August 1991: Metallica Debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200 with METALLICA
It was the last week of August 1991--the week of August 31, 1991, to be exact--when Metallica set a new standard in metal: the band debuted at #1 with its self-titled fifth studio album, METALLICA, more commonly known as The Black Album. Released on August 12, 1991, anticipation for the record was already at a fever pitch. On July 29, 1991, the group unleashed lead single "Enter Sandman," which stormed the radio, charts and MTV. The track stormed the Hot 100, peaking at #16 for the week of October 12, 1991. So when Metallica officially hit the streets, it immediately grabbed the top spot on the Billboard 200, maintaining the #1 position for four weeks straight. The LP was certified platinum in just two weeks.
All of that success did not come easy; the album was the result of nine grueling months spent hunkered down in Los Angeles recording studio with producer Bob Rock. At the time, Rock was fresh from working with Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood album. "We really put him through the wringer," James Hetfield admitted in 2016. "And he survived. We were testing each other and shit, making sure that this guy can drive the Metallica train."
"I couldn't have worked with a better band. It was difficult, but when you're in a place that's not comfortable, you do your best work," the producer told Loudwire. "Clearly it's some of my best work. It was all of us that made that record. No compromise. Culturally, in the music business, that's when Metallica got on the radio. It was the biggest cultural record I made. It changed what went on the radio. I'm very proud of that. I look back on it fondly."
Metallica is celebrating this landmark moment in metal with an exclusive Deluxe Metallica Leather Jacket Bundle. The big-baller box set is for the hardcore Metallica fan who doesn't quite have everything yet. It comes with the album remastered on 180-gram double LP and CD, "Sad But True" picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs and six DVDs featuring unreleased content (live shows, rough mixes, demos, etc), MP3 download card of all audio, four tour laminates, lanyard, three lithos, three guitar picks, lyric folder and sheets, and a 120-page hardcover book with never-before-seen photos + stories from those who were there. The bundle is highlighted by a tour jacket, inspired by the exclusive all-leather tour jacket made exclusively for the band and their family during the Wherever I May Roam 91-92-93 tour.
Metallica Deluxe Edition ships 9/10/21. Leather jacket will ship October 2021.