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Ride the Lightning

4.8 out of 5 stars 553 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 17.57
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Ride the Lightning
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  • Master of Puppets (Lp)
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  • ...and Justice for All (2lp)
Total price: CDN$ 54.02
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 21 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B000002H2H
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 553 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,288 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Fight Fire With Fire
2. Ride The Lightning
3. For Whom The Bell Tolls
4. Fade To Black
5. Trapped Under Ice
6. Escape
7. Creeping Death
8. The Call Of Ktulu

Product Description

Product Description

Certified at 4 million units by the RIAA. (11/97)

Amazon.ca

Don't let that classical-guitar-ish opening to "Fight Fire with Fire" fool you--Ride the Lightning packs a heavy-metal wallop. While not as ambitious as the subsequent Master of Puppets, this early Metallica album is indubitably one of their best. Thematically, it explores death and dying from myriad points of view: nuclear war ("Fight Fire with Fire"), electric-chair execution (the title track), and drowning ("Trapped Under Ice"). Interestingly, the best track on this album is probably "Fade to Black," a slower, more introspective song about suicide. There's also "Creeping Death," which remains a concert favorite. An excellent mix of rapid-fire guitar riffs, rip-roaring solos, and singer James Hetfield's trademark growl, this is thrash metal at its finest. Very highly recommended. --Genevieve Williams


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This was my second Metallica purchase when I first got into them about 7 years ago. I was blown away by how fast but perfect this album actually is. Metallica's 2nd album was monstrous to the metal community and this was a glorious sign of amazing things to come later on in the careers of these Bay-Area Bashers. Metallica eventually became the fastest and most influential metal band ever to come from America.
The opening intro to 'Fight Fire With Fire' goes from happy picking to speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour! The ending fits in perfectly with one of my favorite intro's of all time with the title track, 'Ride the Lightning.' 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' is a timeless classic from this band along with 'Fade to Black,' which is considered by many to be Metallica's best ballad. My favorite song from this album is the song, 'Creeping Death,' with lyrics from the Biblical book of Exodus about the plagues that ravaged Egypt. The song is another name for the Angel of Death, or the 10th and final plague against the ancient Egyptians. This album ends perfectly with a breathtaking instrumental called, 'The Call of Ktulu.' For anyone who is new to Metallica, this is the album to start out with, along with Master of Puppets and the Black Album. These were the glory days for Metallica! Albums like, 'Ride the Lightning' are a rare gem that only Metallica could've ever created, and they did a magnificent job!
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Format: Audio CD
A word of warning to latecomers to Metallica's work: "Ride the Lightning" era Metallica bears ZERO resemblance to their hard rock work starting with 1991's "Metallica". "Ride The Lightning" is pure thrash; it just doesn't get any harsher and faster than this. I bought this album soon after it came out, in 1985, and it took me a full year of listening to truly appreciate its brilliance. This album represented a quantum leap beyond the simplistic yet still memorable "Kill 'Em All"--the lyrics and the themes here are (as one reviewer has already noted) conceptually similar to what Iron Maiden was exploring on their albums "Piece of Mind" and "Powerslave" and what bands like Black Flag had explored from the start--alienation, fury and destruction. A true missing link between punk and metal. "Fight Fire With Fire" is absolutely apocolyptic; "Ride the Lightning" is relentless (I have always thought of the music on this song as the soundtrack to nightmares), "Creeping Death" is outstanding. Truly a classic. Strongly recommended for people who think lame bands like System of a Down and Creed are "rock"--listen and learn.
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Format: Audio CD
Let me tell you that this is nothing more than an honest and personal opinion of Metallica's Ride The Lightning. You can give me as many "Not Helpful" votes as you want but it isn't going to change the fact that I just didn't really enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed other Metallica albums. My main problem with it was just its atmosphere. I don't really want to look back on a year like 1984. Partially because I was only about two years old at the time, partially because of all the good things that happened in 1994. For me, listening to this album is very reminiscent of watching such 1984 movies as Sixteen Candles and Revenge of The Nerds. I just don't want to be living so far into the past during daily life.
As for the actual songs, they range from excellent (Fade To Black, For Whom The Bell Tolls) to rather poor (Escape). I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I never really liked Call Of Ktulu much. And the title track just sounds very whiny and pitiful (as in desperate). Also, the drumming on this album is IMO the weakest of the band's first four albums. Lars seems to keep a lot of the drumming here as minimal as possible while throwing in little to no special tricks. Also a lot of the lyrical writing (such as in Fight Fire With Fire) is rather amateurish and James sounds very nervous and unsure of himself. By contrast, he sounded perfectly confident and ready for action in the later Master of Puppets and And Justice For All.
So am I saying Ride The Lightning is a bad album? Not at all. But as it is, I just couldn't really get into it as much as I did other Metallica albums. Again, this is an opinion and nothing more.
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Format: Audio CD
The huge step forward since the debut album is obvious immediately when you put on "Ride the Lightning." James Hetfield's vocals are tougher, more confident; ... and the songs themselves are beginning to branch out into more complex structures and melodies.
But the problem may be that a good chunk of the album is just an extension of the fist-pumping silliness from "Kill 'Em All." The difference, of course, was that we expect that kind of stuff on a debut album when the musicians don't really have any idea what they're doing, and on Metallica's first album the guys seemed to be having a blast. On "Ride the Lightning," the musicianship has improved drastically, yet the songs themselves are stuck in heavy metal fairy tale settings. ("Trapped Under Ice" and "Creeping Death" are particularly embarrassing.) It would take another album for the band -- particularly the songwriting talents of the late bassist Cliff Burton -- to reach maturity.
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