Metallica: The Black Album (1991)

 

Another album that recently had its 30th Birthday was “The Black Album” from those fun loving metal heads known as Metallica.

What is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said?

Exactly…everything that could have been written about it has been especially lately in magazines, podcasts etc.

So for this post lets go back to August 12th 1991 when I was 23 years young and my younger brother Todd was 13!

It was a nice day out so we both decided to ride our bikes to the record shop and we would each grab copies of “The Black Album”. My copy being on CD and Todd’s preference at the time was cassette tape!

Now if you are a reader of this blog you will already know and if you don’t I will tell you all that the deal that I had with my brother was he would be in what you call in todays lingo my ‘mule’ back in 90-92!

If I was at work and once a new release would come out I would send my brother with the cash in hand to get us each a copy. CD and cassette.

What a great arrangement. This way I could shoot straight home after work and there in my bedroom would be the new releases at the time from Van Halen, Skid Row, Guns N Roses, David Lee Roth. Plus with my brother getting into music this boosted up his collection in no time.

As I mentioned earlier I had that week of August 12th off so as we made our 1 hour bike ride (each way) to the record shop once we entered I still recall seeing stacks of The Black Album and on tape and disc.

A quick purchase and we were out the door..

Ah, good times….damn good times…

Forward to September 2021 and with Metallica reissuing this album on all kinds of formats, I wanted it on vinyl.

I will tell you folks that it pays to preorder vinyl on Amazon as soon as you hear about new releases coming.

Case in point earlier this year I preordered both vinylreissues of Black Sabbaths Heaven And Hell and Mob Rules.  Under 70 bucks  Canadian for both double sets. Once the day of release came Amazon didn’t  have them.

I waited and about a month later I got them. Than they spiked up to $46 Canadian each!

Same with The Black Album. Once the preorder went up on Amazon I got the double vinyl set for including shipping $27 Canadian.

It pays to hunt around and if your asking why not support a local shop well there’s an easy answer to that. Other than Sunrise Records (a national chain) there is no local shop to support!

Kinda funny now (but I’m sure it wasn’t funny 30 years ago) that the working title of this record was “Married To Metal” as three of the Metallica guys were going through divorces at the time.

Expertly dialled in by Bob Rock and Randy Stuab at the production end of things, even though Hetfield and Ulrich are credited as well (producers) you know they were listed as they were having issues with letting a guy like Bob call the shots.

In the end though Rock and Staub delivered the sonics and hearing this on vinyl for the first time this record sounds HUGE!

No need to go into a track by track breakdown but man when Lars snare kicks in on “Enter Sandman” or even that snare crack at the beginning of “Sad But True”. Heavy it is but not in the tradition of Slayer heavy.

Bob Rock expertly executed the sound of Metallica and you can hear Jason Newsted’s Bass as well. Cheers to that.

The performances over the albums 12 tracks are brilliant and in saying that Metallica has always made good records.

On a side note I got into them when “Master of Puppets” was released when I was in Grade 12 (back in 86) and have followed them since.

“And Justice For All” I really liked and would put it behind the Black Albumalbum as perhaps my second favourite record of there’s as I love that it was the exact opposite of  everything  in terms of music when it came out in 88!

Long songs, big drums, loud guitars, no bass and for the longest time  no singles and no video!

You have to respect em at the time for that.

But by 91 Metallica realized to stay in the game and to make some serious dough maybe it was time to come down a notch.

By doing doing that since Aug 1991, “The Black Album” has sold 30 million records worldwide. Needless to say James, Kirk, Jason and Lars don’t have to worry about paying there electricity bill ever again!

Thats food for thought!

 

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “Metallica: The Black Album (1991)”

  1. This album is a monolith of the era. Released the same day as Pearl Jam’s Ten it took me a little while to get my own copy (I couldn’t raise funds for more than one album a week) but since then I’ve opened it on Tape, CD and Vinyl. I waist imagined the production was so crisp a remaster couldn’t bring much more too it. I was wrong

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  2. I didn’t buy the re-issue as I already have a copy of it on vinyl that I bought only a couple years ago. No need to buy it again at the moment. The only Metallica album I own if that says anything about what i think of it. It is a beast of an album and turned them in to the megastars they are still today.

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  3. Love the Wherever I May Roam intro – and whenever I hear the opening Sad But True riff (good call on the snare crack), I pause for a second to decide whether it’s Metallica or Kid Rock’s American Badass!

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  4. I played the vinyl recently as well, and this is reeeeaally well done. Very happy with it from packaging to sound. It came during my mid-life crisis/plumbing disaster and was a hell of a pick me up!

    Great memories Deke and great music.

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  5. I still have my original CD in great condition. I played it that much that to part with it or to bring in a newer version of the album would be to dishonor it’s memory.

    Lol.

    And this album put the word “heavy” into the Charts and Radio.

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  6. That’s sad three of the Metallica members were going through a divorce at the time. “The God That Failed” is my favorite song from the Black album. It used to be “Enter Sandman,” but I’ve grown to love the deeper cuts more. I love the story of you giving your brother money to buy the new releases you wanted and then they would be on your bed when you got home!

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  7. Though I can’t pinpoint what got me fully accepting of things other than jazz (was it Pearl Jam and Nirvana? Was it Extreme III? I dunno, high school was confusing enough, eh!) but this album is a frontrunner in the albums that showed me other worlds. The tech kids listened to Metallica, and wore their shirts. I knew of them, but this album was everywhere, and it seeped in. I bought it, and played it a lot. I remember there being a track later in the record that sounded to me like it lifted Aaron Copland, but I can’t remember which one, now.

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