Nothing Else Matters

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"Nothing Else Matters"
Metallica - Nothing Else Matters cover.jpg
Single by Metallica
from the album Metallica
B-side
ReleasedApril 20, 1992 (1992-04-20)
RecordedMay 30, 1991
StudioOne on One, North Hollywood, California
Length6:28
LabelElektra
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Metallica singles chronology
"The Unforgiven"
(1991)
"Nothing Else Matters"
(1992)
"Wherever I May Roam"
(1992)
Music video
"Nothing Else Matters" on YouTube

"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released in 1992 as the third single from their self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, number 6 on the UK Singles Chart, number 1 in Denmark, and reached the top ten on many other European charts. "Nothing Else Matters" was featured as a playable track in the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica. Recognized as one of Metallica's best known and most popular songs, the power ballad[1] has become a staple in live performances.

History[edit]

Lead singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield wrote the song (credited to Hetfield/Ulrich)[2] in 1990 while on tour, when Hetfield "was bumming out about being away from home." Initially, the song was not meant to be released, as Hetfield had written it for himself, but after drummer Lars Ulrich heard it, it was considered for the album.[3]

Demo[edit]

The song's demo was also called "Nothing Else Matters" and was recorded in Ulrich's home musical studio "Dungeon" on August 12, 1990.

Composition[edit]

Its intro is an E minor arpeggio (transposed one half-step lower on stage performances) beginning with the open low E followed by the open G, B and high E strings.

It is one of the few Metallica songs in which Hetfield plays the guitar solo. Guitarist Kirk Hammett does not play on the studio recording, making it one of the few in the whole Metallica repertoire, along with Cliff Burton's "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth", in which he does not appear.[4] Hammett stated he did not learn how to play the song until they were well into the tour for the album.

The orchestral arrangements were written by award-winning composer Michael Kamen, who would later go on to collaborate with the group on S&M.

Music video[edit]

The music video premiered on MTV on February 26, 1992.[citation needed] It was directed by Adam Dubin, and edited by Sean Fullan. The clip consists of parts of the A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica documentary, which was shot during the recordings of Metallica.[citation needed] One of them shows Hetfield playing a Gibson EDS-1275 guitar during the second chorus. MTV will not air the video during daytime hours anymore because it features nudity in the form of pin-up posters and Playboy centerfolds that are taped up in the studio. It also has a picture of Winger's Kip Winger which Ulrich is seen throwing darts at. On the band's 2006 music video compilation DVD, the posters are censored, as was done with the nudity featured in the music videos for "Turn the Page" and "Whiskey in the Jar".

On August 1, 2021, the music video hit 1 billion views on YouTube, making it Metallica's first music video to ever hit one billion views on YouTube.

Live[edit]

The song has now become a staple in Metallica's live performances, and has been dedicated to their fans. When played live nowadays, Hammett does the first part of the intro, and Hetfield joins in for the second, to then sing and play it alone until after the first chorus, when the whole band kicks in. Also, the last verse is left out, ending the song with the heavily distorted guitar solo by Hetfield, and usually fading into "Enter Sandman". A live version in which this can be heard can be found on the CD/DVD Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria: Tres Noches en la Ciudad de México. Other live recordings can be found on Live Shit: Binge & Purge, on S&M, Cunning Stunts DVD, the DVD/Blu-ray The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria as well as on the soundtrack for the band's feature film Through the Never, and also featured on 2019 S&M fellow-up live album, S&M2.

Track listing[edit]

U.S. cassette
No.TitleLength
1."Nothing Else Matters"6:30
2."Enter Sandman" (Live)5:26
International single
No.TitleLength
1."Nothing Else Matters"6:30
2."Enter Sandman" (Live)5:26
3."Harvester of Sorrow" (Live)6:02
4."Nothing Else Matters" (Demo)5:52
Live at Wembley Stadium, London, April 20th, 1992
No.TitleLength
1."Enter Sandman"5:39
2."Sad but True"5:30
3."Nothing Else Matters"6:17
1999 CD single
No.TitleLength
1."Nothing Else Matters" (Live)6:47
2."For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Live)4:52
3."- Human" (Live)4:19
4."Nothing Else Matters" (Video) 

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] 5× Platinum 350,000double-dagger
Austria (IFPI Austria)[38] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[39] Gold 25,000*
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[40] Platinum 30,000^
Germany (BVMI)[41] Platinum 500,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[42] Platinum 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[43] Gold 5,000*
Sweden (GLF)[44] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[46] Gold 500,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Alternative versions[edit]

"Nothing Else Matters '99"[edit]

"Nothing Else Matters '99 (live)"
Metallica - Nothing Else Matters (live) cover.jpg
Single by Metallica
from the album S&M
B-side
ReleasedNovember 22, 1999 (1999-11-22)
RecordedApril 21–22, 1999
VenueBerkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California
Length6:47
LabelElektra
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Metallica singles chronology
"Die, Die My Darling"
(1999)
"Nothing Else Matters '99 (live)"
(1999)
"No Leaf Clover"
(2000)
San Francisco Symphony singles chronology
"Nothing Else Matters '99"
(1999)
"No Leaf Clover"
(2000)

For its appearance on S&M, its orchestration was arranged by Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. This live version is featured on the album S&M. It was also released as the single "Nothing Else Matters '99", which included the b-sides "-Human", and the S&M version of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", on November 22, 1999.[47] This version was also played with guitars tuned to E♭.

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts

Chart (1999) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[48] 28
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[49] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[50] 33
Germany (Official German Charts)[51] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[52] 5
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[53] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[54] 4

Year-end charts

Chart (2000) Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[55] 12
Germany (Official German Charts)[56] 20
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[57] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[58] 21
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[59] 31

"Elevator Version"[edit]

There is also an acoustic remix of "Nothing Else Matters" that is called "Elevator Version", with no electric guitars (replaced by acoustic guitars, even for the solo), Kamen's orchestrations, and Hetfield's voice only; it appears as the B-side to "Sad but True".

Jungle Cruise version[edit]

An instrumental version of "Nothing Else Matters" appears on the soundtrack of the 2021 film Jungle Cruise. The band collaborated with the film's composer James Newton Howard to record a new orchestral arrangement of the song for the film.[60][61]

Lucie Silvas version[edit]

"Nothing Else Matters"
Single by Lucie Silvas
from the album Breathe In
B-side"Better Love Next Time" (demo)
ReleasedOctober 31, 2005 (2005-10-31)
GenrePop
Length4:36
LabelMercury
Producer(s)Mike Peden
Lucie Silvas singles chronology
"Forget Me Not"
(2005)
"Nothing Else Matters"
(2005)
"Everytime I Think of You"
(2006)

"Nothing Else Matters" is a special Europe-only single by British singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas. It was released in exactly the same way as "Don't Look Back", with the same B-sides and artwork.

Track listing[edit]

CD1
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Nothing Else Matters" (Edit)James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich3:07
2."Breathe In" (Live in Denmark)Lucie Silvas, Judie Tzuke, Graham Kearns, Mike Peden3:32
CD2
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Nothing Else Matters" (Edit)Hetfield, Ulrich3:07
2."Twisting the Chain" (Acoustic)Silvas, Charlie Russell, Kearns, Peden3:55
3."Better Love Next Time" (Demo)Tzuke, Kearns3:40
4."Nothing Else Matters" (Video)Hetfield, Ulrich 

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Dutch Top 40 13
Germany 38
Greece[62] 35
Eurochart Hot 100 160

Gregorian version[edit]

Gregorian is a German band headed by Frank Peterson that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs. In 1999, they recovered their version to be included on their album Masters of Chant.[63]

Miley Cyrus version[edit]

"Nothing Else Matters"
Promotional single by Miley Cyrus featuring Watt, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo and Chad Smith
from the album The Metallica Blacklist[64] and The Lockdown Sessions
ReleasedJune 22, 2021[65]
Length6:35
LabelBlackened
Songwriter(s)
  • James Hetfield
  • Lars Ulrich
Producer(s)Andrew Watt
Music video
"Nothing Else Matters" on YouTube

On January 7, 2021, it was announced that Miley Cyrus would be releasing a cover version that would feature Elton John on piano, drummer Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers, current Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Cyrus also announced in October 2020 that she plans to release a full album of Metallica covers. Cyrus previously covered "Nothing Else Matters" during her 2019 set at Glastonbury.[66] The cover, produced by Andrew Watt, was released on June 22, 2021, as a promotional single from Metallica's tribute album The Metallica Blacklist, released on September 10. The video for this version was uploaded the same day on Cyrus' YouTube channel.[67] The cover will also be featured on John's upcoming album The Lockdown Sessions, which is due to release on October 22.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2021) Peak
position
New Zealand Hot Singles (RMNZ)[68] 26
UK Rock and Metal (OCC)[69] 26
US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs (Billboard)[70] 36

Other cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]