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The Black Album The Black Album


The Black Album   Black Album
  Release Date: August 1991
  Released by: Elektra Entertainment Group
  Produced by: Bob Rock with Hetfield and Ulrich
  Recorded at: One on One Studios, Los Angeles,
  California, Oct 1990 - June 1991
  Chart Position: #1 (USA), #1 (UK)
  Album Sales: 14.58 million (USA – As of March 2006)

Line Up:

James Hetfield - Rhythm Guitars, Vocals
Kirk Hammett - Lead Guitar
Jason Newsted - Bass
Lars Ulrich - Drums

Tracks (Song Titles link to Lyrics):

1. Enter Sandman (5:31)
2. Sad But True (5:24)
3. Holier Than Thou (3:47)
4. The Unforgiven (6:27)
5. Wherever I May Roam (6:44)
6. Don't Tread On Me (4:00)    
7. Through The Never (4:04)
8. Nothing Else Matters (6:28)
9. Of Wolf And Man (4:16)
10. The God That Failed (5:08)
11. My Friend Of Misery (6:49)
12. The Struggle Within (3:53)
13. So What!* (3:09)

* Bonus track (Asian editions)

Singles:

Enter Sandman
Wherever I May Roam
Sad But True
Nothing Else Matters
The Unforgiven

Music Videos:

Enter Sandman
Sad But True
Wherever I May Roam
The Unforgiven
Nothing Else Matters

Awards:

Grammy Award for the Black Alum (Best Metal Performance)
MTV Music Video Award for Enter Sandman (Best Metal Video)

Album Notes:

Also known as “The Black Album” because of its black cover sleeve. The biggest selling album from Metallica to date. It was re-released on DVD in 2000. In 2001, The Classic Albums DVD Series released a DVD about “The Black Album.”

Lars: “We went into the studio with the intent of making a real lively record that bounces off the walls. It should have gone quicker, in theory, than trying to get everything note perfect like we have before. But as usual with Metallica, all those theories and normalities go straight out the window.”


Lyrics and Song Info Lyrics and Song Info


ENTER SANDMAN

The song is the band's most well-known track, with its single riff chorus that expands throughout the song, and the grim tale of a young child who fears falling asleep to avoid the nightmares to come. The song is considered an anthem to fans of the heavy metal genre.

Say your prayers little one
Don't forget, my son to include everyone
I tuck you in, warm within, keep you free from sin
Till the sandman, he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light, enter night
Take my hand
Off to never never land

Something's wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren't of snow white
Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon's fire
And of things that will bite

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light, enter night
Take my hand
Off to never never land

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take

Hush little baby, don't say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It's just the beasts under your bed,
In your closet, in your head

Exit light, enter night
Grain of sand
Exit light, enter night
Take my hand
We're off to never never land

We're off to never never land
(Take my hand)
We're off to never never land
(Take my hand )
We're off to never never land

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SAD BUT TRUE

Hetfield had been inspired from an old Anthony Hopkins film called “Magic” to write this song. The idea of that movie is a person’s duality from Hopkins and his hand puppet relationship. It is assumed that the song is about your evil part which tries to take the control over you

American rap/rock/alternative country artist Kid Rock sampled “Sad But True” and used it for his song “American Bad Ass”.

Hey, I'm your life
I'm the one who takes you there
Hey, I'm your life
I'm the one who cares
They, they betray
I'm your only true friend now
They, they'll betray
I'm forever there

I'm your dream, make you real
I'm your eyes when you must steal
I'm your pain when you can't feel
Sad but true

I'm your dream, mind astray
I'm your eyes while you're away
I'm your pain while you repay
You know it's sad but true

You, you're my mask
You're my cover, my shelter
You, you're my mask
You're the one who's blamed
Do, do my work
Do my dirty work, scapegoat
Do, do my deeds
For you're the one who's shamed

I'm your dream, make you real
I'm your eyes when you must steal
I'm your pain when you can't feel
Sad but true

I'm your dream, mind astray
I'm your eyes while you're away
I'm your pain while you repay
You know it's sad but true

Sad but true

I'm your dream, I'm your eyes, I'm your pain
I'm your dream (I'm your dream), I'm your eyes (I'm your eyes), I'm your pain (I'm your pain)
You know it's sad but true

Hate, I'm your hate
I'm your hate when you want love
Pay, pay the price
Pay, for nothing's fair

Hey, I'm your life
I'm the one who took you there
Hey, I'm your life
And I no longer care

I'm your dream, make you real
I'm your eyes when you must steal
I'm your pain when you can't feel
Sad but true

I'm your truth, telling lies
I'm your reason, alibis
I'm inside, open your eyes
I'm YOU

Sad But True

TOP


HOLIER THAN THOU

It is not known for sure what this song was written about, however there are two commonly used interpretations. The first says that the song could be about gossip, rumors or even critics. The second interpretation says the song could be about people who say one thing and do another (hypocrites)

No more! The craps rolls out your mouth again
Haven't changed, your brain is still gelatin
Little whispers circle around your head
Why don't you worry about yourself instead?

Who are you? where ya been? where ya from?
Gossip burning on the tip of your tongue
You lie so much you believe yourself
Judge not lest ye be judged yourself

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not

Before you judge me take a look at you
Can't you find something better to do
Point the finger, slow to understand
Arrogance and ignorance go hand in hand

It's not who you, are it's who you know
Others lives are the basis of your own
Burn your bridges, and build them back with wealth
Judge not lest ye be judged yourself

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not
Yeah, who the hell are you?

Hey you!

Holier than thou
You are
Holier than thou
You are

You know not
Not

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THE UNFORGIVEN

The lyrical content of the song deals with a young child who is assimilated into a collective society from the moment of his birth. Never allowed to express himself or display any signs of individuality, he lives his life as a faceless, nameless number of many. In his final moments of life, he looks back on his life with nothing but bitterness and regret.

Despite the song’s despairing theme and powerful music, the song was considered by some to be evidence of Metallica’s selling out to mainstream musical tastes, and contributed to Metallica’s step away from standard heavy metal since 1991.

New blood joins this earth
And quickly he's subdued
Through constant pain disgrace
The young boy learns their rules

With time the child draws in
This whipping boy done wrong
Deprived of all his thoughts
The young man struggles on and on he's known
A vow unto his own
That never from this day
His will they'll take away

What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never be, never see
Won't see what might have been

What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven

They dedicate their lives to running all of his
He tries to please them all, this bitter man he is
Throughout his life the same, he's battled constantly
This fight he cannot win, a tired man they see no longer cares
The old man then prepares to die regretfully
That old man here is me

What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never be, never see
Won't see what might have been

What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven

What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never be, never see
Won't see what might have been
What I've felt, what I've known
Never shined through in what I've shown
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven

Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven
You labeled me, I'll label you
So I dub thee unforgiven
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven
You labeled me, I'll label you
So I dub thee unforgiven
Never free, never me
So I dub thee unforgiven

TOP

WHEREVER I MAY ROAM

This song is about the band being on tour and leaving their girlfriends, friends, and loved ones behind. Within the lyrics the band is compared with a roaming vagabond (person who travels from place to place with no real home) whose soul keeps on roaming even after his death.

The song became a hymn for the “Wherever I May Roam” and “Nowhere Else to Roam” tours.

(And the road becomes my bride)
...And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

...And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will, yeah

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home yeah

(And the earth becomes my throne)
...And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I've grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no one

...And my ties are severed clean
The less I have the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll never mind anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind
And I'll take my find anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home, that's right

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home
Carved upon my stone
My body lies, but still I roam, yeah yeah

Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam (roam)
Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may wander, wander, wander
Wherever I may roam
Yeah, yeah, wherever I may roam
Yeah, yeah, wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam

TOP

DON'T TREAD ON ME

During the intro Metallica plays tunes of a song from the musical "The Westside Story" called "I Like To Be In America".

The song is a very patriotic song, connected with America's "War of Independence".

Don't tread on me
I said don't tread on me

Liberty or death, what we so proudly hail
Once you provoke her, rattling of her tail
Never begins it, never, but once engaged...
Never surrenders, showing the fangs of rage

I said don't tread on me

So be it, threaten no more
To secure peace is to prepare for war
So be it, settle the score
Touch me again for the words that you'll hear evermore

Don't tread on me

Love it or leave it, she with the deadly bite
Quick is the blue tongue, forked as lighting strike
Shining with brightness, always on surveillance
The eyes, they never close, emblem of vigilance

Ooh no no nooo
I said don't tread on me

So be it, threaten no more
To secure peace is to prepare for war
So be it, settle the score
Touch me again for the words that you will hear evermore

Don't tread on me

So be it, threaten no more
To secure peace is to prepare for war

Liberty or death, what we so proudly hail
Once you provoke her, rattling of her tail

So be it, threaten no more
To secure peace is to prepare for war
So be it, settle the score
Touch me again for the words that you'll hear evermore

Don't tread on me

TOP

THROUGH THE NEVER

The song is said to be about the never ending pursuit of knowledge.

All that is, was and will be
Universe much too big to see
Time and space never ending
Disturbing thoughts, questions pending
Limitations of human understanding
Too quick to criticize, obligation to survive
We hunger to be alive

Twisting, turning, through the never

All that is, ever
Ever was
Will be, ever
Twisting, turning, through the never

In the dark, see past our eyes
Pursuit of truth no matter where it lies
Gazing up to the breeze of the heavens
On a quest, meaning, reason
Came to be, how it begun
All alone in the family of the sun
Curiosity teasing everyone
On our home, third stone from the sun, yeah

Twisting, turning, through the never

All that is, ever
Ever was
Will be, ever
Twisting, turning, through the never

On through the never
We must go on through the never
Out to the edge of forever
We must go on through the never
Then never comes

Twisting, turning, through the never

All that is, ever
Ever was
Will be ever
Twisting, turning
Who we are, ask forever
Twisting - turning - through the never

Never

TOP


NOTHING ELSE MATTERS


The best known ballad written thus far by Metallica is a song that is dedicated to loved ones.

The song was inspired by one of James' ex-girlfriends, but in the meantime when he is looking back he does not know how. Currently, it is said that the song means more to James when it is in reference to Metallica’s fans.

The orchestration which can be heard in the song was directed by Michael Kamen who also directed and conducted the orchestration for Metallica's live symphony shows in 1999.

So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters

TOP

 OF WOLF AND MAN

The song is about a werewolf and was written after James had been inspired by the movie “Wolfen”.

Off through the new day's mist I run
Off from the new day's mist I have come
I hunt, therefore I am
Harvest the land, taking of the fallen lamb

Off through the new day's mist I run
Off from the new day's mist I have come
We shift, pulsing with the earth
Company we keep, roaming the land while you sleep

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I've been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth's gift, back to the meaning of life

Bright is the moon high in starlight
Chill is the air cold as steel tonight
We shift, call of the wild
Fear in your eyes, it's later than you realized

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I've been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth's gift, back to the meaning of life

I feel a change
Back to a better day
(Shape Shift)
Hair stands on the back of my neck
(Shape Shift)
In wildness is the preservation of the world
So seek the wolf in thyself!

Shape shift, nose to the wind
Shape shift, feeling I've been
Move swift, all senses clean
Earth's gift, back to the meaning of wolf and man

TOP

THE GOD THAT FAILED

Ultimately, the song is about broken promises. James wrote the song about his mother’s death by cancer. Before she passed away, she had refused medical treatment out of her Christian Science beliefs.

Pride you took, pride you feel
Pride that you felt when you'd kneel
Not the word, not the love
Not what you thought from above

It feeds, it grows
It clouds all that you will know
Deceit, deceive
Decide just what you believe

I see faith in your eyes
Never your hear the discouraging lies
I hear faith in your cries
Broken is the promise, betrayal
The healing hand held back by the deepened nail

Follow the God that failed

Find your peace, find your say
Find the smooth road on your way
Trust you gave, a child to save
Left you cold and him in grave

It feeds, it grows
It clouds all that you will know
Deceit, deceive
Decide just what you believe

I see faith in your eyes
Never your hear the discouraging lies
I hear faith in your cries
Broken is the promise, betrayal
The healing hand held back by the deepened nail

Follow the God that failed

I see faith in your eyes
Broken is the promise, betrayal
The healing hand held back by the deepened nail

Follow the God that failed

Pride you took, pride you feel
Pride that you felt when you'd kneel
Trust you gave a child to save
Left you cold and him in grave

I see faith in your eyes
Never you hear the discouraging lies
I hear faith in your cries
Broken is the promise, betrayal
The healing hand held back by deepened nail

Follow the God that failed
Follow the God that failed

Broken is the promise
Betrayal, betrayal, yeah

TOP

MY FRIEND OF MISERY

The song describes an outsider view of someone reveling in self-pity and maintaining a pessimistic view of the entire world.  This song is the only song on the Black Album that Jason Newsted is credited with co-writing.

You just stood there screaming
Fearing no one was listening to you
They say the empty can rattles the most
The sound of your voice must soothe you
Hearing only what you want to hear
And knowing only what you've heard
You you're smothered in tragedy
And you're off to save the world

Misery
You insist that the weight of the world
Should be on your shoulders
Misery
There's much more to life than what you see
My friend of misery

You still stood there screaming
No one caring about these words you tell
My friend before your voice is gone
One man's fun is another's hell
These times are sent to try men's souls
But something's wrong with all you see
You you'll take it on all yourself
Remember, misery loves company

Misery
You insist that the weight of the world
Should be on your shoulders
Misery
There's much more to life than what you see
My friend of misery
My friend of misery

Misery
You insist that the weight of the world
Should be on your shoulders
Misery
There's much more to life than what you see
My friend of misery
You just stood there screaming
Oh, My friend of misery
Yeah yeah, you

TOP

THE STRUGGLE WITHIN

The drums begin with a march intro for expressing the struggle inner self in the musical way.  The song itself is about a person who is suffering from a self-defeating personality.

Reaching out for something you've got to feel
While clutching to what you had thought was real
Kicking at a dead horse pleases you
No way of showing your gratitude
So many things you don't want to do
What is it? what have you got to lose

What the hell, what the hell?
What is you think you're gonna find?
Hypocrite, hypocrite
Boredom sets into the boring mind

Struggle within, it suits you fine
Struggle within, your ruin
Struggle within, you seal your own coffin
Struggle within, the struggling within

Home is not a home it becomes a hell
Turning it into your prison cell
Advantages are taken, not handed out
While you struggle inside your hell

Reaching out, reaching out
Grabbing for something you've got to feel
Closing in, closing in
The pressure upon you is so unreal

Struggle within, it suits you fine
Struggle within, your ruin
Struggle within, you seal your own coffin
Struggle within, the struggling within

Struggle

Reaching out for something you've got to feel
While clutching to what you had thought was real
What the hell??
What is you think you're gonna find
Hypocrite
Boredom sets into the boring mind

Struggle within, it suits you fine
Struggle within, your ruin
Struggle within, you seal your own coffin
Struggle within, the struggling within

TOP

Bonus Track:

SO WHAT!
(Originally recorded by Anti-Nowhere League)

The song "So What" was originally released by the Anti-Nowhere League in 1981 as a B-side to the "Streets of London" single.

Metallica originally released it in November 1991 as B-sides to "The Unforgiven" UK single.

So fucking what?

Well I've been to Hastings and I've been to Brighton
I've been to Eastbourne too
So what, so what?
And I've been here, I've been there
I've been every fucking where
So what, so what?
So what, so what, you boring little cunt?

Well who cares, who cares what you do
Yeah who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you, you...

Well I fucked a queen, I fucked fuck
I've even sucked an old man's cock
So what, so what?
And I fucked a sheep, I fucked a goat
I rammed my cock right down its throat
So what, so what?
So what, so what, you boring little fuck?

Well who cares, who cares what you do
And who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you, you

And I've drunk that, I've drunk this
I've spewed up on a pint of piss
So what, so what?
I've had skank, I've had speed
I've jacked up until I bleed
So what, so what?
So what, so what, you boring little cunt?

Well who cares, who cares what you do
Yeah who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you, you, you...

I've had crabs, I've had lice
I've had the clap and that ain' t nice
So what, so what?
I fucked this, I fucked that
I've even fucked a school girl's twat
So what, so what?
So what, so what, you boring little fuck?

Well who cares, who cares what you do
And who cares, who cares about you
You, you, you, you, you...

So fucking what? Yeah!

TOP