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Enter Sandman- Nd1 music

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Enter Sandman- Nd1 music

Metallica write this song in 1991 for the album “Metallica”. To write their songs the guitarist Kirt Hammet and the bassist Jason make tapes of their ideas and give those tapes to the rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and the drummer Lars Ulrich, who use these ideas to create songs by adding their parts. This works for their band because they are all imputing something to the creative side of the song writing and because its not just one person writing the songs this gives them a range of material. “Enter Sandman” evolved from a guitar riff that Hammett wrote. Originally, the riff was 2 bars in length, but Ulrich suggested the first bar be played 4 times.  The song was quickly finished, but Hetfield did not come up with vocal melodies and lyrics for a long time after.

I find that when I’m writing songs I use a method not unlike this, where the lyrics evolve as the band discovers the conclusive sound that the song works to become. It can be argued that these songs are never finished because as you progress with your playing and ideas, songs inevitably change with you.

Hetfield felt that “Enter Sandman” sounded “catchy and kind of commercial” and so to contradict the sound, he wrote lyrics about “destroying the perfect family; a huge horrible secret in a family” that included references to crib death. When Enter Sandman was written this was the first time that Ulrich and the producer felt that the lyrics were not up to scratch with what the band can produce, nevertheless, according to Ulrich, the song was the “foundation, the guide to the whole record” even before it had lyrics. An instrumental demo was recorded on September 13, 1990.

The album Metallica was mostly recorded in Los Angeles at One on One Studios, between October 1990 and June 1991, although Ulrich, Hetfield, and Bob Rock, the producer, also recorded for a week in Vancouver, Canada between April and May 1991. As the first to be produced by Bob Rock, it was recorded differently than previous Metallica albums; Rock suggested that the band members record in the studio while playing together, rather than separately.

There are many advantages to this. Songs that are recorded together normally don’t sound over produced and have a live feel to then which engages the listeners. Although a good this, this can be hard for a band performing a new song and because the artists have to be in different rooms there’s always the chance that the chemistry between the band is not reflected in the song. “Enter Sandman” had what Hetfield described as a “wall of guitars”— three rhythm guitar tracks of the same riff played by himself to create a “wall of sound”. According to engineer Randy Staub, close to 50 takes of the drums were recorded because Ulrich did not record the song in its entirety, but rather recorded each section of the song separately. Because it was difficult to get in one take the “intensity” that the band wanted, numerous takes were selected and edited together. The bass guitar sound also gained importance with Rock; as Newsted states, Metallica’s sound was previously “very guitar-oriented” and that “when he [Rock] came into the picture, bass frequencies also came into the picture.”

As the first single, “Enter Sandman” was also the first song to be mixed, a task that took roughly ten days because the band and Bob Rock had to create the sound for the entire album while mixing the song. “Enter Sandman” was the first music video from Metallica, and the band’s second ever. It was also the first of six Metallica music videos directed by Wayne Isham. Recorded on July 3, 1991 in Los Angeles, it premiered on July 30, 1991, two weeks before the release of the album.

The plot of the music video directly relates to the theme of the song, combining images of a child having nightmares and images of an old man with shots of the band playing the song. The child dreams that he is drowning, falling from the top of a building, covered in snakes, being chased by a truck and finally falling from a mountain while escaping the truck. During the part of the song in which the child recites a prayer, he is being watched by the Sandman. Throughout the video, the picture flickers continuously. The music video won Best Hard Rock Video at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Andrew Blackie of PopMatters has said the video’s “narrative suits the sludgy riffs and James Hetfield’s twisted lullaby lyric”.


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