Rock and roll was never meant to be the lightest genre.
As this was the kind of music that was supposed to be the antithesis of wholesome 1940s music, you can imagine the shock most people had when they saw the likes of Little Richard screaming into the mic for the first time. .
Still, that doesn’t mean rock and roll wasn’t afraid to be completely black in its presentation.
As much as these songs can stick in your head time and time again, there’s a lot more shady stuff going on in the background. Whether it was how they got the lyrical inspiration or how the parts were recorded, a lot of pain had to happen before songs like these could be recorded properly. And it gets even scarier when they become the greatest songs the band has ever had.
Yes, for a handful of these tracks, they’re not just an odd tangent to the band…they’re the hallmark of their entire career. So now you have legions of fans singing songs that are so messed up that reading the lyrics out loud on the street will give you weird looks.
Again, it takes real artists to create something with an ugly story and turn it into something beautiful.
Of all the phenomenal metal albums Metallica released in the 80s, And Justice For All seems like a bit of a black sheep. Outside of the memes being created about how you can’t hear the bass, there seems to be something missing from the traditional thrash sound that the metal gods were known for. And the name of that missing piece of the puzzle was Cliff Burton.
After going on tour to promote their previous album, Cliff was tragically killed in a bus accident on his way to the next show. Still grief-stricken as they continued to record the next album, most of the hazing fell on replacement Jason Newsted, who got a bit ugly when they decided to drop his bass in the mix. When the smoke has cleared, To Live Is To Die is still one of the most heartbreaking things you’ll ever hear.
Inspired by their memories of Cliff, this whole instrument plays like the band members trying to come to terms with the music after the loss of their friend, especially with the mid-section where James Hetfield recites a poem Cliff had shortly written. before his death. Even though metal is known for being a nasty genre, it’s the closest thing to hearing people deal with the stages of grief in real time.