Famously, James Hetfield didn’t intend to record ‘Black Album’ mega-ballad Nothing Else Matters as a Metallica song. Written in hotel rooms while an on-tour Hetfield was pining for his then-girlfriend Kristen Martinez, he didn’t see it as song for his band because, back then, Big Bad Metallica didn’t write love songs, unless they were love songs about metal, metal fans, or, in the case of Fade To Black, Hetfield’s stolen Marshall amp.
“What was it about not wanting to write a love song?” he asked rhetorically during a Classic Rock interview. “That’s pretty easy. It’s a huge sign of weakness. You’re in Metallica. This is hardcore. What the fuck are you doing?”
Whatever, Lars Ulrich and Bob Rock convinced Hetfield to let down his emotional guard and record the song, and we’re very pleased that they did.
We’re even more pleased now, in fact, because this new rendition of the song by Spanish harpist Rosa María Rodríguez is just beautiful, as we’re sure ‘Papa Het’ would agree.
You can find out more about the extremely talented Rosa María Rodríguez, aka Whiteveil, on her website.
Anyone craving Metallica cover versions is in luck right now. Thanks to the incoming The Metallica Blacklist album, part of Metallica’s 30th anniversary salute to their phenomenally-successful self-titled fifth album, new covers are emerging on a weekly basis. So far, our favourites include re-interpretations from Biffy Clyro, St. Vincent and Miley Cyrus, but there’s much more to come on the 53-artist tribute album, which is set for release on Metallica’s own Blackened Recordings label on September 10. The San Francisco band will release an expansive new version of the album on the same day, laden with demo cuts, live tracks and alternate mixes.
The new issue of Classic Rock, which celebrates 30 years of Metallica's seminal Black Album album with new interviews and insights, is on sale now.