Music Video Of The Day: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (1992, directed by Adam Dubin)


“At first I didn’t even want to play it for the guys. I thought that Metallica could only be the four of us. These are songs about destroying things, head banging, bleeding for the crowd, whatever it is, as long as it wasn’t about chicks and fast cars, even though that’s what we liked. The song was about a girlfriend at the time. It turned out to be a pretty big song.”

— James Hetfield, on Nothing Else Matters

Eventually, Hetfield did play it for the guys and Nothing Else Matters went on to become one of Metallica’s signature songs.  The song may have been inspired by Hetfield’s feelings about being away from his girlfriend while he was on the road but, as Hetfield explained it to Mojo Magazine, “It’s about being on the road, missing someone at home, but it was written in such a way, it connected with so many people, that it wasn’t just about two people, it was about a connection with your higher power, lots of different things.”

The video was directed by Adam Dubin and edited by Sean Fullan and is made up of clips from the 1992 Metallica documentary, A Year And A Half.  Along with the song, the video is best remembered for a scene where Lars Ulrich throws darts at a poster of Kip Winger.  Do you blame him?

For his part, Kip Winger has said about Metallica’s hatred of him, “That is why it’s the great irony that we ended up on that geeky guy’s shirt on Beavis & Butt-head, because Metallica couldn’t play what we play, they couldn’t do it, they literally — technically — couldn’t do it. And I’ll challenge those chumps to that any day of the week, but we could play their music with our hands tied behind our back. And so, I was a little teed off about that, but in the end, none of that shit matters…”

If you say so, Kipster.

26 years after the release of Nothing Else Matters, Metallica is still selling out stadiums worldwide.  And Winger?  Look for them at the closest county fair.

Let’s give the final words to James Hetfield:

“I remember going to the Hells Angels Clubhouse in New York, and they showed me a film that they’d put together of one of the fallen brothers, and they were playing ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ Wow. This means a lot more than me missing my chick, right? This is brotherhood. The army could use this song. It’s pretty powerful.”

Music Video of the Day: Hungry by Winger (1988, directed by ????)


What do we have here?

00:12 — Newlyweds speeding on a curvy mountain road?  What could go wrong?

00:23 — There go the brakes!

00:31 — That sharp turn will look familiar to anyone who has ever seen the Duke boys outrun old Roscoe.

00:36 — It’s true what they say.  Right before you die, you hear the opening of a bad 80s song.

00:50 — I’ve gotten worst cuts from bumping my head on a low doorway.

00:57 — Dude, did you just leave your wife behind in the car?

00:59– This is Winger.  Kip Winger got his start as a backup musician and was a member of Alice Cooper for two years.  Until Nirvana changed the face of music, Winger was responsible for some of the most generic hits of the 1980s.

01:21 — How long until we get a shot of the man sitting alone on that same swing?

01:32 — “Look, I’m spinning around with my guitar!  Just like we did in practice!”

01:50 — “I remember how much we loved this wall.”

01:59 — It took 37 seconds to go from swinging together to swinging alone.

02:08 — Nobody came to the wedding but she’s going to go ahead and throw the bouquet anyway.

02:20 — It might be easier for the first responders to do their job if Winger would get out of the way.

02:46 — GUITAR!

03:07 — “My wife’s dead.  Time to learn how to play an instrument!”

03:15 — Watch out, he’s driving again.

03:22 — Did he ever figure out why his brakes out went out in the first place?  This might be a case for Jim Rockford.

03:36 — They still haven’t put out the fire?  Is this what my tax dollars are paying for?

03:38 — I would be pissed off too.  Put out the damn fire!

03:58 — That dude cannot drive.

04:12 — How does he keep doing this shit without getting a scratch on him?

04:27 — “How am I going to get home?”

To call Winger a “hair metal” band is probably an insult to hair metal bands but they did have a few hits.  They also got on the nerves of Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis and Butthead.

Enjoy!

Song of the Day: Turn the Page (Metallica)


MetallicaTurnthePage

Through good times and bad I have always been a huge fan and follower of Metallica. Even as they foolishly went off track following the path Bob Rock set for them throughout most of the 1990’s through the disastrous St. Anger debacle as they tried to return to their earlier sound, I have always followed this band which made up the original Big 4 of thrash metal (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth).

It was on their 1998 cover album, Garage Inc., that the band released one of their most popular songs. It wasn’t an original, but a cover of the classic Bob Seger hard rock song about the hard road and life of a musician. Seger’s “Turn the Page” is just one of those hard rock tunes that latches onto the listener and forces them to listen and understand. Most such songs tend to be quite pretentious with nothing much to say once the listener really pays attention. The same cannot be said about Seger’s song.

Metallica decided to cover this song for their Garage Inc. album which was all about them covering their own favorite hard rock and metal songs of the past. While Metallica kept the original’s tempo, they added their own heavier and harder edge to song that straddles the line between hard rock and heavy metal. Even James Hetfield’s alcohol and cigarette ravaged vocals lent a sense of the hard road and life the track sings about.

The biggest change from the Seger song to Metallica’s cover has to be the accompanying music video which still remains one of the most controversial in MTV’s music video history (well, when they still played music videos). Seger’s song was released in 1973 when the concept of music video was nonexistent. With Metallica’s cover it was almost a guarantee that it would get a music video and what a video it was and still is.

The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund who had made a name for himself directing some of the most creative and innovative music videos of the day. His take on the song switches from a musician’s hard road and life on the road to that of a single mother trying to make ends meet as an erotic dancer by day and a prostitute by night to provide for her young daughter. The video was banned from receiving any sort of airplay on MTV as it dealt and showed the disturbing side of such a life. The fact that the tamer version of the video (below) still couldn’t make it on the airwaves just showed how much more haunting and controversial the uncensored version turned out to be.

Turn the Page

On a long and lonesome highway,
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engines
Moanin’ out it’s one note song
You can think about the woman,
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wanderin’,
The way they always do
When you’re ridin’ 16 hours,
And there’s nothin’ much to do
And you don’t feel much like ridin’,
You just wish the trip was through

(Chorus)

Here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
There I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page

So you walk into this restaurant,
All strung out from the road
And you feel the eyes upon you,
As you’re shakin’ off the cold
You pretend it doesn’t bother you,
But you just want to explode
Yeah, most times you can’t hear ’em talk,
Other times you can

All the same old cliches,
Is it woman, is it man
And you always seem outnumbered,
You don’t dare make a stand
Make your stand

(Chorus)
Ah But here I am, on the road again,
There I am, up on the stage
Here I go, ah playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
Woah

Out there in the spotlight,
You’re a million miles away
Every ounce of energy,
You try and give away
As the sweat pours out your body,
Like the music that you play

Later in the evenin’,
As you lie awake in bed
With the echoes of the amplifiers,
Ringin’ in your head
You smoke the day’s last cigarette,
Rememberin’ what she said

What she said

Yeah, and here I am,
On the road again,
There I am, up on that stage
Here I go, playin’ star again,
There I go, turn the page
And there I go, turn that page

There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah, yeah
There I go, yeah, Here I go, yeah
Here I go, There I go
And I’m gone

Song of the Day: Fade to Black (by Metallica)


FadetoBlack

Metallica.

Love them or hate them there’s really no middle-ground when it comes to one of the Big Four of thrash metal. You either love the band even through their dabbling into hard rock and the Bob Rock-era or you hate them for  the perceived selling out and the Bob Rock-era. You ask any Metallica fan and they would pretty much agree that their third album, Master of Puppets,  was the band at it’s peak. There would be some debate on whether the Black Album was where the band began to alienate some of it’s earliest fans, but that’s not what we’re here for.

We are here for the latest “Song of the Day” and it’s from their second full-length album, Ride the Lightning. The song is the band’s very first power ballad and follows the album’s theme and exploration of death. Where the album’s title took on the concept of death by electric chair the song chosen this time around is about the band’s exploration of the concept of suicide.

Yes, this was the song that the band had gotten into hot water for it’s suicidal lyrics which purportedly led to teens offing themselves after listening to it constantly. What critics of the song failed to realize was just how much teens at the time the song came out saw the song as therapeutic. They related to the song and used it as an outlet for their own alienation and depression.

Just like it’s subject matter it begins with a melancholy melody that gives a glimpse into the singer’s mindset. It’s not the typical fast playing many have associated with thrash, but that arrives soon enough as the song finishes off it’s vocals with a fade out that leads into Kirk Hammett’s 2-minute guitar solo that ultimately fades out as well…

The song that critics of metal gets wrong then and continues to even now is the classic “Fade to Black”.


Fade to Black

Life it seems, will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters no one else
I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

Things not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost, this Can’t be real
Cannot stand this hell I feel
Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now he’s gone

No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late
Now, I can’t think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death Greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye

Bye…

(guitar solo)

Great Guitar Solos Series

27 Days of Old School: #21 “One” (by Metallica)


MetallicaOne

“Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please God, wake me”

Yeah, my taste in music see-sawed back and forth from one end of the spectrum to the other. Yesterday, I reminisced about one of the best R&B ballads from my time as a teenager in high school during the late 80’s. Today, I focus on one of the songs on metal end which remains (in my opinion) one of the best metal songs ever put out there.

“One” was the final single released from Metallica’s fourth album, …And Justice For All.

The song also had the distinction of being the first ever Metallica song which was accompanied by a music video shot for it. Metallica had avoided making music videos of their songs for years. Their success as a band never needed the assistance that MTV could provide. They saw it as a badge of honor that they’ve never made a music video, but that change in January 1989 when the single for “One” was released and a music video followed soon after.

A music video that combined elements from the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun and the band playing inside a warehouse. It was an effective video that more than convinced many skeptics that when done properly a metal music video was possible. This wasn’t a video using garish colors, over-the-top imagery of hair metal music videos. It was a video that was just as heavy and through-provoking as the song it was made for.

Review: Metallica: Through the Never (dir. by Nimrod Antal)


MetallicaThroughtheNever

“And the road becomes my bride”

Concerts have been a major part of a teenager’s transition into adulthood. Often have we begged our parents to get us tickets to our favorite band’s concert as they toured straight into our hometowns. We’d beg, cajole, promise whatever just to be able to attend that big show that we thought everyone we knew would be attending. Rock concerts have been a huge part of this coming-of-age journey. It’s the show that our parents dreaded (especially the metal shows) and the ones that pulled in the outcasts kids.

We would either outgrow this youthful event because it’s not something that interests us, but most often it’s just because we either do not have the time to attend rock concerts due to work and other adult responsibilities. While we would still go to a concert of our favorite band when time and money affords for it in the end it’s something that’s become more of a past-time to reminisce about.

Metallica: Through the Never is the latest concert film that could change all that. Filmed during Metallica’s latest world tour, the film was directed by Nimrod Antal (Armored, Predators) and turns what could’ve been just your typical concert film into a surreal mixture of excellent concert footage and an apocalyptic narrative involving one of the band’s roadies. The latter felt like an extended music video and the lack of dialogue by the film’s narrative lead in Dane DeHaan does give this part of the film it’s surreal vibe. This part of the film could easily come off as one of Metallica’s music videos. It has mayhem involving nameless rioters battling an equal number of police right up to a nameless, gas-masked horseman who ends up paying particular attention to our beleaguered roadie.

Yet, while this apocalyptic-like narrative makes for a nice sideshow the main reason to see Metallica: Through the Never is the concert footage. While Antal does a good job with the story going outside the concert it’s inside where he shines. Making use of over 20 cameras on cranes, dollies and handhelds, Antal is able to make the concert footage feel like one was actually at the show. He uses every trick in the book from close-ups of each band member to sweeping crane shots that gives a bird’s-eye view of the concert.

It’s this part of the film that may just be one way for those of us who grew up going to concerts but have lost the time to return to such events to finally experience them again. It helps that the 3D used helps give the feel of not just being there but an enhanced experience that one may not find while actually attending the show live. But it doesn’t end in just the visuals.

A concert film can only go so far on how it looks. In the end, if the film doesn’t do a great job capturing the audio of the event then why even bother watching. Metallica: Through the Never doesn’t skimp on the audio assault. It is just exactly what I mean when I say audio assault. The audio in this film brought me back to attending past metal shows from my youth in near-perfect volume and clarity.

Metallica: Through the Never needs to be experienced in as big a screen as possible and if one’s able to see it on IMAX then I recommend they do so, but if that’s not possible then I still say go out and see this unique take on the ubiquitous concert film. It might not be the same as attending a Metallica concert, but it’s the next best thing to actually attending one.

Song of the Day: Orion (by Metallica)


MasterofPuppets Been more than a bit listless and tired of late so what do I do to fix that than listening to some classic metal. One can’t get any more classic metal than one of the best metal instrumentals ever: Metallica’s “Orion” off of their Master of Puppets full-length album.

“Orion” would mark one of the the last great works by Metallica’s great bassist, Cliff Burton. He would pass away while on tour to promoting this album. Details of his passing could be read anywhere so will bypass that to instead celebrate one of his great achievements with this extended instrumental which just showed how great a metal bass player he was, but also just one of the greatest metal musicians of his time.

Fans of metal always wonder just how much more he could’ve contributed to Metallica’s success if he had lived. Would their later albums have been up and down in quality? Would he have gone along with the changes wrought by the band’s producer after his death, Bob Rock, whoguided the band out from their thrash metal roots and into a more pop-friendly hard rock sound. Metal will never know the answer to these questions, but if Burton had lived and remained with the band it’s more than likely that Metallica wouldn’t be the one we know now after their many stylistic changes, but probably still considered by their early, loyal fans as being pure thrash.

One thing for sure, we probably would’ve been given more extended instrumentals like “Orion”.