Thursday, October 13, 2011

An Artist a Day: 8

Today's artist is Metallica.

Metallica is one of those bands that runs hot and cold with me.  I like some of their music, but some of it I find just noisy and uninspired.  But the stuff of theirs that is good is really, really good.  In my opinion, that's the music that I own.  The black album.  S&M.  Most of Garage, Inc.  Unlike the Metallica uber-fan, I'm not a fan of their early work.  It seems immature and half-baked to me.  Their later stuff just sounds more mature and stronger to me.  Less raw, sure, but stronger.

My experience with Metallica began in middle school.  The stoners and the kids I couldn't stand to be around were the Metallica fans, so naturally I wanted nothing to do with the band.  Then, in 1991 Metallica, also known as "the black album"came out.  The first time I heard it, I was playing sand volleyball (as I did a lot in the summer before my senior year) and it was simply awesome.  But I didn't buy the album.  It was Metallica, after all.  I liked it, though.  "Enter Sandman" was on that album.  And "One."  The album was legendary.

And that was it until 1999.  That's when I heard the Metallica version of "Turn the Page" on the radio one day.  I was really into a heavier rock sound at the time and so I bought Metallica's Garage, Inc. CD.  It was a collection of cover songs, which made the purchase less risky for me.  But I soon became addicted to Metallica's growly sound on other songs, such as "No Leaf Clover" and "Fuel" from the same album.  "Whiskey in the Jar" became a staple in my music rotation almost nonstop for a long time.  Then the theme to Mission: Impossible 2 came out and I was even further hooked.  I ended up buying the black album and Load.

And then came S&M.  Metallica put out a double album of a live show with the San Francisco symphony that was both beautiful and haunting; both moody and hard-rocking.  It was (and still is) simply great to listen to.

And then that was it again.  The band lineup changed and Metallica just seemed to fall apart and fade from the radar. In the mean time, my musical tastes changed, as well, from rock to more alternative.  By the time Metallica resurfaced in 2003 I was a father and had more important things on my mind.  That, and the sound of Metallica's new album just didn't grab me.  The same is true of their subsequent work, as well.

So my Metallica catalog consists primarily of music from a four year period in the band's history, with the exception of Metallica.  It's the Metallica sound that I like.  It may have been their most "commercial" period, which will send any "real" Metallica fan screaming in the other direction, but I'm not claiming to be a Metallica fanboy.  So there.

Playlist: 75 songs; 6.9 hours

No comments: