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Is 'Nothing Else Matters' a Glam Power Ballad?

Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:02AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments6 Comments
The fact of the matter is, none of us can clearly define metal. What is metal to me, isn't metal to you and vice versa. As time marches on, the classification of what is metal changes but what was once metal usually remains in the category. Proof? Def Leppard started as metal, but they are not the same band today. Metallica started as aggressive thrash and now they are radio friendly. Quiet Riot was a metal band but most people lump them in the Glam category because of their roots to the Sunset Strip. The crux of the matter is that no one really knows what is up or down because it's all too complicated. Reporters like to pigeonhole bands by a certain sound and we all buy into it - usually to chaos. I write about a band like, say, Drowning Pool once in awhile because they are touring with a Glam band (like Motley Crue), and it panics readers. So, ok. I think about this from time to time but today I was wondering...is it possible that Metallica created a true Glam power ballad in "Nothing Else Matters?"


Featured on Metallica's 1991 self-titled album, "Nothing Else Matters" was maybe the most played song at every dance through my entire Jr./Sr. high school career. The song was an official single around 1992, but just had amazing staying power throughout the 90s and beyond. I never considered the song Glam at the time, but now I do think the song utilizes some of the same hallmarks of the traditional power ballad: guitar interludes, themes that can be taken many ways and a video that phases between the highs and lows of a rockstar's life. Seems pretty Glam to me - then again, past Master of Puppets, Metallica was never really a heavy band anyway. What do you think?



Nothing Else Matters

Metallica | MySpace Music Videos

Reader Comments (6)

...and justice for all was plenty heavy, but yes, Metallica died with Cliff. The new band that came out of it was not always terrible, but it was never great again.
January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I'm with Christian, Justice is heavy. After that it went downhill, there's a couple of good moments on the black album but I haven't bought an album with them since.
As Allyson points out, it's impossible to define metal. I personally wouldn't call Def Leppard metal even in the beginning, more like hard rock a la AC/DC.
January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSnoot
I would agree that metal is in the eye of the beholder. I know kids who don't think Metallica is metal. Then, people older than me, think AC/DC is. The definition changes for each generation. I remember when I was in my teens, the big argument was if the Angels were metal. If you liked them, then they were, otherwise they were not. I don't see any point in trying to define these things. I like things that are definitely not metal, so I just like stuff or not, I don't really worry about what is metal and what isn't.

I am sure Allyson knows Justice is heavy, it's just not memorable enough. I mean, I am sure it just slipped her mind. I know I've not listened to it in a good decade. I listen to MOP ALL the time.
January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
It's all rock. Some is heavier than others, but why do we have to sub-categorize everything?
January 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGEO II
IMO, there is nothing glam at all about Metallica or any of their songs. Glam metal is brash, sleazy & very often over-the-top; Metallica has never been any of those things.
January 22, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbryon
Sorry I didn't get in on this sooner. Metallica is a frickin' borefest and so is "Nothing Else Matters". Bob Rock helped kill this band. Too bad James drank Lar's Kool-Aid spiked by Bob J*rk-off.

I'm with Christian, MOP was their last catchy record.

Here's to livin' the Glam Metal life up to Bryon's description! Yow! See ya down front at M3 if ya want to see it what it's really like, kidz! It sure as hell ain't gonna be quite as meatheady or prepified as a Metallica show, that's for dang sure, boyz!
January 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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