Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

Yesss..."Ride The Lightning".

Metallica's 2nd album, after "Kill 'em All". On this album, the band lineup stayed the same as last, with James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton, and Kirk Hammett.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

Sorry about the crappy quality in the second picture. :) Anyway, this time the guys took a different direction with songwriting than the last album. At this time, Burton was already improving in his songwriting skills as well. They released the album in 1984, the tracking list is:

1. Fight Fire With Fire

2. Ride The Lightning

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls

4. Fade To Black

5. Trapped Under Ice

6. Escape

7. Creeping Death

8. Call of Ktulu

Released through the independent label, Megaforce Records. It only took about three weeks for the guys to record the album with producer Flemming Rasmussen, in Denmark.

The album title was inspired by a section in Stephen King's novel, "The Stand". The "feel" on this album is a little different to "Kill 'em All", due to Burton teaching the other guys more about music theory. The other album relied heavily on fast tempos, but this one added in acoustic guitar (in "Fade To Black"), and more harmonies.

This was also the final album that included songwriting originally from Dave Mustaine. This was a first for Kirk Hammett to show what he could do. This album was also a label of confidence for Hetfield, because before Ride The Lightning, he was a bit afraid of being assigned to both singing AND rhythm guitar when on stage. If you watch Mustaine era metallica concerts on youtube, you'd see what I'm talking about. I saw one once where he sang but was too shy to speak. He let Mustaine do all the talking. He even wanted to have John Bush of Armored Saint join the band to help him out, but he didn't join. Confidence grew a little once they released the first album, but then when Ride was released, he had it down man.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

The songs on Ride The Lightning are still fast and heavy. Some songs are much longer too. This album also includes an instrumental ("Call of Ktulu"), which is another song where Burton's bass skills stand out. "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is another one where the bass totally kicks ass. For many years, until just recently, I thought it was a regular guitar playing the sound! But nope.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

The mighty Cliff Burton strikes again XD

"Creeping Death" is another one of those songs influenced by biblical stories, it is one of the longer songs on the album, nearly 7 minutes long. Other songs on the album deal with the themes of injustice ("Ride The Lightning"), the apocalypse due to nuclear war ("Fight Fire With Fire"), suicide ("Fade to Black"), and more. May as well say that they weren't afraid to speak of such things that others didn't want to talk about.

I bought this album back in 2014 with some birthday cash I had. I got it not long after I bought my first metallica album "...And Justice For All". I first listened to it while painting the walls of my room, and to be honest, when "Fight Fire With Fire" came on, I skipped it, because of that long intro. At the time I didn't appreciate long stuff like that as much as I do these days. Now the song is one of my favorites. I already remembered "Ride The Lightning," "Fade To Black" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls" as other metallica songs I grew up with, so it was nothing new. However when I heard "Trapped Under Ice," I was amazed. I wanted to set that one on repeat, but I didn't want to drive my parents in the room crazy with it.

"Escape"... well, you may not like what i'll say about it. It starts off awesome, but by the time Hetfield says "Life's for my own, to live my own way" I couldn't stand to hear him say it. I just didn't ever like the way it was said. I don't know, that's just the way I am with it. My parents don't like it at all, not even the intro. Probably if singing was done a little differently I could like the song. But that's just my opinion though. It doesn't bother me if someone here reading loves the song, lol. Even for songs I can't stand listening to, I tend to at least respect the meaning behind it, because I don't just pay attention to what a song sounds like.

As for the rest of the songs after it, I loved.

When I grew up on Metallica, for many years I only knew what the guys looked like during the black album. And I only thought that there was always one bassist in the band, Jason Newsted, though I didn't even know his name at the time.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

Little me always saw James Hetfield as looking like a lion (I still think that). So when I bought Ride The Lightning a few years ago, I was pretty surprised at what I saw. All of the guys who looked like they were in their teens, and then some mystery bassist I didn't know about back then. The picture below is from the booklet for the CD.

Metallica's "Ride The Lightning" Record

Officially saw what Hetfield looked like as a lion cub XD

So yes, another kick ass album I'm proud to have. Anytime I listen to the CD it makes me think of the time when I bought it. Being 14, just starting to learn guitar, really starting to have more appreciation for heavy music, and willing to start making that album collection grow. I only had about 5 or 6 CDs back then, now I have nearly 40, and its still growing. This album in particular has kept me pretty happy for the past few years I have had it. Some of my favorites on there are "Fight Fire With Fire", "Ride The Lightning", "For Whom The Bell Tolls", and "Trapped Under Ice", though I do also rock out to "Creeping Death" and enjoy "Call of Ktulu". I attached 2 of my favorites below.



Thanks for reading! My next take that will be coming soon is, Chris Cornell: Life, Death, and His Influence In Music. Keep on Rockin' \m/

#RideTheLightning

#Metallica4Life


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  • Ride the lightening is one of my all time favorite albums. By far my favorite Metallica album. I was 13 when that album was released. Ride the lightening along with Ozzy's Blizzard of Oz pretty much set my music interest for the rest of my life. Thanks for sharing.

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What Guys Said 3

  • not a huge metallica fan my brother and dad are, I prefer punk to metal

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    • seriously? i always figured punks could like metal since thrash is so close to hardcore

    • @Mr-Kabuki its the energy of punk I like and my favorite punk band has to be the clash.
      Good Punk is sincere, its undiluted emotion

    • hey man I think punk kicks ass too

  • For whom the Bell tolls is one of my favorite songs.

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    • lol I used to get the intro mixed up with AC/DC's "Hells Bells" because of the bell ringing

  • Sadly, they only got two more solid albums out of Mustaine's notebook after this one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fkjT2Xne_g

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    • to be honest I'm not as picky with metallica's music except St. Anger and Death Magnetic, though i do say that the thrashy era was one of the best. Megadeth;s Youthanasia kicks ass too

What Girls Said 1

  • Lightning was a huge step forward from Kill ‘Em All. There was more depth to the lyrics and the band started shifting to longer more complex songs, while still retaining their thrash edge. This is probably my favorite Metallica album after Master of Puppets.

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    • oh man Ride The Lightning is killer, and Master of Puppets as well.

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