of Puppets. With intelligent lyrics, deft musicianship, and thundering power, they transcended heavy metal, and their live shows were showcases of performer-audience communication. When bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a tour bus accident, they considered quitting altogether, but singer-guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and drummer Lars Ulrich stayed the course with newcomer Jason Newsted finding his own path to replace the revered Burton. Their 1988 concept album, ...And Justice For All, contained the stunning, complex “One,” based on the Dalton Trumbo novel, Johnny Got His Gun, part of an album of song-suites. Metallica raised the bar for themselves on the landmark Metallica (The Black Album), three years in the making. Released in 1991, it became the metal album that people who thought they didn’t like metal just had to own, and at this writing has been certified 15-times platinum in the U.S. alone.
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Metallica was highlighted by the unexpected hit single, “Enter Sandman,” which out-grunged the Seattle scene that had broken nationwide the same year. Metallica remained with Elektra until the label went into dormancy in 2004, moving over to sister label Warner Bros. for 2008’s Death Magnetic – continuing to produce electrifying music in a genre that they transcended with exceptional strength, invention, and brilliance.
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