The first episode of "The Metallica Podcast: Volume 1 - The Black Album" has just been released in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the band's self-titled fifth LP, better known as The Black Album. The podcast's weekly episodes will explore the stories behind and the legacy of the best-selling album in the history of Nielsen Soundscan.
Official description of episode one: "Through four studio albums, METALLICA established themselves as the most successful and respected band in metal. How did they get there? More importantly, what else did they have to prove? Why mess with success? This episode takes us from where it all began to moments before The Black Album was born. Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and former member Jason Newsted are joined by Ron Quintana, Brian Slagel, Big Mick Hughes, and manager Cliff Burnstein."
Over eight episodes, "The Metallica Podcast: Volume 1" celebrates the September 10 release of METALLICA's remastered Black Album in unprecedented detail. Beyond its collection of firsthand anecdotes chronicling the making of The Black Album, the podcast features everything and everyone that created the most successful album of the past 30 years — and explores its ongoing cultural impact.
"The Metallica Podcast: Volume 1" features not only the voices of each member of METALLICA, but nearly 40 others, including former bassist Jason Newsted, producer Bob Rock, studio and touring personnel, music critics, fellow musicians, friends, and many more.
Featuring never-before-heard demo recordings, candid conversations, and much more, "The Metallica Podcast: Volume 1" is the closest the listener can come to being there alongside James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted as they wrote, recorded and toured the worldwide No. 1 album that made them the biggest band on the planet.
"This album was the right combination of songs, right combination of producer with the right combination of desire, tenacity, [and] lineup of ideas," drummer Lars Ulrich said in a teaser clip.
"The insanity that we do just to keep our own sanity, people identify with it and the fact that they're not alone and we know that we're not alone is what makes it all happen for me," frontman James Hetfield said.
"I'll just sit there and keep on playing for fucking 24 hours if I need to," guitarist Kirk Hammett said.
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).
METALLICA's self-titled LP in 2014 became the first album to sell 16 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991.
"Metallica" was already certified 16 times platinum on December 13, 2012 by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association Of America) for shipments in excess of 16 million copies in the U.S.
The album in 2009 surpassed SHANIA TWAIN's 1997 record, "Come On Over", as the best-selling CD of the SoundScan era.
"Metallica" was the first of four collaborations with Rock, with whom the band clashed throughout the recording of the disc.
METALLICA performed The Black Album in its entirety at a number of European festivals in 2012.