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Metallica. Best Cover Band Ever?

Their work and dedication to honoring fellow musicians speaks for itself

Not only did Metallica score RockWest’s best album ever with ‘Master of Puppets’, a good argument could have been made for ‘Kill ‘em All’, ‘Ride the Lightning’, ‘And Justice for All’, the black album or ‘Death Magnetic’. Here at RockWest, it’s clear that we consider Metallica one of the best bands ever. But would you believe best Cover Band?

In the early days, before Metallica had a ton of their own material, we were treated to Diamond Head’s ‘Am I Evil’ and Blitzkrieg’s self-titled track in concert, with Metallica releasing both as b-sides to the ‘Creeping Death’ single. Over the next few years it would become clear that Metallica placed tons of importance on honoring their influences. For 1998’s 2-disc release ’Garage Inc.’, Metallica released a 16 song collection of covers they had done over the years plus 11 newly recorded cover songs. For Metallica fans, Garage Inc. had something for everyone.

When Metallica covers a song, it is unmistakably Metallica. Fans of the original with have no trouble recognizing the source material but Metallica wraps the songs in their own flavor and sound. Some times it’s a bit of nostalgia for an old classic but many times you end up with everything great from the original multiplied by 10.

Metallica have continued with this tradition with a couple of brilliant fresh tracks on the deluxe version of ’Hardwired…To Self-Destruct’. If you haven't heard them yet, give a listen to the Iron Maiden cover 'Remember Tomorrow' from their debut album and 'Ronnie Rising', a medley of Dio era Rainbow covers (A Light in the Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill the King). Hopefully they will keep it up with future releases.

Here’s a list of the some of the best covers Metallica has done over the years that you should keep on your Metallica playlist:

# Song Metallica Album(s) Original Artist
10 Last Caress/Green Hell Garage Days Re-Revisited Misfits
9 Sabbra Cadabra Garage Inc. Black Sabbath
8 Helpless Garage Days Re-Revisited Diamond Head
7 Overkill B-Side Hero of the Day (and Garage Inc.) Motörhead
6 Blitzkrieg B-Side Creeping Death Single (Garage Days Revisited and Garage Inc.) Blitzkrieg
5 Ronnie Rising (Medley - A Light in the Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill the King) Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (Deluxe) Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio
4 Am I Evil? B-Side Creeping Death Single (Garage Days Revisited and Garage Inc.) Diamond Head
3 Remember Tomorrow Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (Deluxe) Iron Maiden
2 Stone Cold Crazy Garage Inc. Queen
1 Mercyful Fate (Medley) Garage Inc. Mercyful Fate