Metallica has an interesting place in the rock pantheon. Not as musically or critically hailed as some of their contemporaries, not as mainstream as others, in more recent years they've been sometimes a punchline and at other times only a shadow of their former selves. But if you grew up in a certain time and kind of place, if you were predisposed to guitar-driven music that thrashed and shredded, and lyrics that spoke to personal and social issues in a relatably broad away, you loved this band. Whether you wanted to admit it later or not.
This week, we kick off a two-part exploration of what Metallica meant to their fans over the years and how those meanings changed, departed and returned. Part One focuses on the band's early years and creative peak.
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