Drummer Lars Ulrich originally set the wheels of Metallica in motion when he placed an ad in a Los Angeles, California paper looking for musicians to "jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden", and teamed with guitarist James Hetfield in 1981. It resulted in the formation of one of the few metal bands to break into the mainstream and stay there as they asserted themselves as one of the world's biggest-selling bands. Initially joined by lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, who was replaced by Kirk Hammett in 1983 when Mustaine left to form Megadeth, Metallica released two albums before unleashing the influential Master of Puppets in 1986. Overcoming the death of original bass player Cliff Burton, they brought on Jason Newsted. That line-up released 1988’s …And Justice for All, a Top 5 hit in many countries that laid the groundwork for the breakthrough commercial success of their 1991 self-titled LP which went to Number 1 in the United States and in several European countries. They followed it up with the chart toppers Load and Reload, before tensions within the band led to the ousting of Newsted in 2001. They recorded 2003’s St. Anger mostly as a trio before adding Robert Trujillo to take on bass duties full-time, a chapter recorded in the documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Though it divided fans, the album again hit Number 1 around the world, as did 2008’s Death Magnetic and 2016’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. Though they were one of the most influential metal act of their era, they challenged themselves and their fans on interesting collaborations including backing Lou Reed on the arty Lulu in 2011, and a pair of albums recorded with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, 1999’s S&M and 2020’s S&M2. While the band has seemingly fallen out of favor with fans of their classic recordings, they continued to release hit albums including 2016’s Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, which hit Number 1 in the US, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland. After a seven year wait, Metallica returned in 2023 with their 11th studio album, 72 Seasons. The album – which included the singles “Screaming Suicide,” “If Darkness Had a Son,” “Lux Æterna,” and the title track – entered the Billboard 200 at Number 2 and was their 12th album release to chart in the Top 10. They’ve also released live albums including the box set Live Shit: Binge & Purge (1993) as well as the covers mini album The $5.98 E.P. – Garage Days Re-Revisited (1987).

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Stations Featuring Metallica

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