METALLICA REFLECTS ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘RIDE THE LIGHTNING’
Metallica's second album, Ride The Lightning, turns 30 years old this week and drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke with Rolling Stone about the record and its place in Metallica's history. Asked if Metallica was trying to make a different album from its debut, 1983's Kill 'Em All, Ulrich replied, "It was the first time that the four of us wrote together and we got a chance to broaden our horizons. I don't think it was a conscious effort to break away from anything musically . . . we were obviously still into the thrash type of stuff. But we were realizing you had to be careful that it didn't become too limiting or one-dimensional."
Ulrich explained that Ride The Lightning was the first album to feature writing contributions from Hammett and late bassist Cliff Burton, who had arrived in the band after most of the material for Kill 'Em All had been written.
He explained, "Ride The Lightning was the first time that both Cliff and Kirk got a chance to add what they were doing. They just came from a different school, especially Cliff, who came from a much more melodic approach."
The varied sounds of the disc, which included the first Metallica ballad in "Fade To Black," drew mixed responses from some fans. Ulrich recalled, "It did surprise us a little bit, I guess. People started calling us sellouts and all that type of stuff. Some people were a little bit bewildered by the fact that there was a song that had acoustic guitars."
Noting that at least four songs from the album are still part of Metallica's live set today, Ulrich said that Ride The Lightning "holds up very well," adding, "There's kind of a youthful energy that runs through the record."
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