7) “Fight Fire With Fire” (from Ride the Lightning)
The first time I heard this song, a friend put on Ride the Lightning and my delicate uninformed teenage ears thought I was listening to Dio’s “The Last In Line.” That delicate classical-influenced guitar intro is disarming, and once the actual riff of the song kicks in 40 seconds later, it sets the tone for one of Metallica’s most iconic albums. It’s arguably thrashier than anything on Kill ’em All, and the acoustic guitar introduction into a much heavier song is something they’d revisit on their next album with even better results.
6) “Fuel” (from Reload)
Oh boy is this song cheesy. A song about a car, the rhyming of “fire” and “desire,” and James Hetfield’s “ooooh yeahhahahahha” before the solo. The song itself is fun, uptempo and while many might think that Reload is them at their rock radio worst, this song’s so bad that it’s good. Let’s face it, when your album title basically suggests that you’re getting leftovers from the last album, the bar’s already set low. You can either outright reject it or embrace it. We’re choosing to embrace it in this case.
5) “Hardwired” (from Hardwired… To Self Destruct)
Now this is how you get people excited about a new album! Metallica doesn’t write short songs any more – with one exception, This is the second-shortest original in their catalog, and it’s such a sucker punch that you almost don’t realize that Hetfield is saying “We’re so fucked, shit out of luck.” However, after the election, the song seems very prescient. If we’re honest, it’s probably been a while since we’ve gone into a Metallica album with really high expectations, but this raised the bar, and 35 years into their career, this is the band at their best.