Metallica Releases "Jump In The Fire"
Where were you the very first time you heard Metallica? Don't answer that question. We don't really care and we know a lot of you may have fallen victim to revisionist history. It happens. Everyone knows of the French Resistance during World War Two; the relatively small number of French men and women who rose to resist their brutal German occupiers. After the war, oddly enough, the ranks of the resistance continued to grow.
In 1984, if you had told the freaks and stoners in your high school that Metallica would be releasing hit videos on MTV before the end of the decade and would go on to become one of the most successful and popular bands in the world those stoners would've kicked your ass, stolen your cigarettes and stuffed you into a locker. There was one kind of Metallica fan in 1984 and odds are if there's not photos of your daddy looking like this; revisionism.
In 1984, on this particular day, January 20th, Metallica was still far from those coming truths when they released their second single from their first album "Kill 'Em All."
Most everybody calls themselves Metallica fans, now. But Heavy Metal Thursday remembers 1984 and remembers when your daddy actually became a Metallica fan and it was likely well after "Master Of Puppets," when Cliff Burton had died in the tragic tour bus accident and we remember it was most probably around the time "...And Justice For All" was released and the stoner prophecies came true. But you're here, now, and odds are you may not remember at this point in your life, anyway, especially if you were a fan of Metallica 35 years ago, right as Heavy Metal was submerging and resurfacing into a few sub genres. "Speed Metal," or "Thrash Metal." Call it what you want, Metallica torpedoed Heavy Metal.
"Jump In The Fire," the single would include phony "live" versions of "Seek And Destroy," and "Phantom Lord," as the B-Side, which were simply alternate studio versions with recordings of live crowds crammed into the mix. Lars Ulrich called "Jump In The Fire," "Our original attempt at Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills," written right at the time "Run To The Hills" was the biggest song on American radio."
Kirk Hammett called the single "A piece of shit take." To hear Kirk Hammett make these comments really speaks to the self criticism chasing most guitar players around. His guitar work is fast, precise and loud. Hetfield is no slouch on guitar, either. Together, their guitar attack is brutal. Hammett's solo outro is a blistering template to which legions of future Metal guitar players would emulate. "Kill 'Em All," is self fulfilled prophecy.
Metallica broke the mold with their guitar playing. Two guitars, one played by the same dude doing the singing, was a relentless beat down of conventional Rock Guitar playing, in fact it was an assault on the entire establishment, itself. The typical Metallica song contained two to three guitar solo sections played along side equally fast, intricate, repetitive, and yet ever-changing rhythm passages. You're trying to keep up. Your ears are really fucking digging it. You're brain tries to cope. The natural response in 1984 is the head bang. Check the stats. Somebody's got them. Chiropractic visits began to steadily increase in the mid-1980s.
Without Dave Mustaine, there is no Metallica. At least not the early version old school Metal heads all know and love. Mustaine wrote and/or heavily contributed his riffage to "Jump In The Fire," among other early classics. Check it out. Metallica, 1983. Dave Mustaine on lead guitar. Metallica in 1983 didn't give a shit about much. Their nightly goal was to take the establishment press, big music media, and stick their particular brand of accelerated Metal straight up their collective asses. When Metallica kicks Mustaine out of the band and brings in Hammett, the rift further ignites the sub genre. There was no going back. For whatever reason; an article or an interview I don't remember, we were all dragged into the feud which would be fuel enough to ignite two of the most important bands in 80s Metal, and half of "The Big Four." Another day.
Jump In The Fire, 1983
"A piece of shit take." - Kirk Hammett
For your extended pleasure. Don't hurt you neck.
Metal up your asses.