Rock Breakdown

Episode 53: A fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers buys tickets to see the wrong band. Metallica announce a new whiskey. David Lee Roth adds fuel to Van Halen tour rumors.

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Metallica's 'Blacklist': The Best Version Of Each Song

  • Enter Sandman

    There are six versions of the album’s opening track — and possibly Metallica’s most famous song. Weezer’s version was charming; it’s like their recent cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” You could imagine a younger Rivers Cuomo geeking out in his garage to this song, in front of his KISS poster. Ghost definitely Ghost-ified the song. But Rina Sawayama’s version actually got us to look her up. She’s a Chinese-British pop singer with some definite metal influences.

  • Sad But True


    There were seven versions of “Sad But True” and this is probably the toughest decision here. Royal Blood does a great version, as does Americana singer/songwriter Jason Isbell. Sam Fender turns it into a piano ballad, but our favorite version is St. Vincent’s: she makes it sound like a mid-’90s Nine Inch Nails jam.

  • Holier Than Thou

    This was probably the easiest choice of the album. “Holier Than Thou” sounds like it was written for, or by, Corey Taylor.

  • The Unforgiven

    Ha*Ash is a sister duo from Louisana, and they give “The Unforgiven” a bit more vulnerability than Metallica did. Hearing them go back and forth from singing in English to Spanish accentuates an important point: that Metallica are one of the most popular bands in the world, not just in America.

  • Wherever I May Roam

    This was an easy choice: the other artists doing this song did remixes, whereas Pardi – a country singer – made it his own song.

  • Don't Tread On Me

    This was another easy choice: Denmark’s Volbeat (who have opened for Metallica) do a solid version of this album track.

  • Through The Never

    As with Ha*Ash’s version of “The Unforgiven,” the HU’s take on a Metallica classic reminds us just how global Metallica’s appeal is. The HU, if you don’t know, is a Mongolian folk and metal band and their version of “Through The Never” is incredibly intense.

  • Nothing Else Matters

    Predictably, a lot of artists took this one on: there are *12* versions of the song on The Blacklist. But the best one is the only track on this collection that could compete with the original: Chris Stapleton’s version. Check it out.

  • Of Wolf And Man

    This was an easy one – only folk rock band Goodnight Texas decided to try “Of Wolf And Man,” but they did a great job.

  • The God That Failed

    We love Irish rockabilly singer Imelda May and her version, but IDLES’ take on “The God That Failed” is fearsome.

  • My Friend Of Misery

    This might be the weirdest thing on the whole album; jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s cover of “My Friend Of Misery.” Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo joined him on stage for this over the summer.

  • The Struggle Within

    Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have always been metal fans… and that’s obvious in this amazing take on the underrated Metallica song.