Metal Blade Records has reissued the legendary Metal Massacre Volume One compilation on vinyl for the first time since 1984. The repress dropped this past weekend on Record Store Day (April 22nd) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of both the highly influential LP and the label itself.
The first volume of Metal Massacre is a time capsule of early ’80s heavy metal. Curated by Metal Blade founder Brian Slagel and his friend John Kornarens, the 11-track comp was released in June of 1982 and featured some of the most iconic bands of the era. Metallica and Ratt made their debut appearances on the comp, with other underground heroes such as Cirith Ungol and Malice rounding out a diverse tracklist.
“We were using the Yellow Pages a lot,” said Kornarens of finding the bands, “total amateurs navigating the record like a high school project.”
Their legwork paid off, as Metal Blade can be credited with introducing the world to Metallica. The final track on the first pressing of Metal Massacre is an early version of “Hit the Lights” — the first song Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield wrote together. This youthful rendition featured the band’s first guitarist Lloyd Grant. For the 1984 repress of Metal Massacre (and this 40th anniversary edition), the Grant version of “Hit the Lights” was replaced by an updated recording with bassist Ron McGovney and future Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine.
“When I was putting together the compilation, [Lars] called me up,” said Slagel, recalling his conversation with a young Ulrich. “He was jamming with James and a couple other guys in their garage playing covers of Diamond Head and everything. Lars asked me, ‘Hey, if I put together a band and give you an original song, will you put it on the record?’ And I said, ‘Sure, of course.’ So that was basically the beginning of Metallica.”
Metal Blade are going full-on with the 40th anniversary festivities. In addition to the aforementioned vinyl repress, the label has teased a new documentary and announced the opening of a Metal Blade museum set for later this year in Las Vegas.
“So as we enter our 40th year, it is pretty crazy to think about that,” Slagel said. “The first thing I thought of was reissuing the first Metal Massacre album. I thought it would be difficult to get the rights etc.. it ended up being one of the easiest things as all the bands were super cool and now hopefully you got a copy!”
He added: “We’re still planning some cool shows and parties for this year so stay tuned for those! It’s been pretty overwhelming with all the stuff that’s happened so far and its certainly amazing — just all the things that have happened in the last 40 years and I thank all the people we have worked with over the years! And of course all of you out there for helping make this happen!!”
Pick up the Metal Massacre Volume One vinyl repress via Metal Blade. Below you can see the tracklist and view the documentary teaser.
Metal Massacre Volume One Tracklist:
01. Steeler – “Cold Day in Hell”
02. Bitch – “Live for the Whip”
03. Malice – “Captive of Light”
04. Ratt – “Tell the World”
05. Avatar – “Octave”
06. Black ‘n Blue – “Chains Around Heaven”
07. Cirith Ungol – “Death of the Sun”
08. Demon Flight – “Dead of the Night”
09. Pandemonium – “Fighting Backwards”
10. Malice – “Kick You Down”
11. Metallica – “Hit the Lights”