Most musicians can write and compose hundreds of songs throughout their music career. However, as you may have guessed, not all of these songs end up being featured in their albums. When the songwriting process ends, some of them end up being disappointments for the artist.
On the other hand, music labels or fans can expect the artists to release a musical effort that pleases their particular liking. Due to that, many music acts include these songs in their albums without really wanting it. It seems this was the case with James Hetfield, who regretted writing a song from Metallica’s vast catalog.
What Caused James Hetfield To Regret Writing That One Metallica Song?
Metallica recorded their second studio album ‘Ride The Lightning‘ on July 27, 1984. Recorded in three weeks at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark, the album received a positive response from fans and critics and expressed the band’s musical growth and lyrical success.
However, there was one song in the album James Hetfield disliked most, named ‘Escape.’ Originally titled ‘The Hammer,’ this song featured lighter riffs and a conventional song structure. Hetfield didn’t like this song at all since the record company forced them to write it, so they performed ‘Escape’ only once at the 2012 Orion Music + More festival since its release.
Speaking to the Sopitas, James Hetfield stated that they wrote ‘Escape’ while recording in the studio because the record company wanted them to record one more song to be included in the album. According to Hetfield, he didn’t like this request, but they still ended up writing the song at the last minute.
Here is what James Hetfield told Sopitas about the song ‘Escape’:
“‘Ride the Lightning’ was the first time we wrote a song in the studio. I remember we had all the songs, and Lars said, ‘They want us to record one more; they need one more for the album.’ I was like, ‘You didn’t tell me that.’ So we had to write, and it was last-minute. So ‘Escape’ was one of those songs written in the studio.”
Moreover, during the show at their Orion Music + More festival on June 23, 2012, Hetfield bravely stepped up and told the audience that ‘Escape’ is the song that Metallica never wanted to play live on stage, and it was finally on the setlist. Although fans enjoyed listening to it, it seems this wasn’t the case for the band.
Here is how James Hetfield introduced ‘Escape’ during the show:
“The song that we never wanted to play live, ever, is now on the setlist.”
You can listen to Metallica’s ‘Escape’ live performance below.