That's what music historian Jeff Wagner argues in a post on Noisecreep, where he claims that the band deserve respect for keeping their career going with the help of cover songs. Huh?
Let's hear him out:
"Metallica have continued to take others' originals and reinvent them in interesting ways, making increasingly cool choices too," says Wagner. "It's gotten to the point where their cover songs are more fun to listen to than their originals."
Of course, we'd all like to think that their albums would be their best work, but then, "St. Anger" exists. And what about that stinky record with Lou Reed?
Maybe Wagner has a point. Let's check out a selection of his favorite Metallica covers.
01. Metallica: "Remember Tomorrow" (by Iron Maiden) - The opening riff isn't in the original on Maiden's 1980 original, but returns as a theme throughout the song. Wagner says this song proves how Hetfield "can still belt out killer vocals" when he has good material to work with.
02. Any Metallica cover of Diamond Head - The 'Tallica love covering this band, and has nailed almost their entire 1980 release "Lightning To The Nations". It's pretty clear that Diamond Head were a big influence on Metallica, and as Wagner says, "Metallica is the best thing that ever happened to Diamond Head, and Diamond Head is the best thing that ever happened to Metallica."
03. Metallica's Medley Of Mercyful Fate Songs - Meryful Fate were apparently as much an influence on Metallica as Diamond Head, thanks to their "focus on quality riffs and complex arrangements." It's ironic that King Diamond influenced the band, but seems nervous before this performance. "Don't f—k this up!" he tells himself before they start.
04. Metallica: "Blitzkrieg" (by Blitzkrieg) - "The odd syncopation of the main riff in this song totally sounds like an early Metallica original, and here again it's obvious that without the NWOBHM, there would simply be no Metallica. "
05. Metallica Cover Motorhead - "Metallica's early sound owes a great debt to the pounding, metal-up-your-ass attitude and approach of the mighty Motörhead, and they proved their cover song chops with this string of Motörclassics from their most potent era."
Do you agree that Metallica are the best cover band on the planet? Who might contend them for that title? Share your suggestions in the comments.