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Metallica - Classic Albums: Metallica (1991)

 NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Product Description


The making and continued influence of Metallica's commercial breakthrough (known simply as "the Black Album") is entertainingly recounted in this must for Metallica fanatics, especially those who are interested in the recording of one of hard rock's most sonically breathtaking albums. Drummer Lars Ulrich, singer James Hetfield, and producer Bob Rock take up the lion's share of the interviews, and their reminiscences a decade after the fact include many juicy tidbits (like Ulrich and Rock loathing each other by the time the recording was finished, or that the final mix was nearly ruined by a digital clicking sound on the master tape--luckily, a successful remastering was done). The Dolby 2.0 Stereo sound is appropriately pummeling, even if we are treated to mere excerpts from the songs, videos, and even some of the original demos. Classic Albums: Metallica adroitly summarizes a pivotal moment in hard rock history. --Kevin Filipski

Special Features

Another 45 minutes of interviews that didn't make it into the original program will, to many fans, be even more noteworthy. That classic, punishing drum sound is discussed, as are Hetfield's vocal problems. Even guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Jason Newsted, who left the group following the making of this documentary, chime in on a few of their experiences. --Kevin Filipski

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Metallica Fans April 1 2003
By Drew
The interviews in this program feature the four members of Metallica, producer Bob Rock, assistant producer Randy Staub, and some short interviews with various people in the music industry regarding Metallica's 1991 release "Metallica", best known as "The Black Album". The album has been an amazing success comercially, selling over 10 million albums in the U.S. alone, and brought Metallica into the mainstream.
The main issue I have with this video is that Jason Newsted seems to be the only guy who is having fun making the interviews. Jason, as always, is very animated and warm, while everyone else looks tired, bored, and somewhat agitated. I love it when Lars Ulrich starts to ramble on and on, causing the other guys to turn away, scratch their faces, and basically ignore him. All toghether, the band members seem very distanced from each other, which is understandable considering that Jason was to leave the band soon after the 2001 Playboy article in which the guys stated that they were at each other's throats.
My favorite part is when they dissect songs in the mixing room, bringing to light the strange guitar and sound effects that get buried underneath the overdriven rhythm guitar. Clips of some early demos also get played, which is great and shows how the songs existed before they were shaped into the final product. This was the best part of the program for me, and I wish there were more material of them playing with the mixes and demos.
If you are a Metallica fan, you will really enjoy this DVD, and even though it 'recycles' material from "A Year and a Half", I would say that the program is about 10% recycled, 90% new stuff. Including the bonus material, there is over an hour and a half of great interviews and insights into the album that marked a major change in Metallica's music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently done. Nov. 11 2001
By chrisjr
First my standard warning:
The Classic Album series by Eagle Eye Media is a series of DVD documentaries about the *making* of classic albums. These are not DVDs of videos and music. This series will probably be of highest interest to musicians and recordist. And it's an excellent series with quality production.
Now the review:
The DVD actually documents the making of 7 tracks on the black album and touches on interesting aspects of the production of each song. There a hella lot of footage and interviews here since the bonus interviews actually comprise half the DVD. James & Lars discuss songwriting and drum recording techniques. Kirk talks about how Bob Rock pushed him to the brink of insanity to get some good solos on tape. What I love most about this DVD is seeing the band sit around the mixing console with engineer Randy Staub as they listen to the original mixes and solo things like the vocal and drum tracks. It's pretty cool to here the band members' tracks isolated like that. They also listen to some demos and discuss those. There's tons of comments about the many decisions that Rock and the band had to make to create this album and why they made those decisions. Also interesting was the story behind Michael Kamen's orchestral score of Nothing Else Matters and his later work with the band. And last but not least, there's a bunch of studio footage from the period and much praising of Bob Rock--you'll have to judge if the praising is justified. I know a lot about how Metallica works as a band so a lot of this info wasn't new to me, however I have to admit I gained more appreciation of the immense effort these guys made to put this album on tape--quite an incredible process. And I'm looking forward to more documentaries in this series, especially the making of Nirvana's Nevermind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for die-hard fans Nov. 8 2001
The "Classic Albums" release about Metallica's so-called Black Album has a wealth of good information and interesting tidbits on it; it's just a shame we've seen so much of it before. Much of the footage is recycled from the "A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica" VHS/DVD release, and I suppose that was to be expected. What the disc does provide, however, are plenty of new interviews with the band that better tell the story of how this record was made.
The bits that are especially interesting are those in which the guys sit at the mixing board with Bob Rock and Randy Staub, isolating different parts of each song and letting us hear things we've never heard before, like a particularly good solo from Kirk Hammett that was muffled as "Wherever I May Roam" faded out. These parts of the documentary are too few; I for one want to get a shot to get in that room and play with that mixing board for hours, dissecting each song.
Then there's also some really strange moments where the guys talk about having drinks after recording, including one where James comments that he didn't remember the story Lars and Bob Rock are talking about because he was drinking, as illustrated by the usual hand-to-mouth invisible beer can gesture. This was recorded not too long before James checked himself into rehab, so it's really interesting to see this side of him.
Even better than the main 45-minute documentary are the outtake interview segments, which run almost a full 50 minutes. This lets us hear more detail about certain aspects of the production than the rest of the show.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The making of a great album
I actually got this dvd for my birthday, and i wasnt really sure if it would be good coz i'm not a huge fan of documenteries, but i gotta say i was not disappointed with it. Read more
Published on April 13 2004 by jeremy_up-the-irons
5.0 out of 5 stars Metallica - Metallica
For all you metallica fans out there who didnt get this yet i bet you wanna know whats written on the back of the box... Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by Rakan K. Hussain
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent DVD
I watched this at a friends and will probably eventually buy it but I have a few other Metallica videos I want to replace with DVD first. Read more
Published on June 5 2003 by JET70
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but...
This was a good documentary of Metallica about one of their best if not the best album they made "The Black Album" but if you had allready saw lots of documentary and... Read more
Published on June 3 2003 by Lili
2.0 out of 5 stars Replay factor zero
For metallica fans it may be a source of a whole lot of new information but in the end when you have seen it once maybe twice there is nothing to go back to it for. Read more
Published on May 9 2003 by G.K.Shriram
2.0 out of 5 stars Replay factor zero
For metallica fans it may be a source of a whole lot of new information but in the end when you have seen it once maybe twice there is nothing to go back to it for. Read more
Published on May 9 2003 by G.K.Shriram
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a bit dull
I bought this video expecting it to have the videos to all the Black Album singles, but nope, just a documentary on the album. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2002 by "man_in_the_box"
1.0 out of 5 stars THIS AIN'T WORTH THE $$$$$
Published on May 18 2002 by PETER J LANDIS
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Retrospective
If you like Metallica, and you enjoy Behind the Music-Type documentaries, this one is great. It's a bit on the short side, but it does have a lot of material that fans have never... Read more
Published on May 8 2002 by Clinton Hill Foodie
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for Metallica fans -- Everyone else shouldn't bother
This Metallica DVD chronicles the making of the Black Album through exclusive interviews, archive footage and performances with the band members and producer Bob Rock. Read more
Published on May 5 2002 by Vinny Carpenter
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