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Metallica’s James Hetfield reveals which track was never meant to be on ‘Ride The Lightning’

Posted by on March 14, 2017

Many of us are probably thinking about Metallica’s sophomore album Ride The Lightning today since the Northeast is basically “Trapped Under Ice.” Going back to this album that was released well over thirty years ago, could you imagine if it included only seven tracks? James Hetfield admitted one of these unforgettable tunes wasn’t meant for the album.

According to Ultimate Guitar, Hetfield said that “Escape” was unplanned and forced onto the album by the label. In a recent interview by Sopitas, Hetfield explained (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“”[‘Ride the Lightning’ album] 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 really last-minute. So ‘Escape’ was one of those songs that was written in the studio.”

With that being said, it’s obvious the track is the band’s least favorite since it took them roughly 28 years to play live. RTL was released on July 27, 1984, and the live premiere was on June 23, 2012, at the band’s Orion Music + More festival.

Hetfield announced the tune by saying:

“The song that we never wanted to play live, ever, is now on the setlist.”

Breaking down Ride The Lightning, you would think “Escape” fits perfectly on side B. It’s right after “Trapped Under Ice” and before the heavy closers with “Creeping Death” followed by one of their best instrumental tracks “The Call of Ktulu.”

As much as the band dislikes this tune, Ride The Lightning’s memory would remain incomplete without “Escape.”

“Feel no pain, but my life ain’t easy

I know I’m my best friend

No one cares, but I’m so much stronger

I’ll fight until the end

To escape from the true false world

Undamaged destiny

Can’t get caught in the endless circle

Ring of stupidity

Out for my own, out to be free

One with my mind, they just can’t see

No need to hear things that they say

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Rape my mind and destroy my feelings

Don’t tell me what to do

I don’t care now ’cause I’m on my side

And I can see through you

Feed my brain with your so-called standards

Who says that I ain’t right?

Break away from your common fashion

See through your blurry sight

Out for my own, out to be free

One with my mind, they just can’t see

No need to hear things that they say

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

See them try to bring the hammer down

No damn chains can hold me to the ground

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Life’s for my own, to live my own way

Life’s for my own, to live my own way”

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