cover for Ride the Lightning

Metallica’s Lingering Discontent with ‘Escape’ from ‘Ride the Lightning’

Even after decades in the music industry, the members of Metallica, one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, are still expressing their dissatisfaction with a particular track from their early years. The song in question is “Escape,” a cut from their breakthrough album, “Ride the Lightning,” released in July 1984. Despite the album’s overall success, the band’s feelings about “Escape” have remained decidedly negative over the years.

In recent discussions, both drummer Lars Ulrich and lead vocalist James Hetfield have voiced their disdain for the song. It seems that the track, which was seemingly pressured into the album by external forces, never sat well with the band. Hetfield, in particular, has referred to the song as a moment of artistic compromise, one that he evidently still regrets.

The band’s dislike for “Escape” became so pronounced that they largely ignored the song in live performances for many years. It wasn’t until 2012 at the Orion Music + More Festival that the track saw the light of day on stage. However, this did not seem to have changed the band’s feelings towards the song, as it has seldom been performed live since.

Reflecting on Metallica’s enduring dislike for “Escape,” it offers an insight into the band’s unwavering commitment to artistic integrity. Even as they’ve achieved monumental success in the world of heavy metal, Metallica remains unafraid to critique their own work. This level of self-awareness and dedication to their craft is part of what has made them such an enduring presence in the music industry.

@shotokanguitarist Is Metallica’s Escape better than I remember it? 🤔 #metallica #ridethelightning #escape #jameshetfield #larsulrich #kirkhammett #robtrujillo #rock #metal #music #rockmusic #metalmusic @caitycore @thatnerdwriter @metallica ♬ Escape (Remastered) – Metallica