I was flipping through Netflix the other day and saw that Metallica had a follow-up to their Some Kind of Monster documentary on the streaming service. It got me wondering if their Load and Reload albums, which for all purposes is a double album, would have been more embraced by their fans if it was only one album. I know album’s are pretty much a thing of the past and we digest music differently now but for folks my age the album was the thing. I can remember going to my local record store (also a thing of the past for the most part) at midnight to get highly anticipated albums from my favorite artists.
Load and Reload were certainly not that. I am a huge Metallica fan. I started getting hip to them while the And Justice for All record was out. So I am not as old school as a lot of my friends were with them. I do remember that my first drum teacher saying after five or six lessons that it was time for me to learn some Lars and that was right around the same time so I think my appreciation for their sounds was born then.
A lot of Metallica fans crap on these two records but to be honest a lot of hardcore Metallica fans either don’t like the Black Album now, or never did. They also crapped all over St. Anger which for my money is by far a worse album. Maybe even track for track Anger is worse than any of the so-called Alternate Metallica records.
At least one song for this project is a must see live and has been played in every Metallica show I have seen since. Fuel has become a Metallica staple and while fans my crap all over the album it was recorded for there are several more gems.
I really think that had more editing done to the selection of one album’s worth of material that this era of Metallica would be more fondly remembered by the fans. While they still irked a lot of us by changing their look….it is the music that is important here.
If I were to pick one album worth of material from both records it might look something like this.:
- King Nothing
- Hero of the Day
- Bleeding Me
- Ain’t my Bitch
- Until it Sleeps
- Mama Said
- Wasting my Hate
- The Memory Remains
- The Unforgiven 2
- Better than You
- Capre Diem Baby
- Devil’s Dance
- Low Man’s Lyric
That probably isn’t perfect but music rarely ever is.I think these 14 songs show Metallica evolving from the thrash metal band they were to the more hard rock band they were becoming. Again I like both of these records more than St.Anger or really any of the other original albums that came after them.