The new issue of Classic Rock magazine celebrates 30 years of METALLICA's self-titled LP, better known as the "Black Album," with new interviews with both the members of the band and some of the album's famous fans. Among the other musicians paying tribute to the effort is KISS frontman Paul Stanley who shared what the album means to him.
"How could you not be a METALLICA fan?" he asked. "Eric Carr [former KISS drummer, who died in 1991] was the one that brought METALLICA into our realm, and he did that quite a bit earlier, in the early, early days of METALLICA. But in terms of becoming a worldwide phenomenon, I would have to say the Black Album was what did that.
"'Enter Sandman' — that song really flicked a switch, it changed something. It retained the grit, the passion and the rawness of what they had done until that point, but it managed to package it in a way that had a more widespread appeal. It wasn't a coincidence that Bob Rock produced that album. He became the go-to guy for bringing out the most commercial aspect of a band's sound, whether we are talking METALLICA or THE CULT.
"But the most important thing when you are a band or a creative person is to do what you want," Stanley added. "Kudos to METALLICA for that. Where they've gone since the Black Album, and factoring in their beginnings, is nothing less than amazing. Their appeal became massive, in capital letters, because it crossed boundaries. That's always a great plus."
The Black Album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time. Its 1991 release not only gave METALLICA its first No. 1 album in no fewer than 10 countries, including a four-week run at No. 1 in the U.S., its unrelenting series of singles — "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam" and "Sad But True" — fueled the band's rise to stadium headlining, radio and MTV dominating household name status. The album's reception from the press was similarly charged, building over the years from the top 10 of the 1991 Village Voice Pazz & Jop national critics poll to becoming a constant presence in the likes of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The album's impact and relevance continue to grow — as proven by one indisputable fact: The Black Album remains unchallenged as the best-selling album in the history of Nielsen SoundScan, outselling every release in every genre over the past 30 years.
To commemorate its 30th anniversary, the Grammy-winning, 16-times-platinum-certified Black Album is receiving its definitive re-release on September 10 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Remastered for ultimate sound quality, The Black Album remaster will be available in multiple configurations including 180-gram double vinyl LP, standard CD and 3 CD expanded edition, digital, and limited-edition deluxe box set (containing the album remastered on 180-gram 2LP, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs (containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows), 6 DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), a 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithos, three guitar picks, a METALLICA lanyard, a folder with lyric sheets, and a download card).