Reload (Metallica album)

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Studio album by Metallica
Released November 18, 1997[1]
Recorded May 1, 1995 – February 1, 1996, July 1 – October 1, 1997 at The Plant Studios, Sausalito, California
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal
Length 76:00
Label Elektra, Vertigo
Producer Bob Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich[2]
Metallica chronology
St. Anger
Singles from Reload
  1. "The Memory Remains"
    Released: November 11, 1997[3]
  2. "The Unforgiven II"
    Released: February 23, 1998[4]
  3. "Fuel"
    Released: June 22, 1998[5]
  4. "Better Than You"
    Released: July 16, 1998
Music sample

Reload is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on November 18, 1997 by Elektra Records. The album is a follow-up to Load, released the previous year. This was Metallica's last studio album to feature longtime bassist Jason Newsted. Reload debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. Having sold more than 4 million copies in the United States, Reload is certified 4× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Album information[edit]

The album was recorded at The Plant, a wood-panelled studio based in Sausalito, California. The ringmaster for the session was Bob Rock, who also added his crisp production to the last two Metallica studio albums. The artwork for Reload features a photo by Andres Serrano.[6]

The original idea was to make Metallica's sixth album a double album. However, with problems recording so many songs at one time, the band decided that half of the songs were to be released and the band would continue to work on the remaining songs and release them the following year. Speaking about the recording sessions in an interview for Guitar World, guitarist Kirk Hammett stated that "We were gonna do them both as a double album, but we didn't want to spend that long in the studio. Also, if we did a double album, it would have been a lot more material for people to digest, and some of it might have gotten lost in the shuffle."[6]

It was the final Metallica studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, though it was not his last release with the band.

This was the second album to feature most, if not all, songs in E♭ tuning, with "Bad Seed" being played in D♭ tuning and "Devil's Dance" in D tuning. D tuning was earlier used for "Sad but True" on Metallica and later used for "Sabbra Cadabra", and "Whiskey in the Jar" from Garage Inc.[citation needed]

Only six of the 13 songs have ever been played live. They include "Fuel", "The Memory Remains", "Devil's Dance", "The Unforgiven II", "Carpe Diem Baby" and "Low Man's Lyric". There are also occasional jam sessions of songs including "Better Than You", "Bad Seed" and "Fixxxer".[citation needed] The song "Carpe Diem Baby" premiered at the "Metallica's 30th Anniversary Party" in 2011.[7] The songs that have never been played live are "Better than You", "Slither", "Bad Seed", "Where the Wild Things Are", "Prince Charming", "Attitude", and "Fixxxer".[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[9]
Entertainment Weekly B[10]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[11]

The majority of the critics were satisfied with the album.[12] AllMusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the record as "worthwhile", noting it was heavily influenced by Southern rock. He didn't approve the idea of doing the sequel "The Unforgiven II", but praised the collaboration with Marianne Faithfull on the second track "The Memory Remains". He called the song "Where the Wild Things Are" a "eerie menace that Metallica never achieved on Load".[9] Dan Snierson from Entertainment Weekly said that Reload "continues Metallica's journey into stripped-down maturity while toying with fresh melodic textures" and "also forsakes some of the punchy hooks and gut-clenching heft that elevated recent Metallica CDs".[10] Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone wrote that the album's musical direction is "strongly rooted in the group's apocalyptic metal sound" despite some of the songs being influenced by "bluesy rock & roll". She called Metallica's Reload "not one of their greats", but also named it, along with Load, as "steppingstones in the ongoing Metallica legacy".[11] On the other hand, Musician magazine stated that the album is "greasy, driving, full of fat grooves, lyric and rhythmic hooks, and sonic curveballs". They felt it "captures one of rock's greatest bands at its peak".[13]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by James Hetfield.[14]

No. Title Music Length
1. "Fuel"   Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 4:29
2. "The Memory Remains" (feat. Marianne Faithfull) Hetfield, Ulrich 4:39
3. "Devil's Dance"   Hetfield, Ulrich 5:18
4. "The Unforgiven II"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:36
5. "Better Than You"   Hetfield, Ulrich 5:21
6. "Slither"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 5:13
7. "Carpe Diem Baby"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:12
8. "Bad Seed"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:05
9. "Where the Wild Things Are"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Jason Newsted 6:54
10. "Prince Charming"   Hetfield, Ulrich 6:05
11. "Low Man's Lyric"   Hetfield, Ulrich 7:36
12. "Attitude"   Hetfield, Ulrich 5:16
13. "Fixxxer"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 8:15
Total length:


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[14]

Additional musicians
  • Marianne Faithfull – additional vocals on "The Memory Remains"
  • Bernardo Bigalli – violin on "Low Man's Lyric"
  • David Miles – hurdy gurdy on "Low Man's Lyric"
  • Jim McGillveray – percussion


Reload sold 436,000 units in first week of release and debuted at #1.[15] As of December 2009, the album has sold a little more than 4 million copies in the United States.[16]


Year Chart Position
1997 Billboard 200 1[17]
Top Canadian Albums 2[17]
The UK Album Chart 4[18]
Finnish Albums Chart 1[19]


Year Single Chart Position
1997 "The Memory Remains" Canadian Singles Chart 4[17]
Mainstream Rock Tracks 3[17]
UK Singles Chart 13[20]
The Billboard Hot 100 28[17]
"The Unforgiven II" Mainstream Rock Tracks 2[17]
1998 "Better than You" Mainstream Rock Tracks 7[17]
"The Unforgiven II" The Billboard Hot 100 59[17]
UK Singles Chart 15[20]
"Fuel" UK Singles Chart 31[20]

Preceded by
Higher Ground by Barbra Streisand
Billboard 200 number-one album
December 6–12, 1997
Succeeded by
Sevens by Garth Brooks


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[21] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[22] Platinum 45,271[22]
Germany (BVMI)[23] Platinum 500,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[24] Platinum 100,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] 4× Platinum 4,036,000[27]
Europe (IFPI)[28] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Japan November 14, 1997 CD, vinyl Vertigo
Worldwide November 17, 1997
United States November 18, 1997 Elektra


  1. ^ "ReLoad". Release Info. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Reload - Metallica: Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Memory Remains". Releases. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Unforgiven II". Releases. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fuel". Releases. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Wiederhorn, Jon. "James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica Discuss Their 1997 Album, 'Re-Load'". Guitar World. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ Merlin. "Metallica: Extended 30th Anniversary Highlights". Metal Hammer. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  8. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Metallica, ‘ReLoad’". Album Overview. Ultimate Metallica. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Metallica: Reload". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Dan Snierson (November 21, 1997). "Re-Load Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Lorraine Ali (November 20, 1997). "Reload | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. New Zealand: Penguin Books. p. 1762. ISBN 1-85828-457-0. 
  13. ^ "Metallica - Reload CD Album". Musician. CD Universe. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b Reload booklet. Vertigo Records. 1997. 
  15. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". 2003-06-21. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  16. ^ "METALLICA's 'Black' LP Is Top-Selling Album Of SOUNDSCAN Era - Dec. 23, 2009". News report. Retrieved July 11, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Reload - Metallica: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "British Phonographic Industry statistics". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008. 
  19. ^ Finnish Albums Chart - Search. Retrieved on 2009-07-08.
  20. ^ a b c "Metallica UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load". Music Canada. 
  22. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
  23. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Metallica; 'Reload')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  24. ^ "Polish album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Re-Load in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Metallica – Reload". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  27. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - METALLICA's 'Black' LP Is Top-Selling Album Of SOUNDSCAN Era". Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  28. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2007". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.