Metal Music

Metallica – Fade to Black

Fade to Black is a song by thrash metal band Metallica from their second album, Ride the Lightning (1984). It was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Cliff Burton, and Lars Ulrich.

The lyrics suggest the story of a man contemplating, and eventually committing suicide. It was the first musical ballad released by the band.

  • “Fade to Black” was played live for the first time on February 9, 1985, in Chicago, IL at the Aragon Ballroom. It replaced “The Call of Ktulu” and played 2 nights prior in Ohio. It was 8th of a 10-song set.
  • As of August 2016, “Fade to Black” has been played live 1,104 times, making it one of the nine songs played live over 1,000 times, along with “Master of Puppets”, “Creeping Death”, “Seek & Destroy”, “One”, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Enter Sandman”, “Sad But True”, and “Nothing Else Matters”.
  • This was also the song that Metallica had been playing the intro of during their infamous concert at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in 1992, when James Hetfield suffered second-and-third degree burns from a pyrotechnic accident.
  • James has played the intro with many guitars, using two different double necks in 1992-’93, an explorer with a clean tone, and with an acoustic guitar.

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