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Credit: Kreepin Death


From Johnny Cash to Jimi Hendrix: Metallica pick their favourite songs of all time

As one of the behemoths of the rock world, Metallica has a certain aura about them that makes it hard to imagine them doing anything normal. Can you really imagine James Hetfield putting out the rubbish or Kirk Hammett clearing the unwanted photos from his phone? We can’t.

The group have become synonymous not only with kicking riffs, rollicking beats and the kind of sound to make soul shake with fear. But they’ve also become the foreword in resilient and timeless class. While each of the band’s members represent a different facet of the rock world, their holistic sound has become a landmark moment of their iconography. But while heavy metal is their preferred palette, the band are influenced by a wide range of songs and sounds.

That’s why when we stumbled upon this 2016 Spotify feature that had the band’s individual playlists of their favourite tunes, we found it hard to imagine them sitting down actually to make the thing. However, we aren’t sceptical that they’ve picked some incredible tunes.

Below we’re bringing you the band’s individual playlist so get ready to explore the musical taste of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammet, and Robert Trujillo.

Metallica’s favourite songs

James Hetfield

The band’s powerhouse lead singer isn’t one to shy away and the playlist of his favourite music is littered with proof that he wouldn’t avoid his roots here either selecting heavy rock above all else.

Yet Hetfield also shows off a far deeper side to his musical taste. The singer selects jazz-guitarist Bill Frisell and indie rock charmers Unknown Mortal Orchestra to name a couple—but the peace doesn’t last for long as Hetfield always lands on the tougher side of rock music.

Selecting some veteran Thrash bands like Venom and Dark Angel and some more modern metal acts like Pallbearer and Ghost B.C. Hetfield shows that he’s metal to the core. There are also notable choices of Gary Jules’ version of ‘Mad World’ and a special song from Colin Hay, the former frontman of Men At Work.

Listen to Metallica singer, James Hetfield’s full playlist below.

James Hetfield’s favourite songs:

  • ‘Shellshock’ – Tank
  • ‘The Highway Man’ – Johnny Cash
  • ‘Gloomy Sunday’ – Pallbearer
  • ‘Surfer Girl’ – Bill Frisell
  • ‘Mad World’ – Gary Jules
  • ‘Indian Reservation’ – Paul Revere and The Raiders
  • ‘Fertile Green’ – High on Fire
  • ‘Lahja’ – Oranssi Pazuzu
  • ‘From The Pinnacle to the Pit’ – Ghost
  • ‘Jeweler’s Daughter’ – Carousel
  • ‘Eyes on Fire’ – Blue Foundation
  • ‘Who You Can Trust’ – Ivy Levan
  • ‘Die Hard’ – Venom
  • ‘Multi-Love’ – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • ‘Dear Father’ – Colin Hay
  • ‘Volcanic’ – Death Angel

Kirk Hammet

Kirk Hammet may well be known as the more culturally savvy of all his bandmates. A musician not afraid to step out of line with the metal credentials that gave him his fame, Hammett’s selections are far more varied than the rest of Metallica.

Hammett picks two versions of Damian Marley’s ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ – the original and, inexplicably, one live version with Jack Johnson. The curious selections continue as he also picks Carole King, The Isley Brothers and Captain Beefheart.

Naturally, there is a doff of the cap to the guitar legends of times gone by as he selects two deep cuts from Thin Lizzy and Jimi Hendrix amidst a host of heavy rock. It’s a kick-ass playlist that deserves being kicked up to eleven.

Kirk Hammett’s favourite songs:

  • ‘Blood and Thunder’ – Mastodon
  • ‘Tell Me’ – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • ‘Mambo Inn’ – Grant Green
  • ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ – Damian Marley
  • ‘Really Rosie’ – Carole King
  • ‘I’m Gunna Booglarise You Babby’ – Captain Beefheart
  • ‘Vacuity’ – Gojira
  • ‘The Heat Is On, Pts 1 & 2’ – The Isley Brothers
  • ‘Drifting’ – Jimi Hendrix
  • ‘Set to Fail’ – Lamb of God
  • ‘Everything In It’s Right Place’ – Radiohead
  • ‘Kill The King’ – Rainbow
  • ‘Polar Nights’ – Scorpions
  • ‘Gibson Boy’ – Tal Farlow
  • ‘Lay Down, Stay Down’ – Deep Purple
  • ‘Opium Trail’ – Thin Lizzy
  • ‘Hello It’s Me’ – Todd Rundgren
  • ‘Ghosts Along the Mississippi’ – DOWN
  • ‘Ritual’ – Ghost
  • ‘The 2nd Law: Unsustainable’ – Muse
  • ‘I Like It’ – Foxy Shazam
  • ‘Hollow’ – Alice in Chains

Lars Ulrich

Lars Ulrich has got some impeccable taste in rock; find the list of his favourite albums for proof right here, and, in this playlist, he shows that he loves rock more than anything else in the world.

Despite a few stray cuts from Bob Marley and the Stereo MC’s, Ulrich’s selection is full of riff-driven headbanging tunes. Including a host of ’90s alternative gems from Rage Against The Machine, Oasis, and Nirvana and some metal influencers in Diamond Head and Deep Purple.

He also selects the mother of all head-fuck songs, The Osmonds’ ‘Crazy Horses’. Enjoy.

Lars Ulrich’s favourite songs:

  • ‘Tap into the Power’ – Suicidal Tendencies
  • ‘Exodus’ – Bob Marley
  • ‘Green Machine’ – Kyuss
  • ‘If I Had a Gun…’ – Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds
  • ‘R U Mine?’ – Arctic Monkeys
  • ‘Tattoo Vampire’ – Blue Oyster Cult
  • ‘Love’ – The Cult
  • ‘Die by the Drop’ – The Dead Weather
  • ‘Speed King’ – Deep Purple
  • ‘Audit in Progress’ – Hot Snakes
  • ‘Streets of Gold’ – Diamond Head
  • ‘Wang Dang Doodle’ – Koko Taylor
  • ‘Cry for the Bad Man’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • ‘Torch Song’ – Marillion
  • ‘Breed’ – Nirvana
  • ‘Supersonic’ – Oasis
  • ‘Crazy Horses’ – The Osmonds
  • ‘Calm Like a Bomb’ – Rage Against The Machine
  • ‘Sugar Man’ – Rodriguez
  • ‘Fade Away’ – Stereo MCs
  • ‘Blockbuster’ – Sweet
  • ‘The Hidden Masters’ – The Sword
  • ‘Radio/Video’ – System of a Down
  • ‘Bad Reputation’ – Thin Lizzy
  • ‘Charlie’s Out of Prison’ – Warrior Soul
  • ‘King of the Road’ – Fu Manchu

Robert Trujillo

Trujillo joined Metallica in 2003 and before that had enjoyed a marvellous career as the rhythm section for some incredible acts and sessions. Trujillo does his best to fit as many as he can into his playlist.

Selecting his former funk-thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, the bassist picks ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’, while also picking Ozzy Osbourne with whom Trujillo helped to re-record some of his classic ’80s albums.

The bassist also pays homage to one of the most valued bassists of all time when he selects Rush’s song ‘YYZ’ fronted by the quick-handed bassist Geddy Lee.

All in all, it’s a rhythm-heavy jaunt down the highway to hell.

Robert Trujillo’s favourite songs:

  • ‘S.A.T.O’ – Ozzy Osbourne
  • ‘Hand of Doom’ – Black Sabbath
  • ‘Locust’ – Machine Head
  • ‘New Millennium Cyanide Christ’ – Meshuggah
  • ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ – Queen
  • ‘Chaos B.C. – Sepultura
  • ‘Holy Wars…The Punishment Due’ – Megadeth
  • ‘Raining Blood’ – Slayer
  • ‘Healer’ – Torche
  • ‘Eighties’ – Killing Joke
  • ‘Redneck’ – Lamb of God
  • ‘YYZ’ – Rush
  • ‘Orgasmatron’ – Motorhead
  • ‘March to the Sea’ – Baroness
  • ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’ – Suicidal Tendencies
  • ‘Woodpecker from Mars’ – Faith No More
  • ‘My Names is Mud’ – Primus
  • ‘Sunshine’ – Alice in Chains
  • ‘Fire’ – Ohio Players