Formed in 1981 by guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, Metallica would go on to become the biggest heavy metal band in the world with a career spanning over 30 years with an estimated 100 million records sold worldwide.
The group's initial lineup consisted of Hetfield and Ulrich alongside lead guitarist Dave Mustaine and Cliff Burton (who replaced original bass player Ron McGovney) but due to personality issues Mustaine was replaced by, the then Exodus guitarist, Kirk Hammett. Mustaine went on to form the iconic band Megadeth, while the newly strengthened Metallica focused on their first release, Kill 'Em All in 1983.
The newly empowered Metallica went from strength to strength, releasing Ride The Lightning in 1984 and the genre defining Master of Puppets in 1986, but tragedy struck in '86 when a tour bus crash took the life of Cliff Burton, throwing the future of the band into question.
After much deliberation the group decided to press on, eventually deciding to bring in Jason Newsted to fill the bottom end, the new lineup released ...And Justice for All in 1988, an album that's often overlooked due to the notoriety of it's predecessor and successor, but it still brought the band their first album, to enter the top 10, going platinum in just nine weeks and offering classics such as Harvester of Sorrow and One.
From here Metallica embraced their commercial potential, enlisting Bob Rock to produce their next album, and the resulting self titled release (known as “The Black Album” by fans due to it's black cover) took the group to new heights of success, going an impressive 16 times platinum in the US alone.
From here the group continued to explore and develop their sound, releasing the more rock orientated Load ('96) and Re-Load ('97), before adopting a more “modern” metal sound on 2003's St. Anger (which also saw the departure of Newsted who was replaced by Suicidal Tendencies bassist Robert Trujillo) and returning to their thrash roots with 2008's Death Magnetic.
Here at LickLibrary we have a huge selection of Metallica guitar lessons with tutors like Andy James and Jamie Humphries, along with a host of Metallica backing tracks to get you playing like these titans of thrash metal in no time at all.