TITLE: Kill ‘Em All
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #120 US, #142 UK
SINGLES: Whiplash, Jump in the Fire
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hit the Lights, The Four Horsemen, Seek & Destroy
LINEUP: James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Cliff Burton, Lars Ulrich.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Only the most influential metal album of the 80’s
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The effect this record had on the US and International Metal scene can’t be understated. They basically upped the ante from the good work from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, among others, and speeded it up without losing any of the melody or musicianship. If this wasn’t Patient Zero of thrash metal, it was pretty close to the beginning.
Without this record, there’s no Slayer, no Anthrax, and Megadeth doesn’t get signed.
As for the actual album, it’s earned its reputation. The Four Horsemen shows that they can turn tempos on a dime. Seek & Destroy shows they don’t have to play at 1,000,000 MPH to make an impact, and Hit the Lights shows that you can play fast AND still come across as something more than noise.
The production of this album is a bit flat and muddy, but they were lucky to get it recorded. It’s not a perfect album by any means – some songs don’t reach that next level and the lyrics aren’t the most original. But for impact, it’s near the top.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The story of how they recorded this album and what it took is something to behold. Also, the band fired Dave Mustaine ONE MONTH before this album was recorded, so that meant Kirk Hammett had basically learned the songs on the fly.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple of releases appended live tracks or songs released on their Garage Band CD.
GRADE: A-: Influence is A+, but I’m grading on the record itself. Their lyrics would improve soon enough and the production would get much better.