Reload (Metallica album)

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Metallica - Reload cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 18, 1997
RecordedMay 1, 1995 – February 1, 1996
July 1, 1997 – October 1, 1997[1]
StudioThe Plant (Sausalito, California)
Metallica chronology
Garage, Inc.
Metallica studio album chronology
St. Anger
Singles from Reload
  1. "The Memory Remains"
    Released: November 11, 1997[7]
  2. "The Unforgiven II"
    Released: February 23, 1998[8]
  3. "Fuel"
    Released: June 22, 1998[9]
  4. "Better Than You"
    Released: July 16, 1998

Reload is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on November 18, 1997[10] via Elektra Records. The album is a follow-up to Load, released the previous year, and Metallica's last studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted. Reload debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 436,000 copies in its first week. It was certified 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping three million copies in the United States.


Reload was recorded at The Plant, a wood-panelled studio in Sausalito, California. The session was produced by Bob Rock, who also produced Metallica's previous two albums. The album artwork displays a photo by Andres Serrano, titled "Piss and Blood XXVI".[11] The original idea was to release Load and Reload as 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."[12] 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 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 "The Thing That Should Not Be" on Master of Puppets, "Sad but True" on Metallica and later used for "Sabbra Cadabra", and "Whiskey in the Jar" from Garage Inc. Six songs from the album have been played live, including "Fuel", "The Memory Remains", "Devil's Dance", "The Unforgiven II", "Carpe Diem Baby", and "Low Man's Lyric". There were occasional jam sessions of songs such as "Better Than You", "Bad Seed", and "Fixxxer". "Carpe Diem Baby" premiered at Metallica's 30th anniversary concert in 2011.[13] Songs that have not been played live in their entirety are "Better than You", "Slither", "Bad Seed", "Where the Wild Things Are", "Prince Charming", "Attitude", and "Fixxxer".[14]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[15]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal7/10[16]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[17]
Entertainment WeeklyB[5]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[18]

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine thought the record was worthwhile and noted it was heavily influenced by Southern rock. He did not approve the idea of doing the sequel "The Unforgiven II", but praised the collaboration with Marianne Faithfull on "The Memory Remains".[15] Dan Snierson from Entertainment Weekly said 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".[5]

Rolling Stone's Lorraine Ali opined the album was rooted in heavy metal despite some songs being influenced by "bluesy rock & roll". She said Reload was not Metallica's best, but named it a steppingstone in Metallica's legacy.[4] On the other hand, Musician described the album as "greasy, driving, full of fat grooves, lyric and rhythmic hooks, and sonic curveballs". The magazine felt it "captures one of rock's greatest bands at its peak".[19] Canadian journalist Martin Popoff lamented the "dull, unfinished, unrealized" songwriting in many songs, but praised the production and groove of the album.[16] British author Paul Stenning said Metallica were "at their best on the likes of opener "Fuel", the inspired follow up to an old favourite in "The Unforgiven II" and the closing "Fixxxer" which had a fantastic lead riff."[20]

In 2020, Metal Hammer included it in their list of top 10 1997 albums.[21]

Reload sold 436,000 units in first week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.[22] The album remained on the chart for 75 weeks,[23] and sold just over four million copies in the United States by December 2009.[24] It was certified 3× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping three million copies in the United States. Reload peaked at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, and was certified double platinum by Music Canada.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by James Hetfield.

2."The Memory Remains" (featuring Marianne Faithfull)
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
3."Devil's Dance"
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
4."The Unforgiven II"
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
5."Better than You"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
7."Carpe Diem Baby"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Hammett
8."Bad Seed"
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
9."Where the Wild Things Are"
10."Prince Charming"
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
11."Low Man's Lyric"
  • Hetfield
  • Ulrich
  • Ulrich
  • Hetfield
  • Hetfield
  • Hammett
  • Ulrich
Total length:76:02


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[25]


  • Bob Rock – production
  • Brian Dobbs – engineering
  • Randy Staub – engineering, mixing
  • Bernardo Bigalli – assistant engineering
  • Darren Grahn – assistant engineering, digital editing
  • Kent Matcke – assistant engineering
  • Gary Winger – assistant engineering
  • Mike Fraser – mixing
  • George Marino – mastering
  • Paul DeCarli – digital editing
  • Mike Gillies – digital editing
  • Andie Airfix – design
  • Andres Serrano – cover design
  • Anton Corbijn – photography


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart Peak
Australian Albums Chart[26] 2
Austrian Albums Chart[26] 2
Belgian Albums Chart[26] 4
Canadian Albums Chart[27] 2
Danish Albums Chart[28] 2
Dutch Albums Chart[26] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[26] 1
French Albums Chart[26] 3
German Albums Chart[26] 1
New Zealand Albums Chart[26] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[26] 1
Spanish Albums Chart[29] 5
Swedish Albums Chart[26] 1
Swiss Albums Chart[26] 3
UK Albums Chart[30] 4
US Billboard 200[27] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Position
German Albums Chart[31] 48
Chart (1998) Position
German Albums Chart[32] 30


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[33] Platinum 60,000^
Australia (ARIA)[34] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[35] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[36] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[37] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[38] Platinum 45,271[38]
France (SNEP)[39] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[40] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[41] Gold 10,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[42] Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[43] Gold 50,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[45] Platinum 131,494[44]*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[46] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[47] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[48] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[49] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[50] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[51] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

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


  1. ^ "Reload |". Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "16 Years Ago: Metallica Release 'Reload'". Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  3. ^ vh1 (2015-05-18). "A Different Take On Metal's Biggest Sound Departures". VH1. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
  4. ^ a b c Ali, Lorraine (November 20, 1997). "Metallica: Reload". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Snierson, Dan (November 21, 1997). "Metallica: Reload". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
  6. ^ Scott, Niall (2016). Heavy Metal, Gender and Sexuality: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 9781317122982. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  7. ^ "The Memory Remains". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "The Unforgiven II". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "Fuel". Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "Reload |". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  11. ^ "Piss and Blood XXVI by Andres Serrano". Blouin Art Sales Index. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  12. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon. "James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica Discuss Their 1997 Album, 'Re-Load'". Guitar World. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  13. ^ Merlin. "Metallica: Extended 30th Anniversary Highlights". Metal Hammer. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  14. ^ Bowar, Chad. "Metallica: Reload". Ultimate Metallica. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Metallica: Reload". AllMusic. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Popoff, Martin (August 1, 2007). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 277–278. ISBN 978-1-894959-62-9.
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 5 (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 725. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  18. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 538. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  19. ^ "Metallica - Reload CD Album". Musician. CD Universe. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  20. ^ Paul Stenning, "Metallica: All That Matters". 2010. p.179.
  21. ^ "The Top 10 best albums of 1997". Metal Hammer. Future plc. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Aggressive Start For Metallica's 'Anger'". Billboard: 57. June 21, 2003. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  23. ^ "Metallica - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "Metallica's 'Black' LP Is Top-Selling Album Of Soundscan Era". December 23, 2009. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  25. ^ Reload liner notes. Vertigo Records. 1997.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Metallica – Reload" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Reload – Metallica: Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  28. ^ "Listen – Danmarks Officielle Hitliste – Udarbejdet af AIM Nielsen for IFPI Danmark – Uge 47". Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Copenhagen. 1997-11-23.
  29. ^ "Hits of the World – Spain". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. December 13, 1997. p. 51. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  30. ^ "British Phonographic Industry statistics". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  33. ^ "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  34. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020.
  35. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Metallica – Reload" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  36. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1997". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load". Music Canada.
  38. ^ a b "Metallica" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  39. ^ "French album certifications – Metallica – Reload" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Metallica; 'Reload')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  41. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1997". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  42. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Metallica – Reload" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 30 May 2019. Select 1997年12月 on the drop-down menu
  43. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Metallica – Reload" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved October 3, 2019. Enter Reload in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  44. ^ "Sales in Poland by April 1998" (in Polish). ZPAV. Retrieved August 28, 2015. #36 in April 1998
  45. ^ "Polish album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load" (in Polish). Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry.
  46. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 947. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  48. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Metallica; 'Reload')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  49. ^ "British album certifications – Metallica – Re-Load". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Re-Load in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  50. ^ "American album certifications – Metallica – Reload". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  51. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2007". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

External links[edit]