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Which Classic Metallica Album is the Best? A Track By Track Battle! Pt. 4

by Terry Stevens

PHOTO CREDIT:  Marcelino Portfolio, Creative Commons License.

Welcome to the latest installment of [Track Battle/Battle Tracks/I'm still working on a name for this] featuring Metallica's classic First Four albums.

Kill 'Em All.

Ride the Lightning.

Master of Puppets.

...And Justice for All.

Which one is the best?

In an era of single song downloads, I believe that the fairest way to compare albums is track-by-track.  We've already compared Tracks 1 , 2 , and 3 .  Let's move on to...

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Track 4

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I mentioned in our last installment that the middle of the album cuts would give us the toughest Metalli-choices we've ever had to make.  Seriously, this is like Sophie's Choice for Metallica fans.

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Kill 'Em All - "Jump in the Fire"

What was I thinking?  This choice is going to be EASY!  Another Metallica tune with a Mega-Dave Mustaine credit, "Jump in the Fire" has that sweet ass up and down riff, a killer sing-a-long chorus and a sick guitar solo.  Clearly, this is the winner.

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Ride the Lightning - "Fade to Black"

Hang on, hang on, hang on.  I spoke waaaaaay too soon.

I forgot all about how many dark days this song this song helped me through.  This is where Metallica proved that they were more than angry thrashers.  "Fade to Black" let broken metal heads know that they were alone.  This is absolutely THE best Track 4 of the Metallica's First Four.

(On a side note, this was the final song that Jason Newsted played live with the band before he parted ways with the band.)

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Master of Puppets - "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"

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You know what?  Forget everything I've written up until now.  This is the clear choice for the winner of the Track 4s.

"Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is dark, so dark.  Inspired by "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ", you can feel the straitjacket on your back, the restraints on your wrists, the needle entering your vein as they pump you full of chemicals.  Who's to say you're crazy?  What if you're the only sane one in a world full of madmen?

Nope.  May as well stop writing this Blog now.  We have our winner and it's definitely "Welcome Ho..."

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...And Justice for All - "One"

...damn it.

I remember watching this video over and over and over again when it came out.  Metallica's breakthrough song.  How many metal heads read or watched "Johnny Got His Gun " thanks to "One"?  Soooo many.

The first half is so haunting.  Metallica puts you in the prison that is Johnny's body.

And then that second half comes in...

That double bass drumming!  That machine gun riff!  That MASSIVE sing-a-long!  That solo!

I don't care how many times I hear it, I still crank it every...single...time.

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Scary FN Terry's Pick:  "One"

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That was not an easy choice.  Every single Track 4 is a classic.  The thing that really puts "One" over the top for me is this part:

If that doesn't get you headbanging right away, you need to check your pulse.

Of course, that's just my take.

Which Metallitrack 4 do you think rules over the others?

Which Metallica Track 4 do you think is the best?




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Tune in next time when the Track 5s face off!

*In addition to chugga-chugga-CHUG, chugga-chugga-CHUGchugga-chugga-CHUG,  "Scary" Terry Stevens is a radio host for Midwest CommunicationsYou can Book Face with him here.