Trimming the Fat: Metallica’s Load & ReLoad


Quite some time ago I took a look at Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion albums, took the best tracks and laid out what I thought one single album should’ve looked like (never mind there is a UYI compilation… mine is better). Well, I’m here to do that again.

The subject? Metallica. The albums? Load and ReLoad.

The original plan was for Load to be a double album but with some songs coming along slower than others, this idea was scrapped. The 14-track Load was released in June 1996 while the band continued to work on the remaining songs and released them as ReLoad (13-tracks and essentially “Disc 2” of Load) in November 1997.

Both albums are completely filled with, er, um… filler. Too many tracks, too many long tracks. Load is nearly 79 minutes. ReLoad is 76 minutes. Both albums are WAY TOO LONG.

I know it’s fashionable online to bash anything and everything this band has done since 1991 (even 1988 if you’re particularly grouchy) but mid/late ’90s Metallica wasn’t too bad. Were they card carrying members of the Metal Militia anymore? Absolutely not but that doesn’t mean they weren’t able to spit out a few good hard rock numbers… even if those songs did have a southern rock and/or alternative vibe. Corrosion of Conformity, anyone? What is too bad is that Metallica thought they were onto something so special that they felt they needed 2 albums, 27 tracks and 2.5 hours to tell their tale.

I give you the “Metal Excess Cut”:

Loaded: The Very Best of Load & ReLoad

Ain’t My Bitch
King Nothing
Devil’s Dance
The Unforgiven II
Bleeding Me
The Memory Remains
Hero of the Day
Until It Sleeps

Of course I profess no great skill when it comes to sequencing the tracks, so you mileage may vary, but I will not budge on “Fixxxer” being the closer.

So there you have it. I think these 11 tracks are really the only ones worth listening to from Load & ReLoad and with a running time of a little over 60 minutes, it may still be a tad lengthy but certainly better than nearly 80 minutes!

Buy ‘Load’ at

Buy ‘ReLoad’ at

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Trimming The Fat and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Pretty good picks, but you left out my favorite form the two albums, The Outlaw Torn, but it sounds better on S&M than on Load. I personally like both albums and know each sogn to some degree, but if your gonna make a best of the two, then you made a pretty accurate list (still needs Outlaw Torn though). 2 X 4 and Better Than You are both pretty good songs too, and I would probably leave Fixxxer and Slither off for the three I mentioned, but that is my opinion.

  2. Interesting idea you came up with here. I will admit, that I do like “Hero Of The Day”, my favorite song out of both these albums.

    I know I’ve said it before a thousand times… the first 3 Metallica albums are IT. Okay, that makes it 1,001 times now. 🙂

  3. >bash anything and everything this band has done since 1991

    And for good reason, if you ask me!

    But your condensed “(Re)Load” is much better than the way those albums were released.

  4. Hey Justin, great post. You especially make a good point about bashing the band for their 1990s work. I think it’s easy to do, but then, there are millions of record-buying folk who would disagree there, so hey. I reference this in a post I did recently on Metallica over at …I’d welcome your comments if you’d care to share. Rock on.

  5. I think that there’s enough good stuff on both albums that fans were justified in bashing Metallica for padding it out with crap in order to release mediocre albums instead of one great one.

    I would have added “Cure” and “Bleeding Me” and ditched “Fuel” and “Ain’t My Bitch”. If they could have de-countrified “Mama Said” I may have squeezed that on there, just because it has a killer chorus.

  1. Pingback: Some Thoughts on Metallica « rsmithing

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