Nothing Else Matters: Wikis


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"Nothing Else Matters"
Single by Metallica
from the album Metallica
B-side "Enter Sandman" (live)
"Enter Sandman" (live)/"Harvester of Sorrow" (live)/"Nothing Else Matters" (Demo)
Released 1992
Format CD single
Recorded October 1990 - June 1991
One on One Recording
Los Angeles, California
Genre Hard rock
Heavy metal
Length 6:28
Label Elektra
Writer(s) James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Producer James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Bob Rock
Metallica singles chronology
"The Unforgiven"
"Nothing Else Matters"
"Wherever I May Roam"

"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by heavy metal band Metallica. The song reached #11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1992.

This song also featured as a playable track on the game Guitar Hero: Metallica.



Singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield wrote this song while on the phone with his girlfriend. Since he held the phone with one hand, he plucked the four open strings with the other, which eventually made up the first two bars of the song. The lyrics were also dedicated to his girlfriend, which talk about being "so close, no matter how far", indicating the bond they shared even when Hetfield was on tour. Initially, the song wasn't meant to go on the album, and Hetfield had written it for himself, but only after drummer Lars Ulrich heard it, did it get considered for the record.

The song has now become a staple in Metallica's live performances, and has been dedicated to their fans.


Its intro is an E minor arpeggio beginning with E on the D string, open G, B and high E strings. It was first rumoured, and then confirmed by Hetfield on Classic Albums: The Black Album DVD, that he started composing it while he was on the phone with his girlfriend and only had one free hand.

It is one of the few Metallica songs in which Hetfield, rather than Hammett, plays the guitar solo. Given that Hetfield recorded all rhythm and most harmony tracks on the band's first five albums, it is therefore the only Metallica song that does not feature Hammett's playing (excluding Cliff Burton's bass solo (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth). In response to a question asked by a fan in So What!, the magazine of Metallica's official fan club, Hetfield confirmed that he recorded every guitar track on the song.

Music video

The video premiered on MTV on February 26, 1992. It was directed by Adam Dubin; it consists of parts of the "A year and a half..." video tape which was shot during the recordings of the Black Album. One of them shows Hetfield playing the 12 string during one of the choruses. MTV will not air the video during daytime hours anymore because it features nudity in the form of pin-up posters that are taped up in the studio. It also has a picture of Kip Winger which Lars Ulrich is seen throwing darts at. It should be noted that on the band's 2006 music video compilation DVD, the posters are censored, as was done with the nudity featured in the music videos for Turn the Page and Whiskey in the Jar.

Alternate versions

Nothing Else Matters '99

"Nothing Else Matters '99 (Live)"
Single by Metallica
from the album S&M
B-side "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (S&M version)/"−Human"
Released 2000
Recorded April 21–22, 1999, at Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California
Genre Acoustic rock, Symphonic rock
Length 6:47
Label Elektra
Writer(s) James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Producer Bob Rock
James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Michael Kamen
Metallica singles chronology
"Die, Die My Darling"
"Nothing Else Matters '99"
"No Leaf Clover"
Music sample
Nothing Else Matters

For its appearance on S&M, its orchestration was arranged by Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. This live version is found on the S&M album. This version was also released as the single "Nothing Else Matters '99", which included the B-sides "−Human", and the S&M version of "For Whom The Bell Tolls", on January 4, 2000.

There is also an acoustic remix of "Nothing Else Matters" that is called the "elevator version" with no electric guitars (replaced by acoustic guitars, even for the solo), Kamen's orchestrations, and Hetfield's voice only; it appears as the b-side to Sad But True.


Because of the song's popularity (and ease of play compared to Metallica's other material) it has been covered many times, by both artists within and outside the rock genre. Bands who have covered the song include:

Track listing


  1. "Nothing Else Matters (Edit)" (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich) - 6.30


  1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6.30
  2. "Enter Sandman (Live)" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5.26

"Enter Sandman" was recorded live on September 28, 1991 at Tushino Airfield, Moscow, Russia from the Monsters of Rock performance.

One Australian version included a t-shirt.


  1. "Nothing Else Matters" (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich) - 6.30
  2. "Enter Sandman (Live)" (Kirk Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5.26
  3. "Harvester of Sorrow (Live)" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6.02
  4. "Nothing Else Matters (Demo)" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5.52

"Enter Sandman" recorded live on September 28, 1991 at Tushino Air Field, Moscow, Russia

"Harvester of Sorrow" recorded live on September 11, 1991 at the Liebenau, Graz, Austria


  1. "Nothing Else Matters" (James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich) - 6.30
  2. "Non me la danno mai" by Dario Vergassola

Jukebox promo with a song by an Italian artist on the B-side.

Live at Wembley Stadium

This single was named "Nothing Else Matters UK Tour Single" and was Released in Europe in 1992. It contained the three songs Metallica played at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on April 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium.

  1. "Enter Sandman" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich)
  2. "Sad But True" (Hetfield, Ulrich)
  3. "Nothing Else Matters" (Hetfield, Ulrich)

It was mixed the next day by Flemming Rasmussen and was one of the first pieces of Metallica Merchandise to feature James' "Scary Guy" logo.

Nothing Else Matters (Live) (Australia/Germany)

  1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6.53
  2. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Hetfield, Cliff Burton, Ulrich) - 4.53
  3. "−Human" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 4.19
  4. "Nothing Else Matters (Video)"

All tracks are taken from S&M album

Nothing Else Matters (Live) (Germany)

  1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6.53
  2. "−Human" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 4.19

All tracks are taken from S&M album

Chart performance

Country Position
Germany (2010)
United Kingdom
U.S. Billboard Hot 100
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks


External links


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