Metallica’s third album, 30 years old in 2016, was the one that shunted the band the San Francisco four-piece from ‘most likely to succeed’ right up into the big league. It sold half a million copies in its first year, became the first album by a thrash band to go platinum and to date has sold over five million copies in the US alone. People like it, then. But is it uniformly awesome? Let’s get down to brass tacks and go from worst to best…

8) Disposable Heroes

What we’d now call an old school thrasher. No doubt the song’s great for banging your head to when you’re full of lager. But a cold analytical appraisal reveals that it lacks the usual earworm hooks that generally made Metallica stand out from their more mundane counterparts. Much of the song is forgettable, though it can’t be denied that vocalist James Hetfield’s barked “Back to the front!” – an ironic order directed at the cannon fodder addressed in the lyrics – has absolute authority.

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