Top 10 Metallica Songs Ever

One of our biggest polls ever has resulted in a killer list of songs by one of the best metal bands in history. See the results as voted for by UG readers right here.

Top 10 Metallica Songs Ever
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We knew this would be a big one, and it was. On Wednesday we asked you to vote for your favorite Metallica songs ever. With over 600 comments and thousands of votes, we've stacked up the results and have compiled one of our best lists ever. This week Metallica announced plans to work on their next album, so maybe the band will improve on their recent releases and bring you new classic to add to this list in the future. For now, though, you've done yourself proud with an absolutely killer list. Bravo! Be sure to pass it on and share your opinion in the comments.

10. "The Mechanix" from "No Life 'Til Leather"

Dave Mustaine wrote this song and took it with him when he formed Megadeth. It's actually been recorded several times, first as part of Metallica's "No Life 'Til Leather" demo in 1982, and later adapted and re-titled "The Four Horsemen" on "Kill 'Em All" the next year - though Mustaine wasn't too happy about it.

9. "For Whom The Bell Tolls" from "Ride The Lightning"

This is based on Ernest Hemmingway's novel of the same title about the dishonor of modern warfare. Cliff Burton's classic overdriven bass intro recently made it to number 5 on our Top 10 Basslines Of All Time too.

8. "Orion" from "Master Of Puppets"

The only instrumental track from "Master Of Puppets" features five different solos over eight minutes. Two of them were by Cliff Burton, though some people mistake his driven bass for a guitar, because they're dummies. Clearly he and the band were proud of the song because it was played at his funeral in 1986.

7. "One" from "...And Justice For All"

Metallica finally hit the US Top 40 with this single from their forth album. "The idea for the opening came from a Venom song called 'Buried Alive'", James Hetfiel told Guitar World in 1991. "The kick drum machine-gun part near the end wasn't written with the war lyrics in mind, it just came out that way".

6. "Blackened" from "...And Justice For All"

Jason Newstead's first co-writing effort with the band about the end of human civilisation is a dark one indeed. The intro is a dual-guitar harmony that plays in reverse, which means the band need to rely on a recording before they can kick in with playing it live - but as this video proves, it can make for a perfect opener to their live sets.

5. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" from "Master Of Puppets"

The last single with Cliff Burton is about being trapped by insanity. James Hetfield has said he wrote it as a tribute to "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest". If you caught the band live in the early 2000s, you might have heard them merging the song with "Master Of Puppets" which they lovingly titled "Mastertarium".

4. "Creeping Death" from "Ride The Lightning"

Metallica have played this song more than 1,360 times, and it's second only to "Master Of Puppets" at over 1,400 plays. It's based on the great plagues in the bible and apparently told from the perspective of Moses. While watching a film about the ten commandments, Cliff Burton said the plague that killed every Egyptian first-born child was "like creeping death", and in turn conceived the name to this classic track.

3. "Master Of Puppets" from "Master Of Puppets"

Their most played song is about how drugs can take over control of your body. It's often ranked as the most popular heavy metal song of all time (though it looks like UG readers disagree), and also gets a nod for having some of the best riffs ever.

2. "Ride The Lightening" from "Ride The Lightning"

Written from the perspective of someone sitting on death row and awaiting their electrocution, this is one of the final songs that credit Dave Mustaine as a songwriter.

1. "Fade To Black" from "Ride The Lightning"

Looks like you picked a great winner for this Metallica poll! When a song has a solo this good, it's no surprise, but there's a lot to love about "Fade To Black". Lars Ulrich said that he and James Hetfield were obsessed with death at the time this song was produced, and once talked about how it came to be: "That song was a big step for us... I wrote the song at a friend's house in New Jersey. I was pretty depressed at the time because our gear had just been stolen, and we had been thrown out of our manager's house for breaking shit and drinking his liquor cabinet dry. "It's a suicide song, and we got a lot of flak for it, as if kids were killing themselves because of the song. But we also got hundreds of letters from kids telling us how they related to the song and that it made them feel better". Here's your official UG best Metallica song ever. Enjoy!
That's the end of our top 10 best Metallica songs ever. Remember to share the article using the Facebook and Twitter buttons in the top right, and if you think that an alternative Metallica song has gone criminally underrated, let us know about it in the comments.

297 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    rockstarbear
    Fade to Black was played more in the LA guitar store I worked than Stairway and Sweet Child combined.
    goremetal22
    *Disposable Heroes. Best Metallica IMO. Solid list tho
    Maiden95
    It got a lot of votes too... More than Blackend if memory serves. Though I love Blackend too.
    Dr. Knox666
    Good list but I missed Disposable Heroes.
    metallica-#1
    The list is pretty diverse, ranging from the 80's all the way out to the 80's Seriously people, their 90's had some gems too; Fixxxer, The Outlaw Torn, Bleeding Me, Fuel, The Unforgiven, Sad But True, I could go on and on.
    Rezz316
    The God That Failed and The Outlaw Torn I think should have definitely made this list.
    mop10893
    That's because all of their best songs are from the 80's. The first four albums are masterpieces that the other five (soon to be six) cannot ever top. Even if the 90's had some gems (Wherever I May Roam), none of them can top what Metallica put out in the 80's.
    metallica-#1
    I think it has more so to do with the listener than the album. Some people, such as yourself, seem to right off anything passed 1988 as inferior. Some people, such as yourself, write-off new material as inferior before they've even heard it yet (at least give them a chance to write it first). I guess when it comes down to it though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, since you can't please everybody it really is just a matter of taste; some people hold the first 4 up on a pedestal, while I actually consider Load their best album (you just gotta love how personal James Hetfield got on that album).
    tennesseehild
    I agree had it not been for Load I would have never gotten in to Metallica. I would have loved to see King Nothing on this list, but over the years Ride the Lightning has excelled as my favorite album.
    pfinnegan
    I will second this comment, and even go so far as to throw in Death Magnetic too. There are some killer songs on that album. Problem is that Metallica were so great in the 80's that it's hard to top yourself. I am confused as to how Sandman didn't make the cut. Overplayed or not...it's iconic.
    loungeact88
    I think it's the fact that a lot of people that frequent this site are diehard fans instead of just casual fans. I'm in that boat too. Sure Sandman is a cool song, and growing up in the late 80's/early 90's, that's most likely the first song you heard by Metallica (it was probably my first)....but after hearing everything else they have to offer, I just don't think it belongs in the top 10.
    DG27
    Don't forget The Struggle Within, Through The Never, Ain't My Bitch (am I the only one who likes it?), Hero Of The Day and a lot of stuff from Death Magnetic (I love that album). They should make a list just for the post ...and Justice For All stuff in my opinion.
    FallenDestiny
    Megadeth next? Please?
    killektrika
    UG are you listening? My friend just made a solid point here! Though its gonna be all the more difficult to pick just 10!
    Alex_WK
    Is that because all the songs sound the same? Shit vocals, guitar solo, repeat.
    Skuzzmo
    Megadeth sound the same? Well what can i say... UG I salute your efforts to give everyone a chance to give their opinions....even the deaf and the stupid. ty
    Duke_Lukem
    Considering you have WK in your name it's pretty rich that you're criticizing a musician based on their vocals.
    TombOfHorror
    Kinda like this list- hard to pick a top 10. If they do a '10 best Megadeth' list, it'll probably be dominated by songs with the Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza lineup. At least, if I did one it would...
    6-String_Madman
    Not much of a Megadeth fan but I'd like to know where to start. A Megadeth Top 10 List would be a start, I guess.
    arnolddrummer
    For whom the bell tolls is my favourite. Good thing they didn't call the LULU stuff Metallica or all those songs would be on here!
    Elegitii
    Exactly, if they had put Lulu or one of the loads on this, I wouldn't have bothered reading the list at all.
    link no1
    Oh yea, if too many peoples opinion was different from yours and a song you didn't like ended up on the list it would make the entire list stupid and worthless because it is not your opinion. Damn people and their differing opinions *shakes fist*
    Elegitii
    Dude I was joking, 'course I would have read the list, I just love the old Metallica a helluva lot more. Anyone agree? Just look at the list.