Metallica Releases Self-Titled Album, Also Known ask the ‘Black Album’ On This Day in 1991

by Jonathan Howard

The world got a whole lot heavier this day 30 years ago. Metallica released their self-titled album, known as the “Black Album” on this day in 1991. Among the tracklist are some of the band’s most iconic and unforgettable songs including Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam, and more.

Over the course of 12 songs and just over an hour, this album is what people think of when they think of Metallica. Die-hard fans will mention other albums as their favorites, such as Ride The Lightning, …And Justice for All, or another classic. However, for the casual Metallica and heavy metal listener, this is THE Metallica album. It also earned the band a Grammy in 1992 for Best Metal Performance.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the album, Metallica has released a podcast. Along with that, the band also asked multiple artists to record covers of the songs on the album. Those artists include Jason Isbell, Jon Pardi, Weezer, Miley Cyrus, and many others. Also available for fans to listen to is a special edition of Nothing Else Matters. One of the best songs from one of the best albums of all time gets a fun new twist. The recording was done July 8th, 1991, and features the Orchestra mix with just the clean guitar and vocals.

What can be said about such a legendary band that hasn’t been said a million times before? The Black Album was such a gift for the music world. Millions of fans over the years have been inspired, moved, and rocked out to the thrash metal Bible. Fans that were teenagers in 1991 have raised their kids on the album and Metallica’s larger catalog. Now, a third generation is starting to grow up and with the 30th anniversary this year, hopefully, they too will interact with this wonderful piece of art.

Metallica The Last 30 Years

Those that know the details on Metallica’s long and storied existence know they didn’t just stop at the Black Album and it damn sure isn’t where they started, either. Metallica had already entered the scene almost 10 years earlier. With their debut album, Kill ‘Em All the band’s fast and heavy brand of metal fit the ties perfectly. Looking back, Metallica appears at such a unique crossroads in rock.

The early 1980s marked a point in time where disco was breathing its very last breath. Pop music was becoming more electronic and synthesizers and keyboards were all over. Heavy metal was represented by glam rock on the radio at the time, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when Metallica and Megadeth emerge on the scene they bring a heavy sound that takes fans by storm.

Leading up to the Black Album, Metallica put out a string of albums that are now necessary heavy metal material. After Kill ‘Em All Metallica went on to release Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, as well as, …And Justice for All within a four-year period between 1984-1988. During the last four years of the Ronald Reagan administration, Metallica put out three truly classic albums.

Since the Black Album, the band has just released more classic music, even among the “bad” projects. 30 years after their self-titled masterpiece, Metallica keeps rocking. Happy anniversary to the best thrash metal band ever!