Metallica: Ride the Lightning [1984]

Released July 27, 1984[1]
Recorded February 20-March 14, 1984,Sweet Silence Studios,CopenhagenDenmark
Genre Thrash metal
Length 47:26
Label MegaforceMusic for Nations,ElektraVertigo
Producer Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen, Mark Whitaker

Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released on July 27, 1984 through the independent record label Megaforce Records. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on November 5, 1987 and was most recently certified 5x platinum on June 9, 2003.

Ride the Lightning contains the speed of Kill ‘Em All on songs like “Trapped Under Ice” and “Fight Fire with Fire”, but also contains the first of Metallica’s longer, more intricate tracks, such as “Fade to Black” and the nearly 9-minute closing instrumental “The Call of Ktulu”. It was the last Metallica album to credit former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine with co-writing any songs.

The album was listed at number 3 on a list compiled by metal-rules.com of the Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time[9] and #5 by IGN Music on the Top 25 Metal Albums.[10]

Q magazine (Summer/01, p. 127) – 5 stars out of 5 – “Reaffirms their status as the pre-eminent metal band of the modern era….They broke with the conventions of thrash metal to record the genre’s first power ballad in ‘Fade to Black’.”

Track listing

All lyrics written by James Hetfield.

No. Title Music Length
1. “Fight Fire with Fire” James HetfieldLars UlrichCliff Burton 4:45
2. “Ride the Lightning” Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Dave Mustaine 6:36
3. For Whom the Bell Tolls Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 5:09
4. Fade to Black Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Kirk Hammett 6:57
5. “Trapped Under Ice” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:04
6. “Escape” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:23
7. Creeping Death Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett 6:36
8. “The Call of Ktulu” (Instrumental) Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine 8:53
Total length:
47:26

Lyrics

1. Fight Fire With Fire

Do unto others as they have done unto you
But what in the hell is this world coming to?
Blow the universe into nothingness
Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest

[chorus:]

Fight fire with fire
Ending is near
Fight fire with fire
Bursting with fear
We all shall die

Time is like a fuse, short and burning fast
Armageddon is here, like said in the past

[chorus:]

Soon to fill our lungs the hot winds of death
The gods are laughing, so take your last breath

[chorus:]

2. Ride The Lightning

Guilty as charged
But damn it, it ain’t right
There is someone else controlling me
Death in the air
Strapped in the electric chair
This can’t be happening to me
Who made you God to say
“I’ll take your life from you!”

[chorus:]

Flash before my eyes
Now it’s time to die
Burning in my brain
I can feel the flames

Wait for the sign
To flick the switch of death
It’s the beginning of the end
Sweat, chilling cold
As I watch death unfold
Consciousness my only friend
My fingers grip with fear
What I am doing here?

[chorus:]

Someone help me
Oh please God help me
They are trying to take it all away
I don’t want to die
Time moving slowly
The minutes seem like hours
The final curtain call I see
How true is this?
Just get it over with
If this is true, just let it be
Wakened by the horrid scream
Freed from the frightening dream

[chorus:]

3. For Whom The Bell Tolls

Make his fight on the hill in the early day
Constant chill deep inside
Shouting gun, on they run through the endless grey
On they fight, for the right, yes but who’s to say?
For a hill men would kill why? They do not know
Stiffened wounds test their pride
Men of five, still alive through the raging glow
Gone insane from this pain that they surely know

For whom the bell tolls
Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls

Take a look to the sky just before you die
It is the last time you will
Blackened roar massive roar fills the crumbling sky
Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry
Stranger now, are his eyes, to this mystery
He hears the silence so loud
Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be
Now they will see what will be, blinded eyes to see

For whom the bell tolls
Time marches on
For whom the bell tolls

4. Fade To Black

Life it seems, will fade away
Drifting further every day
Getting lost within myself
Nothing matters no one else
I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

Things are not what they used to be
Missing one inside of me
Deathly lost, this can’t be real
Cannot stand this hell I feel
Emptiness is filing me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now He’s gone

No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late
Now I can’t think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death Greets me warm, now I will just say good-bye

5. Trapped Under Ice

I don’t know how to live trough this hell
Woken up, I’m still locked in this shell
Frozen soul, frozen down to the core
Break the ice, I can’t take anymore

Freezing
Can’t move at all
Screaming
Can’t hear my call
I am dying to live
Cry out
I’m trapped under the ice

Crystallized, as I lay here and rest
Eyes of glass stare directly at death
From deep sleep I have broken away
No one knows, no one hears what I say

Freezing
Can’t move at all
Screaming
Can’t hear my call
I am dying to live
Cry out
I’m trapped under the ice

Scream from my soul
Fate, mystified
Hell, forever more
No release from my cryonic state
What is this? I’ve been stricken by fate
Wrapped up tight, cannot move, can’t break free
Hand of doom has a tight grip on me

Freezing
Can’t move at all
Screaming
Can’t hear my call
I am dying to live
Cry out
I’m trapped under the ice

6. Escape

Feel no pain, but my life ain’t easy
I know I’m my best friend
No one cares, but I’m so much stronger
I’ll fight until the end
To escape from the true false world
Undamaged destiny
Can’t get caught in the endless circle
Ring of stupidity

Out of my own, out to be free
One with my mind, they just can’t see
No need to hear things that they say
Life is for my own to live my own way

Rape my mind and destroy my feelings
Don’t tell my what to do
I don’t care now, ’cause I’m on my side
And I can see through you
Feed my brain with your so called standards
Who says that I ain’t right
Break away from your common fashion
See through your blurry sight

Out of my own, out to be free
One with my mind, they just can’t see
No need to hear things that they say
Life is for my own to live my own way

See they try to bring the hammer down
No damn chains can hold me to the ground
Life is for my own to live my own way

7. Creeping Death

Slaves
Hebrews born to serve, to the pharaoh
Heed
To his every word, live in fear
Faith
Of the unknown one, the deliverer
Wait
Something must be done, four hundred years

So let it be written
So let it be done
I’m sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I’m creeping death

Now
Let my people go, land of goshen
Go
I will be with thee, bush of fire
Blood
Running red and strong, down the Nile
Plague
Darkness three days long, hail to fire

So let it be written
So let it be done
I’m sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I’m creeping death

Die by my hand
I creep across the land
Killing first born man
Die by my hand
I creep across the land
Killing first born man

I
Rule the midnight air the destroyer
Born
I shall soon be there, deadly mass
I
Creep the steps and flood final darkness
Blood
Lambs blood painted door, I shall pass

So let it be written
So let it be done
I’m sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I’m creeping death

8. The Call Of Ktulu

[Instrumental]

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