It’s sad but true -- chances are if you don’t own a Metallica album then you’ve never heard these songs before in your life. Even if you’ve had a chance to see Metallica in concert, to see them play these songs are a rare occurrence and you should consider yourself lucky to have experienced it if you did. If you were old enough to remember it, Metallica played an encore medley featuring which two songs on this list? First correct answer gets our metal nod of approval… Here are the top 10 Metallica songs you’ve NEVER heard before!
10. Devil’s Dance (Reload, 1997)
Metallica’s second bassist, Jason Newsted, never got the due he deserved, but on this dirty groover, Newsted’s fat bass line stands out on one of “Reload’s” few listenable tracks.
9. Spit Out The Bone (Hardwired… to Self-Destruct, 2016)
Metallica came screaming back into the fray of Metal Goddom in 2016, as if they never recorded two and a half decades worth of questionable music before “Hardwired…To Self Destruct”. “Spit Out The Bone” can be one of Metallica’s greatest songs -- if only it had been written 25 years ago!
8. Wasting My Hate (Load, 1996)
In the mid-nineties, the whole world was waiting for the follow up to Metallica’s magna-opus “Black Album.” I still remember the froth as we waited in line at midnight to buy and hear the CD. Many a metal fans were quite disappointed in Metallica’s musical direction, but there still were some heavy hitters on “Load” -- “Waste My Hate” being the Barry Bonds of them all!
7. Of Wolf and Man (Metallica, 1991)
It’s a heavy metal song about being a werewolf, ‘nuff said!
6. Dyers Eve (...And Justice for All, 1988)
Arguably the most brutal song in Metallica’s repertoire both lyrically and musically, “Dyers Eve” caps off “...And Justice For All,” leaving its listener breathless. The song is so fast, Metallica famously never played it live until 2004 -- and even then drummer Lars Ulrich gave up trying to play the double bass part in the song.
5. Damage Inc. (Master of Puppets, 1986)
Another album ender, but this time on “Master of Puppets” -- Metallica’s best album which featured “Battery,” “Master of Puppets,” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium);” all mainstays on late night rock radio and on stage. This whole album was so good, it’s no surprise that that the last song on the album once again doesn't get the attention it deserved.
4. Ride the Lightning (Ride the Lightning, 1984)
The title track to Metallica’s second full-length album sounds as fresh today as it did nearly 35 years ago. Add the fact that lead singer James Hetfield wrote a song about being condemned to death by the electric chair and you begin to sense the heavy metal genius and forward thinking of a band that defined a generation of metal fans.
3. (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth (Kill ‘Em All, 1983)
Lemmy from Motörhead may have transformed the way the bass guitar was played in heavy metal music, but it was Metallica’s original bassist, Cliff Burton, whose bass chops and soul took Metallica from an okay metal band to, arguably, the best metal band on the face of the planet.
2. Last Caress/Green Hell (Live Shit: Binge and Purge, 1993)
Metallica is known for their cover songs. They never shied away from playing them live or even recording them as a B-side. After Cliff Burton’s untimely death, Metallica hit the studio with new bottom ender, Jason Newsted, to peel off the world’s most famous set of cover songs the world has known. An EP lasting just over twenty minutes, the first half final track (Last Caress by the Misfits), blows the mind of listeners with equally cutting lyrics and aggressive guitars. Try as you might, if you hear somebody start singing, “I got something to say….” the second half of the sentence will slip out of you even at your godchild’s baptism.
1. Am I Evil? (Kill ‘Em All, 1983)
The irony that Metallica's greatest song that you’ve never heard is a cover song doesn’t escape me, but I do not think it would escape Metallica either -- a band that has lived and breathed irony from its roots. Perhaps it is the many twists of irony that has allowed Metallica to be one of the world’s most relevant metal bands, even after this Diamond Head cover nearly 40 years later!
Article image: Silve Blue [CC BY 2.0], from Flickr.