Harvester of Sorrow

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"Harvester of Sorrow"
Single by Metallica
from the album ...And Justice for All
B-side "Breadfan"
"The Prince"
Released August 28, 1988[1]
Genre Thrash metal
Length 5:43
Label Elektra
Metallica singles chronology
"Master of Puppets"
"Harvester of Sorrow"
"Eye of the Beholder"

"Harvester of Sorrow" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the first single from their fourth studio album, ...And Justice for All (1988). The song debuted at a live performance prior to the release of ...And Justice for All while on the summer Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988 with Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come.

The single contained two B-sides, both of which were cover songs: "Breadfan", originally by Budgie, and "The Prince", originally by Diamond Head. There was an error in the mastering of the recording: At the end of "Breadfan", a distorted voice can be heard saying "Mommy, where's Fluffy?". This was actually intended to be the intro to the next track, "The Prince". However, it was separated in the wrong place. The band decided not to correct this error when the tracks were included on their 1998 Garage Inc. compilation.


The song's subject matter refers to a man who descends into madness, taking out his anger on his family. At the end of the song, it is hinted his sanity snaps and he murders them. The song is one of the slowest tracks on the album with a bpm of 98.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by San Francisco–area alternative/ska band Link 80 for the 2000 compilation album Punk Goes Metal. Apocalyptica covered the song for the A Tribute to the Four Horsemen cover album. German electronic group Funker Vogt also covered the song on The Blackest Album Vol. 3 tribute album.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom August 19, 1988 CD, vinyl Elektra
United States August 28, 1988

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1988) Peak
Australian (ARIA) singles chart[3]
Ireland (IRMA)
Italy (FIMI)[4] 40
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[5] 30
Spain (AFYVE)[6] 11
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 20


  1. ^ "Harvester of Sorrow release date". Metallica.com. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  2. ^ https://jog.fm/artists/metallica/workout-songs/harvester-of-sorrow
  3. ^ "Chartifacts". The ARIA Report: ARIA Chart. The Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. 25 Aug 1991. 
  4. ^ Italian peaks
  5. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Metallica – Harvester of Sorrow". Top 40 Singles.
  6. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.