Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ride the Lightning
The band received their first accusations of "selling out" with this album, because of the slower, quieter parts in the song "Fade to Black." "Fade to Black" was also controversial among cultural conservatives for its stark portrayal of suicide. However, that same starkness resonated very strongly with fans as a kind of honesty rarely found in other forms of popular music. Moreover, Metallica was quick to point out that fans had often told them how "Fade to Black" had actually kept them from committing suicide.
- "Fight Fire with Fire" (Burton, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 4:45
- "Ride the Lightning" (Burton, Hetfield, Mustaine, Ulrich) - 6:41
- "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Burton, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5:09
- "Fade to Black" (Burton, Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6:59
- "Trapped Under Ice" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 4:08
- "Escape" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 4:24
- "Creeping Death" (Burton, Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6:35
- "The Call of Ktulu" (Burton, Hetfield, Mustaine, Ulrich) - 8:55
"Fade to Black" was released as a promo in 1984.
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" was released as a promo single, with two versions of the song, an edited version on side A, and the album version on side B.
Ride the Lightning was the first of four Metallica albums (Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, and St. Anger being the other three) to feature similar track orderings:
Track 1: blistering speed metal
Track 2: album title song
Track 4: slower, more introspective song
Both Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All include long instrumental tracks just before closing with another blistering speed metal song.
"The Call of Ktulu" (a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's fictional character Cthulhu) features a riff which was written by Dave Mustaine while he was a member of Metallica, which he later used in the Megadeth song "Hangar 18", from Rust in Peace.
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