CONFIRMING THE UNCONFIRMED
As some of you are probably aware there have been rumors and information flowing through the internet in the last few weeks about Metallica's participation in the following outside projects. You guys might think that we're late with this, but we don't want to confirm something until it's 110% confirmed at our end. At the same time we feel that it is not our place to jump the gun with information on other artists and friends of Metallica, when Metallica partakes on projects that are driven and initiated by other people. With that in mind here is the latest on two different fronts…
Ramones Tribute Album
As you should know by now, when Metallica re-entered the studio in early May they eased their way back into recording mode, by having some fun with a bunch of Ramones songs. Kirk's friend Johnny Ramone had asked if Metallica would partake in the Ramones tribute album due later this year.
Johnny Ramone & Kirk
(Photo: Niclas Swanlund)
The band started jamming on eight songs from the four first records, later narrowed it down to four songs and then made worthy recordings of those. As you might remember from June, these four, 'Commando,' 'Today Your Love Tomorrow The World,' '53rd & 3rd,' 'Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue' were performed live at the Kimo's club gig.
On the day the band sat down to decide which song to give to the Rob Zombie-led tribute album, news filtered in that Dee Dee had unfortunately passed away and this, amongst other reasons, led to the choice of '53rd & 3rd', which was always recognized as being about Dee Dee's early New York life.
Look for the record late this year on DV8 / Columbia Records.
Metal Blade 20th Anniversary Box Set
Brian Slagel (Metal Blade boss) asked the band this spring if they would participate in celebrating the 20th anniversary of his record label. Since Brian is an old pre-Metallica friend of Lars' and gave he and James their first recording break, the band of course gave an enthusiastic yes.
Two different pre-Kill 'Em All versions of 'Hit The Lights' appeared on the first Metal Massacre compilation album in early '82 and early '83. The 2nd version with Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney was more widely heard, and is available on the CD release of Metal Massacre. The 1st version with James and Lars, and their friend Lloyd Grant guesting in on lead guitar is very, very rare and only appeared on the first few thousand vinyl copies of Metal Massacre. This is the version that the band has decided to give Brian for his 20th anniversary box.
When asked about the project, Lars' response was, "This is the earliest and the rawest version of 'Hit The Lights' that exist, come to think of it, it is the earliest Metallica recording ever released, and it's really fun to be able to share this with you. It's got amazing energy and a kind of youthful innocence that, to my ears, holds up quite well 20 years later." Lars also did a Q&A with Brian for the sleeve notes and this project should see the light of day on October 22nd.