We are saddened to hear that Paul Curcio, the producer best known as the producer of Metallica’s debut album Kill ‘Em All has passed away. His daughter, Brianne Curcio-Smith confirmed the news that the 74-year-old died of heart failure in St. Petersburg, FL on September 10th. Curcio’s career took off back in the mid sixties performing in groups such as The Mojo Men. By 1968, Curcio founded Pacific Recording in San Mateo, California, which was the first in the Bay Area to have an Ampex 16-track machine.

Billboard reports it was Curcio’s move to Rochester, NY in the late 70s that eventually led to thrash metal history shortly after he founded his Music America Studio. Curcio met up Metallica’s manager at that time, Megaforce Records founder, Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula. Zazula decided to book Curcio to record Kill Em’ All because the session was at an inexpensive rate. The overall budget was roughly slated at $15,000 for 17 days of studio work. Curcio continued to work with Zazula that included Blue Cheer’s reunion album 1984’s The Beast Is Black.

Curcio later moved to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area in Florida where he continued to be involved in the music industry over the years.

Our thoughts and condolences to Paul’s friends and family during this difficult time.