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Metallica’s James Hetfield: ‘Escape’ Was Never Intended to Appear on ‘Ride the Lightning’

Raymond Ahner, Loudwire
Raymond Ahner, Loudwire

Metallica did not fall victims to the “sophomore slump” back in 1984, dialing up an album many fans are proud to call their favorite: Ride the Lightning. The questions is, “How would you feel if ‘Escape’ was never on the album?”

If the band had it their way, the mid-tempo riff-rocker not only wouldn’t have been included on the famed record, it never would have even been written! That’s the story from James Hetfield, who recently explained how it all went down in an interview with Sopitas (video below).

“[Ride the Lightning] was the first time we wrote a song in the studio. I remember we had all the songs and Lars [Ulrich] said, ‘They want us to record one more, they need one more for the album,'” the frontman began. Continuing, he said, “I was like, ‘You didn’t tell me that…’ So we had to write and it was really last-minute. So ‘Escape’ was one of those songs that was written in the studio.”

Despite often pulling out rarities on tour, “Escape” didn’t make its first live appearance until June 23, 2012 at Metallica’s Orion Music + More festival where the thrash titans played Ride the Lightning in its entirety in reverse order, starting with the iconic instrumental track, “Call of Ktulu.”

Metallica will trek through North America this summer with Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and Gojira on as support on select dates. Earlier today (March 14) the band announced another addition, enlisting the Beastie Boys‘ Mix Master Mike, who will DJ between sets! Visit our 2017 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours to see all the stops before grabbing your Metallica tickets!

James Hetfield Interviewed by Sopitas

See Ride the Lightning + More Metallica Albums in the Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1980s

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Revisit the Story Behind Metallica's 'Ride the Lightning'

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