Metallica (album)

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Metallica (also known as The Black Album) is the eponymous fifth studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on August 13, 1991 through Elektra Records. Metallica produced five hit singles that are considered today among the band's most well-known songs: "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", and "Sad but True".

It spent four consecutive weeks at number one on Billboard 200. Metallica is the band's best-selling album to date, with over 15 million copies sold in the United States. It is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era.[2][3] The album was certified 15x platinum (diamond) by the RIAA on November 13, 2009.[4]

Metallica was a departure from the thrash metal style of Metallica's previous four albums and saw the band moving towards a more commercial heavy metal sound. Many fans consider the album the initial turning point in their music, where "old" and "new" Metallica are distinguished from one another. It is also the first Metallica album that does not contain an instrumental track.


Album information

The album cover features the band's logo, angled against the upper left corner, and a coiled snake (derived from the Gadsden flag) on the bottom right corner, both in a dark shade of gray in order to be made out against the black background. The motto of the Gadsden flag, "Don't Tread on Me", is also the title of a song on the album.

The cover is reminiscent of Spinal Tap's album Smell the Glove, something the band jokingly acknowledged themselves in their A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica documentary (where members of Spinal Tap appeared and asked them about it).

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