The new issue of Classic Rock magazine celebrates 30 years of METALLICA's self-titled LP, better known as the "Black Album," with new interviews with both the members of the band and some of the album's famous fans. Among the other musicians paying tribute to the effort is IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson who shared what the album means to him.
"Ourselves, JUDAS PRIEST and PANTERA all reached a crossroads where we had the chance to really step up to the next level," Dickinson said. "But none of us had the balls to do it. METALLICA did, though. You have to give them huge credit for grabbing the opportunity when it came up, taking the risk and deservedly reaping the enormous rewards. You cannot underestimate their achievement with this album.
"It's one of those seminal albums that just gets it right," he continued. "It's extremely well-produced, and every note on that album is totally under control. I admire how they did it, and what they did with the songs, and it was very effective: it undoubtedly did help push metal into the mainstream. I know it wasn't Mutt Lange who produced it, but Bob Rock had that similar thing where the producer was very much in control."
Bruce added that he and his MAIDEN bandmates could not have attempted to do anything similar. "We could never do an album like that, because we're not that under control, and we don't want to be," he said. "With us, the wheels would fall off the bus and we'd end up firing the producer."
The Black Album is one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed records of all time. Its 1991 release not only gave METALLICA its first No. 1 album in no fewer than 10 countries, including a four-week run at No. 1 in the U.S., its unrelenting series of singles — "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", "Nothing Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam" and "Sad But True" — fueled the band's rise to stadium headlining, radio and MTV dominating household name status. The album's reception from the press was similarly charged, building over the years from the top 10 of the 1991 Village Voice Pazz & Jop national critics poll to becoming a constant presence in the likes of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. The album's impact and relevance continue to grow — as proven by one indisputable fact: The Black Album remains unchallenged as the best-selling album in the history of Nielsen SoundScan, outselling every release in every genre over the past 30 years.
To commemorate its 30th anniversary, the Grammy-winning, 16-times-platinum-certified Black Album is receiving its definitive re-release on September 10 via the band's own Blackened Recordings. Remastered for ultimate sound quality, The Black Album remaster will be available in multiple configurations including 180-gram double vinyl LP, standard CD and 3 CD expanded edition, digital, and limited-edition deluxe box set (containing the album remastered on 180-gram 2LP, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs (containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows), 6 DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), a 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithos, three guitar picks, a METALLICA lanyard, a folder with lyric sheets, and a download card).