For the past ten years, Metallica has offered fans the opportunity to download digital recordings of virtually every live performance they've given. All fans needed to do was go to the band's Live Metallica site and pay $.99 for a particular track or an entire concert for $9.95 - all of them professionally recorded through the P.A. system. The band also offers many of its concerts going all the way back to 1986 through the Live Metallica site for free.
Now, to celebrate ten years of this concept, Metallica is offering a boxed set of every show they played in 2014 on their By Request tour. According to the official Metallica website, the set includes 26 double CDs of 26 concerts, plus one single CD of an acoustic show they played at the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. However, 27 concerts in one boxed set isn't cheap, (and it won't be automatically downloaded into your iTunes library for free). The entire set costs $417, or, fans can buy the individual CDs for $19.81.
On their By Request tour, Metallica allowed ticket-holders for each concert on the tour to pick the songs ahead of time that would be played at the shows. By going to the Metallica website, fans picked their favorites from the legendary band's full catalogue of over 175 songs. Letting ticket-holders pick the sets led to many of the band's standards - Master of Puppets, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Enter Sandman - being played at every venue. However, it also resulted in some picks that the band rarely, or in one case, never, play live. That one case of a never-before-played-live track happened on May 28 in Helsinki, Finland. Metallica played The Frayed Ends of Sanity from their 1988 release, ...And Justice For All for the first time live in its entirety.
In addition to the songs picked by the fans, Metallica added one extra song to their summer playlist. Lords of Summer, the band's latest new song, may potentially be on Metallica's upcoming album, which is currently being written at the band's HQ near San Francisco.
Metallica is also taking votes from their fans through September 26 to vote for which of the concerts from the By Request tour should be made available for vinyl lovers next year.
With an average of 22 songs being played at each concert, the full boxed set includes somewhere around 576 tracks between the 26 full-length concerts and the MAP Fund acoustical gig, which is one of the biggest single musical offerings ever made available by an artist.
Metallica is no stranger to firsts. Only a few weeks ago it was announced that the metal masters were being entered into the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records as the only band in human history to tour on all seven continents. On top of that, Metallica accomplished that feat in 2013 alone. Metallica became the first band to play Antarctica in December of 2013 for 120 contest winners and research scientists. To avoid harming the fragile Antarctic environment, the band played "silent disco" style - giving every member of the crowd a set of headphones through which they could hear the P.A.
Pre-orders are currently being taken for the Metallica boxed set, which is set to ship in mid-December.
image via NPR