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July 27, 1984: Metallica Release ‘Ride The Lightning’

Before any band achieves that breakthrough, there must always be that defining moment of growth, and for Metallica, that growth came 32 years ago with the release of their sophomore effort Ride The Lightning.

Just a year after the band was unleashed on the world with their debut Kill ‘Em All, the artistic leap of Ride The Lightning is simply staggering as evident in the standout tracks “Fade To Black” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the latter of which is an absolute monster  whose two-minute intro is the textbook definition of “epic.”

Above all else, Ride The Lightning accomplished two very important things:  It was a statement on metal’s evolution and where it was going, and it became a bridge that led to what many consider is Metallica’s greatest masterpiece, Master Of Puppets.

Kill ‘Em All was where Metallica learned how to crawl, Ride The Lightning is where they learned how to walk, and from then on, there was no turning back.


Metallica – Ride The Lightning – Tracklist

“Fight Fire With Fire” (Live – Adelaide, Australia – 2010)
“Ride The Lightning” (Live at the Day on the Green – 1985)
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Live – From Cliff ‘Em All DVD)
“Fade To Black” (Live On Record Store Day 2016)
“Trapped Under Ice” (Glasgow, Scotland – 2009)
“Escape” (Orion Music and More Festival 2012)
“Creeping Death” (Live – The Night Before – San Francisco – 2016)
“The Call of Ktulu” (Live – S&M)


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.