Metallica’s Lars Ulrich announced late last week that Metallica’s latest album is 100 percent completed. That, in itself, should be a relief to the hordes of Metallica fans who have been chomping at the bit for eight years since the release of the band’s last album, Death Magnetic. However, something else that drummer Lars Ulrich said in the statement on Metallica’s website hasn’t sat too well with a number of the metal band’s fans.
When the release announcement of Hardwired… to Self Destruct was made in August, it was announced that when Metallica’s new album is released on November 18, a deluxe version of the album would include “riff origin” tracks for each of the songs on Hardwired… to Self Destruct. Each riff origin could be thought of as a demo track or early rough mix for each of the song. Additionally, Metallica’s summer anthem, “Lords of Summer” was also going to be released on the third disc of the deluxe edition.
But now all that’s changed. Lars announced that Metallica has decided that in addition to the double CD of all new Hardwired… to Self Destruct tunes, the third album would no longer include the riff origin tracks, but rather, numerous songs that Metallica has recorded as one-offs since the release of Death Magnetic, in addition to several live tracks.
The third disc of the Hardwired… to Self Destruct album now looks like this according to Metallica’s official website.
1. Lords of Summer
2. Ronnie Rising Medley
3. When a Blind Man Cries
4. Remember Tomorrow
5. Helpless (Live at Rasputin Music)
6. Hit the Lights (Live at Rasputin Music)
7. The Four Horsemen (Live at Rasputin Music)
8. Ride the Lightning (Live at Rasputin Music)
9. Fade to Black (Live at Rasputin Music)
10. Jump in the Fire (Live at Rasputin Music)
11. For Whom the Bell Tolls (Live at Rasputin Music)
12. Creeping Death (Live at Rasputin Music)
13. Metal Militia (Live at Rasputin Music)
14. Hardwired (Live in Minneapolis)
Metallica’s “Lords of Summer” is an original track that was a possible addition to Death Magnetic, but then wasn’t put on the album. However, Metallica seems to have liked it so much that they started playing it at festival gigs starting a few years back. The “Ronnie Rising Medley” is a cover of various Ronnie James Dio songs blended together in an opus to the legendary metal singer for the Dio tribute album, This is Your Life. “When a Blind Man Cries” is a Deep Purple tune that Metallica recorded for a Deep Purple tribute album in 2012, and “Remember Tomorrow” is an Iron Maiden cover that Metallica recorded for Kerrang! magazine’s tribute album to the band.
Arguably, the Metallica covers have all been available before on the tribute albums for which they were recorded, and “Lords of Summer” has been available in the past as a digital download. Perhaps you can start to see why some Metallica fans are crying foul?
The next nine songs, all recorded live, were played at Rasputin Music in San Francisco for 2016’s Record Store Day, and the final track, “Hardwired,” was recorded when it was played live for the first time ever at US Bank Stadium just last month.
There are a few things here that aren’t sitting well with some Metallica fans. For one, Metallica has made available for purchase over the last decade or more, thousands and thousands of live recordings from the multiple worldwide tours and innumerable festival gigs. The idea of including nine more in the deluxe version of Hardwired… to Self Destruct seems less like a bonus and more like an afterthought add-on. As stated above, the first five songs, and even the final live track of “Hardwired” from Minneapolis, have all been available for consumption prior to the release of this 3rd CD of the Hardwired… to Self Destruct “deluxe” version. Perhaps even more off-putting than the offerings of more live material and stuff that every Metallica fan has already heard, is that when the original “deluxe” version of Hardwired… to Self Destruct was put up for pre-order in August, the track listing for the third CD stated that the riff origins of all the new songs would be on it, leading this latest move to alter the content feeling like a bit of bait-and-switch.
Which is almost certainly not the case. From their earliest days, Metallica has consistently put the fan first. No, Metallica was never going to bow down to the wishes of their fans if they didn’t agree with them, but it doesn’t seem likely that Metallica is upsetting fans on purpose. Actually, quite the opposite. The band is most likely of the opinion that fans would prefer the produced covers and live stuff more than some demos and riffs from the new album. It probably didn’t occur to them that they were wrong in the eyes of a lot of their fans.
So, expect a make-good from Metallica. There is a multitude of complaints already in the comments section of Metallica’s website where this announcement was made. If the origin riffs aren’t included in the “deluxe” edition of Hardwired… to Self Destruct, hopefully, they’ll make their way to fans as downloads from the website. Hopefully, they won’t be $.99 a piece.
What do you think? What would you rather see on the 3rd disc of the deluxe edition of the new Metallica album?
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter name/Getty Images]