Metallica have had a career unlike anyone else. From their origins in garages and dive bars, the band found their footing and worked past pitfalls with early members including future Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, slugging their way to the top, where they churned out instant classic after instant classic: no other band has an opening decade of albums like Metallica's.
The core trio of James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett have held together since 1983, and each bassist - Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted and Robert Trujillo - have brought something new to the mix, each helping to define their own era of albums and off-stage antics.
One of the Big Four of thrash metal, alongside Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, Metallica parted ways with the genre in the early '90s in order to cultivate a new sound that, over the years, has taken in influences and elements from, amongst other genres, blues, classical, nu-metal and the Golden Age of Hollywood.
With many ups and downs across their near 40-year tenure, they have scaled the heights, plumbed the depths and, for the most part, come out on top. Metallica are undeniably one of the best bands in the world, but, at many stages of their career, they have also been the worst...