Metallica is an American heavy metal band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1981. Their main lineup consists of Kirk Hammett on lead guitar, James Hetfield as vocalist and rhythm guitarist, drummer Lars Ulrich and a succession of bass guitarists that followed later. This list of bassists includes Ron McGovney, Dave Mustaine, Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted, and currently Robert Trujillo. The band first gained a large following in the underground music scene in L.A. before gaining critical and commercial success. Their early releases included fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive music that put them in the front of the newly emerging sub-genre, thrash metal. Their 1986 album Master of Puppets has been described as the one of the best metal thrash albums to date. Their next album, Metallica, was a huge commercial and critical success. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With that release, Metallica broadened their commercial appeal to a more mainstream audience which they have held ever since.

Metallica Live Video – Unforgiven

In the last ten years, Metallica may be more famous for their involvement in the lawsuits against Napster than their music. In 2000, they were among a cartel of several artists who decided to jump the gun and filed suit against the music-download website for sharing the band’s copyright protected material for free without the band’s consent. As a result of the lawsuit, largely led by Lars Ulrich, they settled and Napster became a pay-to-use site. Later that year, the band released St. Anger, which also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. This album alienated many of their long time fans by getting away from their traditional guitar solos and heavy use of snare drums.

Overall Metallica has released nine studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, twenty-four music videos, and forty-five singles. They have won a total of nine Grammy Awards: and at one point had five consecutive albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200, making this band the first to do so. This record would later be matched by the Dave Matthews Band. The above-mentioned album Metallica has sold over 15 million copies in the United States, and 22 million copies worldwide, which makes it the 25th highest selling album since 1991 when official album sales began to be tracked by SoundScan. The band has sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide as of the release of their latest album, Death Magnetic. Since 1991, Metallica is the fourth highest selling music artist, selling a total of over fifty two million albums. Metallica will always be known for the big jumpstart they gave Rock and Roll in the nineties and we will forever be grateful for it.