Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free Metallica Music?

When I was growing up and deciding which music genres to become a fan of, my older brothers played a big role. I often listened to the music that they purchased and much of it molded my taste for music. One band particular: Metallica.

I loved Metallica's older music and purchased and listened to all of their older albums. The best albums were the ones with the original group, before tragedy struck bassist Cliff Burton: Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning, and Master of Puppets. "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)" has an incredible bass solo which I attempted to nail as I began playing bass guitar. When bassist Jason Newsted took over, they still put out some good albums. ...And Justice for All has some killer guitar solos and of course one of their best known albums: The Black Album. [You know an album is good if fans refer to it as the (insert color) album (Weezer's blue album is another).] Then they cut their hair.

Load wasn't bad...Reload was "ehh." I liked their innovation with S&M, when they played with an entire orchestra. But that was about the time that things went faster downhill. Y2K may have been fine for technology but it hit Metallica the wrong way I guess. They battled Napster. Jason Newsted quit. A few years went by and they put out a crappy album with a bass player who I can't even name. That was 5 years ago.

Out of left field, I saw a headline that "Metallica may join the free music movement," which has been innovated by Radiohead and Trent Reznor. Wait, what? Let's go back to "They battled Napster." Lars Ulrich was the #1 enemy of the music fan with internet access. He went to the headquarters of Napster with a list of users that were sharing Metallica's music, demanding that all of them get blocked. I know that I'll never forget that...I doubt anyone else that was downloading music at that time will either.

I suppose it's a good thing that Lars (because I doubt Kirk Hammett, guitar god, was that opposed to pirating music...he's a mellow dude) came to the realization that you can not stop the "illegal" downloading. This free music movement should not only be about the price though. It's about principle and your opinion of a group. Radiohead is probably my favorite group and the only album of theirs that I paid any money for was the one that they offered for free. I'm holding a grudge with Lars though...I'm not taking their freebies and I hope other people who were against what he did with Napster do the same.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Word up little bro - I'll never forget that Napster crap that Lars pulled. He went from garage band drummer to some slick uppity yuppy type that could care less about the true fans - how about all the bootleg audio cassettes that got Metallica to where they are today? (strike that, where they were 5 years ago!)