Metallica: Ride The Lightning - Ranking Every Song Worst To Best

The legendary thrash titan's second album in order of greatness.

metallica ride the lightning
Blackened Records

It's hard to remember a time now when Metallica weren't one of the biggest guitar bands in the known universe. The legendary Bay Area thrash outfit are widely regarded as one of the genre's leading lights and their late-eighties breakthrough to international superstardom made them one of the most recognised live acts in the world.

But before they embraced more conventional hard rock commercialism a handful of records into their career, they helped craft some of the period's most enduring albums, in particular with their sophomore effort Ride the Lightning.

Though it only peaked upon release at #100 in the United States, it's gone on to sell several million copies around the globe, and several of its songs are rightfully considered seminal cuts.

But just which of its eight tracks are the best? We've run the rule over all forty-seven minutes to pick out the best from the rest - and given just how much of it is the former rather than the latter made this tougher than it looks.

Still, from worst to best, here's Ride the Lightning - ranked.

8. Escape

Generally considered the black sheep of the eight tracks that make up Ride the Lightning, this mid-temp effort represented one of the band's first serious endeavours to marry their brand of thrash propulsion with something approaching more obvious commercial appeal, partially at the urging of their label.

It remains the least-played cut from the record on stage - once, in a full album performance at 2012's Orion Music + More Festival, in fact - and it lacks some of the melodic deftness showcased elsewhere on this record's other slower cuts too, never mind the more chart-friendly crossover efforts of fellow contemporaries Iron Maiden.

But nor is it the dud it often finds itself derided as either. It's far from tuneless and though it never ultimately made it to an intended single release, it lays the groundwork for the band's later work on The Black Album, which brought them serious singles appeal following an arguable organic extension of their approach here.

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Something of a culture vulture, Mr Steel can historically be found in three places; the local cinema, the local stadium or the local chip shop. He is an avowed fan of franchise films, amateur cricket and power-chords.