Metallica made an appearance on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday to play three songs, two of which come off Metallica, a.k.a. the “Black Album.” That record — which has become the best-selling album of the past three decades — came out 29 years ago on August 12th.
For the appearance, the group recorded the songs at its San Rafael, California, headquarters. First, they played a practically note-perfect rendition of the record’s “Wherever I May Roam.” “Good lord, I love it,” Stern said when it was done. Then the quartet performed the album’s Ennio Morricone–influenced “The Unforgiven.” Then, after one sparkly closing note and a “wow” from Stern, they transitioned immediately into an acoustic rendition of “All Within My Hands,” the final track off their 2003 album, St. Anger. “Boy, is that beautiful, boys,” Stern commented.
The Black Album has been certified 16-times platinum and it continues to be a hit. Last week alone, it moved more than 5,000 album-equivalent units — including audio streams and sales — according to Alpha Data, the data analytics provider that powers the Rolling Stone Charts. Moreover, it has kept that pace, moving some 5,000 album-equivalent units a week, every week for the past year.
Beyond the Stern appearance, the rest of August will be busy for Metallica. On the 28th, they will release S&M2 — a live album that they recorded with the San Francisco Symphony last year. Then, the next day, they’ll return to the stage virtually for a concert film that will be screened at drive-ins. The band is filming itself perform a full, career-spanning set for the event.