Metallica enlists Miley Cyrus, Elton John, St Vincent and more for a 53-artist, 30th anniversary reworking of The Black Album

(Image credit: Midori Tsukagoshi/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

Upon its release in 1991, The Black Album supersized every aspect of Metallica's life. The gold records turned platinum. The arenas become stadiums as they went from underground overachievers to blue-chip FM radio perennials at the top of the charts.

To celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, Metallica has gone all in with the idea of going big. There is, of course, a deluxe remaster The Black Album available across a number of collectible formats. But bigger still, the San Francisco thrash pioneers have enlisted the help of 53 artists from across the world for The Metallica Blacklist, on which artists such as Miley Cyrus, IDLES, Volbeat, St Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers and more cover their favourite Black Album track.

Both albums drop digitally on 10 September, with physical releases following on 1 October. All proceeds of The Metallica Blacklist going to charity, with half to Metallica's All Within My Hands Foundationand the other to half charities of the participating artists' choice.

Ahead of the release, Metallica has shared a trailer for the project, and a promo video for Nothing Else Matters as performed by Myley Cyrus and featuring Rob Trujillo (well, he is in the band), Watt, Chad Smith, Yo-Yo Ma and Elton John.

Meanwhile, the trailer, posted below, offers tantalising snippets of some of the cover versions and an appreciation of the scale of the project – 53 artists covering 12 tracks making for a four-CD, seven-LP release. It's a lot for any Metallica fan to digest, and that's before they contemplate the covers. 

Some will be home runs. IDLES taking on The God That Failed sounds pretty cool. Jason Isbell giving Sad But True some strong Nashville Tele vibes should be a lot of fun. Likewise, St. Vincent goes all in on the album's heaviest track, too. Volbeat cover Don't Tread on me while Biffy Clyro put their own spin on Holier Than Thou.

There are plenty of takes on Nothing Else Matters, including PG Roxette's and a particularly interesting Phoebe Bridgers rendition that gives track a cool lo-fi spin, while Rodrigo Y Gabriella give Struggle Within a nylon-string workout. And then there are those that take the material and run with it, like Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin's take on Wherever I May Roam.

Both releases are being handled by Metallica's own Blackened Recordings imprint, with The Black Album remaster being issued on 180-gram double vinyl, standard and triple-CD expanded editions.

There's also a limited edition Deluxe Box Set comprising the 180G 2LPs, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs of live versions, rough mixes, demos and interviews, 6 DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), plus a 120-page hardcover book, four tour laminates, three lithos, three guitar picks, a Metallica lanyard, a folder with lyric sheets, and a download card.

See here to preorder The Black Album Remastered, and here for The Metallica Blacklist.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.