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Ride the Lightning
Studio album by Metallica
Released July 27, 1984[1]
Recorded February 20 - March 14, 1984 at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark
Genre Thrash metal
Length 47:27
Label Megaforce, Music for Nations, Elektra, Vertigo
Producer Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen
Metallica chronology
Kill 'Em All
Ride the Lightning
Master of Puppets
Singles from Ride The Lightning
  1. "Fade To Black"
    Released: 1984
  2. "Creeping Death"
    Released: 1984
  3. "For Whom The Bell Tolls"
    Released: 1985

Ride the Lightning is the second album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 27, 1984 by Megaforce Records and re-released by Elektra Records on November 19, 1984. [2] Ride the Lightning has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. and have been certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA.[3]



 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Q Magazine 5/5 stars
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [4]
Kerrang! 5/5 stars

Ride the Lightning is often hailed by fans as a classic of the thrash metal genre and a vital bridge between the band's albums Kill 'Em All and Master of Puppets, pushing the thrash metal of the debut into progressive territory more fully-realized on Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All.

Ride the Lightning retains the speed of Kill 'Em All on songs like "Trapped Under Ice" and "Fight Fire with Fire", but also contains the first of Metallica's longer, more intricate tracks, such as "Fade to Black" and the nearly 9-minute closing instrumental "The Call of Ktulu". "Ride the Lightning" is the last Metallica album to credit Dave Mustaine.

Ride the Lightning was listed at #3 on a list compiled by of the Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time and #5 by IGN Music on the Top 25 Metal Albums.[5]

Q magazine (Summer/01, p.127) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Reaffirms their status as the pre-eminent metal band of the modern era....They broke with the conventions of thrash metal to record the genre's first power ballad in 'Fade to Black'".

Kerrang! (p.50) - "[The album included] melody, maturity and musical intelligence. It was these traits which helped them broaden metal's scope."



Track listing


Side one

Track Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Fight Fire with Fire"   James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Cliff Burton 4:45
2. "Ride the Lightning"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine 6:36
3. "For Whom the Bell Tolls"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 5:10
4. "Fade to Black"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Kirk Hammett 6:57

Side two

Track Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Trapped Under Ice"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:04
2. "Escape"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:24
3. "Creeping Death"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett 6:36
4. "The Call of Ktulu" (Instrumental) Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine 8:53


Charting positions


Year Chart Position
1984 The Billboard 200 100
1985 UK Albums Chart 87
2007 Finnish Album Chart[6] 9
2008 Australian ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart 37


Since the beginning of the SoundScan era in 1991, Ride the Lightning has sold 4,334,000 copies.[7]

Country Certification
United States 5x Platinum
Canada 2x Platinum


"Creeping Death" was covered by Welsh glam metal band Tigertailz for a B-side in 1990, Welsh metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine on Kerrang!'s 25th Anniversary Higher Voltage compilation disk, the Italian epic black metal band Stormlord as a live track on their EP "The Curse Of Medusa" and by rock band Drowning Pool at Ozzfest 2002.

The Nu Metal band Disturbed has covered "Fade to Black" in concert on the live compilation album Music as a Weapon II. The power metal band Sonata Arctica and the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica have also covered "Fade to Black" on the EP Takatalvi and on the album Inquisition Symphony respectively.

"Escape" was covered by both death metal band Gojira on the Japanese edition for their 2005 album From Mars to Sirius, and the American metalcore band Hatebreed on their 2009 album For the Lions.

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" was covered by punk band Shotgun Remedy on the album "A Punk Tribute to Metallica" and by Apocalyptica on the album Inquisition Symphony.

"Fight Fire with Fire" was covered by Apocalyptica on their album Cult. Also, the death metal band Vader covered the song featured on their album, Necropolis, as a bonus track.

"Trapped Under Ice" was covered by parody metal band Austrian Death Machine on the 2009 album Double Brutal.



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