Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 27, 1984, through independent record label Megaforce Records. It was certified gold by the RIAA on November 5, 1987, and 6x platinum on December 13, 2012.


In July 1983, Metallica released their debut studio album, titled Kill 'Em All through Megaforce Records. On February 20, 1984, the band began work on their second album, titled Ride the Lightning, at Sweet Silence StudiosCopenhagenDenmark. The album was produced under Flemming Rasmussen, founder of Sweet Silence Studios, who also went on to produce the band's following two albums: Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All. Metallica finished recording Ride the Lightning on March 14, 1984, and it was released through Megaforce on July 27. On September 12, Metallica signed with major label Elektra Records who re-released the album on November 19.

Ride the Lightning is the last Metallica album to credit former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine with co-writing any songs. He was kicked out of the band in 1983, prior to the recording of Kill Em' All. He is credited on the title track, "Ride the Lightning", and instrumental track "The Call of Ktulu". The album is also the first for which lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is given writing credits.

Track listingEdit

All lyrics written by James Hetfield

No. Title Music Length
1. "Fight Fire with Fire"   Hetfield, Lars UlrichCliff Burton 4:45
2. "Ride the Lightning"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Dave Mustaine 6:36
3. "For Whom the Bell Tolls"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 5:09
4. "Fade to Black"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Kirk Hammett 6:57
5. "Trapped Under Ice"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:04
6. "Escape"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 4:23
7. "Creeping Death"   Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett 6:36
8. "The Call of Ktulu" (Instrumental) Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Mustaine 8:53
Total length: 47:23

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