Celebrate 35 Years Of Metallica's "Ride The Lightning"

Happy Birthday To A Classic

July 24, 2019

On July 27, 1984, a young thrash band from the Bay Area called Metallica released an album that would change the face of hard rock forever. Ride The Lightning was Metallica’s sophomore release and took the thrashing, in your face assault showcased on their debut Kill ‘Em All and added a much more seasoned and dynamic songwriting approach. To me, the best word to describe this album is EPIC. From the iconic electric chair and lightning crashing down on the album cover to the haunting track “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” from the dramatic build of “Fade to Black” to the sheer riffage of “Creeping Death” - it is all EPIC. 

Though it initially didn’t receive a ton of mainstream press and radio play, this was the album that took Metallica from the underground and exposed them to a wider audience, setting them up for even more success for what came next just two year later – the release of Master of Puppets

It’s fitting that the 35th anniversary of Metallica’s Ride The Lightning falls on this coming Saturday (July 27th), as it is a perfect chance for Metal Shop to pay our respects to this beast of an album and wish it a very brutal birthday. 

Here’s my favorite song from the album – “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Jam this song and get ready for an extra EPIC episode of Metal Shop this weekend. 

- Kevin Diers

The first time I ever heard Ride The Lightning by Metallica, I was ten years old and already wanted to punch somebody. Before the age of huge big box electronic stores, my parents took me to the grand opening of the “Incredible Universe” shopping mall in Auburn, and promptly abandoned me in what was then known as the electronics section. As a small child, looking around the warehouse at walls full of synchronized monitors blasting Metallica’s “Live Sh*t: Binge and Purge” permanently fractured my fragile little mind, and it inspired me to pick up my first heavy metal album: RIDE THE LIGHTNING!

35 years later, we still bow down to a masterpiece in the heavy metal genre that many have tried to duplicate, but none have been able to replicate. 

Every family member has that one freaky member who’s into heavy music and will infect the younger generations with the heavy metal classics, and I’ll always be proud to pass on albums from Black Flag, Led Zeppelin, and this classic from Metallica. VIVA RIDE THE LIGHTNING!

Smash play on this classic rager immediately, and pass it along to the next generation!

- Ian Reas