Metallica: “Fade to Black”

ALBUM: Ride the Lightning

YEAR: 1984

WRITERS: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett

It was only released as a promotional single. It did end up at number-24 in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll of the best guitar solos ever. ‘Fade to Black’ was the first time we got some guff from fans. ‘Ooh, you sold out. You did a ballad.’ Wow. Okay. ‘What’s sell out mean to you, my friend?’ You know. And you have to sit and explain to everyone that ‘sell out’ means you’ve done something you don’t want to do, or you’ve compromised for someone else. And everything we write is for us.”

Metallica frontman James Hetfield celebrates his 53rd birthday today (August 3rd).


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