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Old 03-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Metallica Paradox.

Regarding Metallica I always heard lot of people (everywhere) saying things like :“Oh, I was so disappointed when the black album came out” or “I quit buying their records when they sold out with Bob rock” or even ”I stopped listening to them after Master of Puppets”.
So I decided to do some quick research, and I found out a few interesting things.
The first thing is that very few people bought the band’s first three albums when they came out.
When Cliff Burton died in 1986, Metallica hadn’t managed to achieve a single Gold Record …and that’s just 500 thousand copies.
Mostly they didn’t even headline tours back then but they were just a supporting act.
So how is it possible that so many people have this strong nostalgia for the good old early days of Metallica?
It just doesn’t add up.
Second thing, since we are talking about records that came out almost 30 years ago, I really doubt that most people under 40 knew about Metallica when Cliff Burton was still alive regardless of album sales.
Unless they were listening to Ride the lightning in kindergarten.
Cool but improbable.

Last edited by edwardc77; 03-08-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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While I do prefer the early days of Metallica, I still enjoy the newer Metallica (with an exception of Reload and Lulu). Metallica didn't sell out, they just wanted to follow different directions.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc77 View Post
Regarding Metallica I always heard lot of people (everywhere) saying things like :“Oh, I was so disappointed when the black album came out” or “I quit buying their records when they sold out with Bob rock” or even ”I stopped listening to them after Master of Puppets”.
So I decided to do some quick research, and I found out a few interesting things.
The first thing is that very few people bought the band’s first three albums when they came out.
When Cliff Burton died in 1986, Metallica hadn’t managed to achieve a single Gold Record …and that’s just 500 thousand copies.
Mostly they didn’t even headline tours back then but they were just a supporting act.
So how is it possible that so many people have this strong nostalgia for the good old early days of Metallica?
It just doesn’t add up.
Second thing, since we are talking about records that came out almost 30 years ago, I really doubt that most people under 40 knew about Metallica when Cliff Burton was still alive regardless of album sales.
Unless they were listening to Ride the lightning in kindergarten.
Cool but improbable.
Wait, so you're saying that a band who is extremely popular today wasn't as popular when they first formed? Holy ****, I didn't even know that was possible. It's also really hard to appreciate albums that came out before you were born over albums that came out in your lifetime.

I'm as confused about this as you are.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Alot of the great bands did Not get the full recognition and popularity they deserved as artist until decades after their particular debut/era.

Not necessarily suggesting that applies to the career of Metallica though.

Your individual opinion/generation and preference of music is all that matters anyway.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Metallica might not have been a big mainstream band in the 80s but from Master Of Puppets onwards they were easily one of the biggest metal bands in terms of hype & attention in the metal press. You couldn't pick up a metal magazine or listen to a metal show on the radio without Metallica getting mentioned at that time.

500,000 copies is massive amount of records when you're cult band.(which they were at the time). I know they DID go gold in the UK, and that's 250,000 album sales in one country alone and that's not even taking into account of their popularity in places in Europe where metal bands sell highly such as Germany & Scandinavia.
In fact all 3 of their albums released on Music For Nations (Their UK indie label) went gold BEFORE they signed with Polygram.

They were also a very fan friendly band at the time, something that vanished when they became the huge million selling mainstream band later on.

I'm not surprised so many Metallica fans from that era have no interest in them, I'm one of them. it had nothing to do with them getting big & it had everything to do with them making boring records that I don't really want to listen to.
And of course growing up, both them and their fanbase.

And I'm under 40 for a good few years yet BTW.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I liked their # 5 self-titled album Metallica from 91. Other than that I was listening to Pantera.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland View Post
Wait, so you're saying that a band who is extremely popular today wasn't as popular when they first formed? Holy ****, I didn't even know that was possible. It's also really hard to appreciate albums that came out before you were born over albums that came out in your lifetime.

I'm as confused about this as you are.
What I’m saying is that nowadays there are way too many people trying to act cool and knowledgeable declaring that they liked Metallica before they became really big, and distanced themselves from the band only after Metallica became famous and “sold out” in the 90’s.
And when I say way too many people I mean something like one Metallica fan out of 5 almost.
I only stated that this is statistically improbable due to bands small fan base in the early 80’s.( 500 thousand album copies sold versus the 80 plus million copies of today).
So I assumed that most of these people are lying and actually started to hear about the band only after the mass exposure of the Black Album.
I hope I made myself understood.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc77 View Post
I only stated that this is statistically improbable due to bands small fan base in the early 80’s.( 500 thousand album copies sold versus the 80 plus million copies of today).
So I assumed that most of these people are lying and actually started to hear about the band only after the mass exposure of the Black Album.
I hope I made myself understood.
Again, you don't seem to understand that 500,000 is just ONE country.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Hat€monger ? View Post
Again, you don't seem to understand that 500,000 is just ONE country.
I do,but the (relative) majority of world album sales comes from the United States.
Britain for example counts for only 9%.
A gold album in Britain means 100 thousand units sold.
So the numbers can't be too different.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc77 View Post
What I’m saying is that nowadays there are way too many people trying to act cool and knowledgeable declaring that they liked Metallica before they became really big, and distanced themselves from the band only after Metallica became famous and “sold out” in the 90’s.
And when I say way too many people I mean something like one Metallica fan out of 5 almost.
I only stated that this is statistically improbable due to bands small fan base in the early 80’s.( 500 thousand album copies sold versus the 80 plus million copies of today).
So I assumed that most of these people are lying and actually started to hear about the band only after the mass exposure of the Black Album.
I hope I made myself understood.
Maybe putting way too much emphesis on the media and sales end of the equasion.

The music itself and individual preference is what counts
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