Last month marked the 30th anniversary of not only the biggest metal release in history, but also one of the best-selling albums of all time in Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album, commonly referred to as ” The Black Album”. Now, the Bay Area-based hard rock titans are celebrating this Friday with a new release of the record as well as an album tribute by more than 50 artists from various genres.
Upon release, and hot on the heels of the late July single “Enter Sandman,” Metallica’s fifth effort shot straight to No. 1 on the worldwide charts and remains the best-selling track in the sales tracker’s history. Nielsen Soundscan, outperforming all releases in all genres over the past 30 years. Other hits from the record included ‘The Unforgiven’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’, ‘Wherever I May Roam’ and ‘Sad but True’, fueling the band’s rise to headlining stadiums, radio and MTV. dominating household name status.
Now ‘The Black Album’ receives its definitive reissue. Remastered for ultimate sound quality, the reissue is available in multiple configurations, including 180-gram double vinyl, standard CD, and a three-disc and digital extended edition. Like the first four albums in their catalog, Metallica is also offering a limited edition deluxe box set containing the remaster of two 180g LPs, a photo disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows, six DVDs of takes, behind the scenes, official videos and live shows, 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithographs, three guitar picks, Metallica lanyard, folder with lyric sheets and a download card.
Alongside the set is “The Metallica Blacklist,” which sees an unprecedented 53 artists spanning a huge spectrum of genres, generations, cultures, continents and more, each contributing a unique take on their cut.” Black Album” favorite. It provides new insight into the universal and timeless appeal of the record and the influence the 12 songs have had on fans and musicians of all persuasions.
Contributors include singer-songwriters, country artists, electronic and hip-hop artists, punk rockers, indie darlings, rock, metal, world music icons and many more. Some of the names include Weezer (“Enter Sandman”), Phoebe Bridgers (“Nothing Else Matters”), The Neptunes (“Wherever I May Roam”), Royal Blood (“Sad but True”) and a collaboration between Miley Cyrus, Watt , Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith on “Nothing Else Matters”.
“Metallica’s Blacklist will be available in formats including digital, four CDs and a limited edition seven vinyl LP. Proceeds from each sale, download or stream will be divided equally between charities of the artist’s choice and Metallica’s own All Within My Hands Foundation.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week we’re doing something a little different.
‘LED ZEPPELIN VINYL: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION’: BY ROSS HALFIN
Led Zeppelin have released just eight studio albums and – in their British homeland – no singles during their 12-year career. Yet, to date, there are over 1,000 singles and 2,000 full albums on the market. Not all of them are official of course, but for vinyl collectors and hardcore fans of the band, this is where some of the pure gold lies. Now, a new coffee table book delves into this fascinating aspect of Zep’s recorded history.
A definitive hardcover volume of the iconic band on wax published by Reel Art Press, ‘Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection’ illustrates in color some of the rarest and most interesting vinyl releases, including unique, bizarre rarities regional variations, official albums and clandestine recordings of legendary concerts, sometimes featuring handmade artwork or colored vinyl.
All vinyl, labels and covers have been documented by photographer Ross Halfin in superb detail and are annotated with release details. Additionally, the book includes over forty pages of the most up-to-date comprehensive discography ever compiled on the band, complete with forensic details. All known worldwide album and vinyl single releases are listed with catalog numbers, release or recording dates and additional notes.
“The first album I bought was ‘Led Zeppelin II’ when I was 13,” Halfin said in a statement. “I have at least 40 different versions of it now.”
A true labor of love from a photographer who has photographed some of the greatest rock and roll bands in history, “Led Zeppelin Vinyl” is a feast for the eyes and a must-have for fans of the band and vinyl enthusiasts. . It’s a hymn to vinyl art and graphic design: the illustrations are explosive and surreal, playful, experimental and subversive, interpreting multiple artistic disciplines with flair and wit.
Among the bootleg highlights is “Yellow Zeppelin,” a show recorded in Miami during the 1969 inaugural tour, with the cover casting the band as cartoon characters in a play on “Yellow Submarine” from the Beatles. Another is “Berkeley Daze”, taken from a 1971 concert in the Californian city, where the band is represented on the elephant Dumbo. Some of the care and skill put into the artwork for some of the releases is amazing – even if the track listings are sometimes a little off, like when “Rock and Roll” is called “It’s been a long time.”
‘Led Zeppelin Vinyl: The Essential Collection’ is available now wherever great books are sold.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com