Am I Evil?

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For the album, see Am I Evil (album).
"Am I Evil?"
Song by Diamond Head from the album Lightning to the Nations
Released 1980
Recorded 1980
Genre Heavy metal
Length 7:43
Label Happy Face
Writer Sean Harris and Brian Tatler
Producer Diamond Head
Lightning to the Nations track listing
"Sucking My Love"
(3)
"Am I Evil?"
(4)
"Sweet and Innocent"
(5)

"Am I Evil?" is a song by British heavy metal band Diamond Head released on their 1980 debut album Lightning to the Nations. The song was written by vocalist Sean Harris and guitarist Brian Tatler and released on Happy Face Records, the band's own label. The song was immediately popular among the metal circles in the United Kingdom around the time of its release, but only rose to international prominence after Metallica covered as a B-side on their "Creeping Death" single in 1984; the cover was rereleased on their 1998 covers album Garage Inc.. The song was influenced by The Black Sabbath song Symptom of the Universe. [1]

Release and reception[edit]

The song was originally released on their 1980 debut, Lightning to the Nations but then also re-recorded for their second album Borrowed Time. The song also remains a live favorite and is still included in the band's setlist to this day. However, Sean Harris has gotten fed up with continually playing "Am I Evil?", one of the reasons he took the stage dressed as the Grim Reaper during their performance at the National Bowl.

In December 2004, "Am I Evil?" was voted the fifth best heavy metal riff.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

"Am I Evil?"
Song by Metallica from the album "Creeping Death" (single), Kill 'Em All (re-release) and Garage Inc.
Released 1984
Recorded February 20 - March 14, 1984 at Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark
Genre Thrash metal
Length 7:50
Label Megaforce, Elektra
Writer Sean Harris, Brian Tatler
Producer Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen
Music sample

The song was made most famous by Metallica's cover of the song, found on the 1988 re-release and the Japanese version of its debut album Kill 'Em All (the original version of the album lacks the inclusion of the cover), though the cover was originally released as a b-side to the "Creeping Death" single in 1984, and was later released on Garage Inc. in 1998. The song has also been featured in its live set throughout its career. The song was made as a faster and heavier version. Hetfield also changed the final chorus from "Am I evil? Yes, I am." to "Am I evil? Yes, I fucking am!" Diamond Head has stated that the band's members are flattered by the cover, and that the royalties from it have enabled the band to continue.[3] Faith No More has also covered the song.

The original Diamond Head version of the song is included in the video games Guitar Hero: Metallica and Brütal Legend. A cover of the Metallica version is included in the game Rock Revolution as a playable track.

Recently, in an extended homage to the song, the united members of the "Big Four of Thrash"—Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth—performed the song together in Sofia, Bulgaria. With the exclusion of Slayer's Tom Araya, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, the combined members of these bands performed the first half of the song. The recording was released later on the The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria DVD.

At the U.K part of the Sonisphere Festival, Bill Bailey used the song as an intro to his set. Diamond Head themselves were also performing at the festival.

In the game The Neverhood, there is a cutscene in which Klaymen pulls a pin that keeps 2 halves of the Neverhood separated, when the sides are coming together, an altered version of the Metallica cover is played.

Usage in popular culture[edit]

The Diamond Head version was featured in the 2009 video games Guitar Hero: Metallica and Brütal Legend, and in the 2009 film Halloween II.

Parody band Beatallica recorded a mashup of "Am I Evil?" and the Beatles' "And I Love Her" entitled "And I'm Evil", on their 2009 album Masterful Mystery Tour.

References[edit]