Metallica: Ride the Lightning (1984)
Ultimate Classic Rock asked me to rank all eight Ride the Lightning songs from worst to best (or, more accurately, from great to greatest), and, except for what I believe to be its two lone weak links, “Escape" and "Trapped Under Ice,” doing so was more difficult than picking favorites amongst my kids!
I mean, Ride the Lightning is one of my deserted island discs … my first Metallica album, purchased at the ripe young age of 14, in early 1985, and I really don’t think modern-day listeners can grasp just how revolutionary it sounded, at the time. But the fact is Metallica just kept raising the bar with each of those first three records — to the point there was a sizable “learning curve” involved in coming to grips with each of them and their new definition of heaviness.
Myself, for a while I could only process “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Fade to Black" and the bridge section in "Creeping Death" (which a friend of mine misheard as "I dye my hair!"). Next came "The Call of Ktulu" and the stupendous title track, followed at last by “Fight Fire with Fire,” which may have taken all of six months to cram inside my ears, but remains one of my faves. The solo alone is incontrovertible proof of Kirk Hammett’s fully deserved guitar god status.