IMOLA, ITALY - JUNE 17: James Hetfield of Metallica performs on stage on the second day of the Heinekin Jammin' Festival 2006 at F1 Track on June 17, 2006 in Imola, Italy.

Before any band achieves that breakthrough, there must always be that defining moment of growth, and for Metallica, that growth came 33 years ago with the release of their sophomore effort Ride The Lightning.

Just a year after the band was unleashed on the world with their debut Kill ‘Em All, the artistic leap of Ride The Lightning is simply staggering as evident in the standout tracks “Fade To Black” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” the latter of which is an absolute monster  whose two-minute intro is the textbook definition of “epic.”

Above all else, Ride The Lightning accomplished two very important things:  It was a statement on metal’s evolution and where it was going, and it became a bridge that led to what many consider is Metallica’s greatest masterpiece, Master Of Puppets.

Kill ‘Em All was where Metallica learned how to crawl, Ride The Lightning is where they learned how to walk, and from then on, there was no turning back.


Metallica – Ride The Lightning – Tracklist

“Fight Fire With Fire” (Live – Adelaide, Australia – 2010)
“Ride The Lightning” (Live at the Day on the Green – 1985)
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” (Live – From Cliff ‘Em All DVD)
“Fade To Black” (Live On Record Store Day 2016)
“Trapped Under Ice” (Glasgow, Scotland – 2009)
“Escape” (Orion Music and More Festival 2012)
“Creeping Death” (Live – The Night Before – San Francisco – 2016)
“The Call of Ktulu” (Live – S&M) 


Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel.  (True story.)

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.