Metallica's 'Black Album' Turns 23, Here's Isolated 'Enter Sandman' Vocal Track

23 years, 30 million copies. Not bad for a metal band.

Ultimate Guitar

On August 12, 1991, Metallica had unleashed what would become their most successful and critically-acclaimed effort ever, the legendary "Black Album."

23 years later, the band's eponymous record is still selling about 2,000 units per week, easily outselling many contemporary acts. In total, "Black Album" shipped over 30 million units around the globe.

In the US, the album was recently crowned as the top-selling release of the Soundscan era after crossing the 16 million units mark back in late May.

The song that gave a major boost to the album's success, and was also released as a lead single, was "Enter Sandman." Seeing that frontman James Hetfield's birthday was 10 days ago, or just nine days ahead of record release, we present you the "Enter Sandman" isolated vocal track.

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42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Goth JR
    Someone stole my black album. Going to have to buy it again. maybe that's why it sells so well, Metallica hired gnomes to run around the world stealing peoples CD.
    23 years... WOW I FEEL OLD. I can still remember taking the bus to Strawberries to buy the Black Album on CD the day it came out. I was 14 and Metallica was my favorite band in the world. I chose to walk back home (about 20 miles) so that I could listen to it for the first time (and 2nd and 3rd I think) on my CD Walkman taking breaks to sit down and read through the lyrics. Great experience, awesome memory.
    Cool story bro. WOW. Nice.Did you like it? Or where u dissapointed it was such a drastic change from AJFA
    Next week on Abacus11's Wack Conspiracy Theories: "Dave Lombardo did the drum track of Through The Never and Holier Than Thou"
    Just sharing a memory from my childhood about The Black Album . No conspiracies. You're giving me a hard time about this Benante/Dyer's Eve thing huh? It's just a theory that's been around a while that I thought was relevant to the article at the time.
    Thanks Man. Yeah, I did like it and I still do. It's not my favorite Metallica album but I like it a lot. Looking forward to the day when it would come out, listening to my recorded-from-radio cassette of "Enter Sandman" for weeks then finally hearing the whole album those first few times, reading the lyrics... it'll always be great memory as a young metal fan. I like remembering those days before I was old and jaded haha
    starts at 1:14
    Do not start the video and change internet tab. The guitar at 10 seconds in is misleading. Turning the volume up to full solely based on that wah monstrosity will have your ears screaming "YEAH" indefinitely. James is a big boy.
    With this record Metallica proved that the genre of heavy metal could be a huge commercial success. No band before them or after them has since had such huge popularity and success. Although the black album can't really be compared to their older, thrashier stuff, it's still a heavy metal record and one of the greatest of all time. After listening to it you feel 10 feet taller and ready to take on the world. That's what a good metal record should make you feel like.
    The jazz Man
    Steriotypical to say, but it was this album that started it all for me as far as getting into heavy music and guitar playing goes.. And as over played as the songs can be, ie, Sandman.. This album is killer and I have everything to thank the 'tallica guys for. Changed my life.
    Black Album turns 23?! What we couldn't wait another two years? Lol In other news, Metallica still making a bunch of money out this record... Unlike many other bands with newer material. No complains about the album though, it still rocks in my opinion.
    People always say that this was the beginning of the end for Metallica, but I disagree, this was just the beginning,this album shot them into rock stardom, selling out everywhere they went, touring constantly,and made them famous worldwide and exposed metal to the masses and made tons of people pick up a guitar, this album is a landmark in rock history.
    It's crazy that at some points like when harmonies come in I don't think he's wearing headphones at all, that he's actually singing to monitors in the booth with him! All that huge sounding slick production and there's a ton of bleed coming in and out of the vocal tracks. Vocal production 101 debunked, let it bleed man, yeeeaaa-aerrrgg!
    This leakage isn't that bad. I do think he's wearing phones. Otherwise, the leakage would be much louder and you'd be able to hear drums too.
    I remember the day I first listened to it. I wasn't a rock fan at all but my sister played the CD. I was all about hip hop but this album had something special. A certain edge to it. I just had to listen in. Not a great album from beginning to end, but from that day on Metallica was on the map.
    i remember when i thought this album was good, which it is, but then i went into their back catalogue which totally blew this album out of the water.
    I was in college at Humboldt State in 1991. We rushed out & bought it, sat around a table with a mountain of weed in the middle, and listened for the first time. Great production! Heavy! Uhh, where's the double bass? Where's the galloping triplets? after song of plodding 4/4 beats & Yeah-Heah after Yeah-Heah, there wasn't enough weed in the world to save this thing. The beginning of the end, indeed.
    It is the beginning of the end… it's not a bad album, but it's their first with throwaway tracks like "Holier Than Thou", "Don't Tread On Me", and "The Struggle Within"… Absolutely zero Cliff influence on this album, as it was replaced by Bob Rock and his Crue sound. Metallica basically invented prog-metal, and threw it away. Their compositions became more common and less inventive with the Black Album… Load was an attempt to put one foot in the grunge side of things and it's been failures since. You can NOT say they didn't sell out… they did. They heard Dr. Feelgood, and hired Bob Rock to sound more like Motley Crue. The reason this album sold so well… Metallica finally dipped into mediocrity… and therefore became accessible to a whole lot of people who didn't' really care.
    You make some very valid points about The Black Album being the beginning-of-the-end of classic Metallica and the ushering in of the Bob Rock era but I still think it's a great album. Sure the tempos are slower, the choruses are bigger and arrangements are a bit simpler. The production is sleek and radio-friendly but they still sounded like Metallica on The Black Album . Even without Burton they still sounded like the band that wrote and recorded Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning . Early Metallica had a certain mood and spirit to it. I really feel like the band still had that on The Black Album . Load on the other hand...
    23 years since the beginning of the end for metallica
    I'm gonna have to disagree with you. I'm one of the few people who think that Metallica only got better after this album, Metallicas 90 stuff is way better than their 80's stuff, at least to me.
    it's ok for you to have your own opinion, just as i'm entitled the same. for me, i liked the faster/heavier metallica as opposed to the pvssy hard rock metallica of today.
    Both are awesome, sometimes you need a bit of Ride The Lightning, sometimes Load is just what the doctor ordered, that's one of the great things about Metallica.
    Finally some love for Load. I think that, and Reload, are absolutely fantastic albums, I kept Fixxer on repeat for a whole week straight after I heard it the first time, and The Outlaw Torn always takes me on an emotional roller coaster whenever I listen to it, so many great jems on those albums
    A great album indeed, ironically it marks the beggining of their decline.
    What decline? You mean how they became rock stars, the biggest band in the world and made millions and millions of dollars while still maintaining a rock/metal approach. Yep, real decline.
    Had unleashed? So by that date (August 12, 1991) they had actually already released the album?