AFTER RECEIVING NO INTEREST FROM ANY MAJOR RECORD LABELS, METALLICA BEGiNs RECORDING THEIR DEBUT ALBUM FOR MEGAFORCE RECORDS ON A BUDGET OF JUST $15,000. ORIGINALLY TITLED “METAL UP YOUR ASS”, THE LP’S NAME WAS LATER CHANGED TO “KIlL ‘EM ALL” AND WOULD PEAK AT #120 ON THE BILLBOARD HOT 200.
On this day in Rock history in 1983, after receiving no interest from any major record labels, Metallica starts to record their debut album for MegaForce Records. It would be widely known that the budget for this album would be limited to about $15,000. This album was originally titled ‘Metal Up Your Ass’, but was then later changed to ‘Kill ‘Em All’. The albums name was changed, due to Metallica’s bassist, Cliff Burton, being upset with timorous record distributors and saying, “Why don’t we just kill ‘em all?”
Although this album resulted in a great success, there were several obstacles that needed to be overcome for this to happen. For instance, lead guitarist, Dave Mustaine, was kicked out of Metallica a month before recording this album forcing Hetfield, and Ulrich to find a replacement quickly. As a result, Kirk Hammett, at the time only being 20 years old, had a month to re-master Mustaine’s solos before having to hit the road. Kirk Hammett reflects on his first weeks as a member of Metallica in a 2008 interview with Music Radar.
"I had a week to learn the songs. At the end of that week I flew out and I had a week to rehearse with them, and then we started playing shows. Every show just kept on getting better. When it came time to go into the studio, Johnny Z, our manager said, 'You know you have to play Dave's solos.
"I said I didn't really want to. 'Then why don't you take the opening to every solo, so that people think that they're Dave's solos and then you can go somewhere else with them,' he said.”
"As a 20-year-old kid, put in a position like that, you don't want to rock the boat too much, especially being the new kid in town – the fresh guy. So I said, 'Sure.' That's exactly what I did. I took the first four bars of most of the solos and changed them. When I changed them it was always for the better and everyone liked it."