Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

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Guns N' Roses, 'Appetite for Destruction' (1987)
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Guns N' Roses, 'Appetite for Destruction' (1987)

What can I say about Appetite that hasn't already been said? It's one of the handful of greatest rock records ever recorded. Appetite is genre-less in a way, in that not only is it one of the best hard-rock records and metal records of all time, but it's also just one of the best records of all time, and it obviously shaped a generation and was the blueprint for literally thousands of bands. You can put [the Beatles'] Revolver and the best Rolling Stones record and the best Springsteen record and the best U2 record. It's just one of those records that everybody has a relationship with; the record was a soundtrack to a specific part in most people's lives. 

When I think of Appetite, I think of 1987. That record was in your face for like three years. When you go back and listen to it, I remember the first time I heard this. I was flying to New York; I had been in L.A. at the record company. My A&R guy gave me an advance cassette and said, "Check out this record from this band that's coming out." It was, like, two months before it came out. And "Welcome to the Jungle" – that was pretty cool. I liked it; it didn't blow my head off or whatever. But "It's So Easy"? I'd never heard anything like that. And then when he started, "It's so easy, so fucking easy," that whole attitude. I'd never heard anything like that. Then in "Nighttrain," it had the whole swagger and attitude, and then into "Out Ta Get Me," with the spite: "They won't catch me." The spite and this anger and this attitude and this fucking thing. Then there is "Mr. Brownstone" and "Paradise City." It was like four or five of those songs – I was literally sitting on the airplane just mouth fucking open and eyes like, "What the fuck did I just hear?" That 20 minutes. Then when I got off the plane – it was a red-eye – I called my guy in L.A. and I was like, "What?! Who is this? Where did this come from?" And that was the beginning of something life-altering.

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