Legendary. Everybody recognizes the name of this band whether they hate it or love it or haven't ever even heard about them. They released four real thrash metal classics in the years between 1983 and 1988: Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and ...And Justice For All. Then something happened. They got a new producer, Bob Rock and they wanted to make themselves even more popular after their hit song by accident, One. James Hetfield, the riff guitar and vocals of the band once said that they made long not very radio friendly songs because they thought that this type of music would never get radio plays. They were wrong but still made sure on the next album that they would now record some real hits.
In 1991, Metallica (The Black Album) was released. And it was huge! No more thrash metal which pissed some people off. Enter Sandman & Nothing Else Matters... they hit the jackpot. This album made them the hottest band of that time. It has sold more than 15 million copies in the US which means that every 20th Americano owns this album. Now there was no returning to thrash metal.
Metallica continued by releasing southern rock and more commercial hard rock. They did alright but weren't as big as The Black Album. Their die-hard fans continued criticizing. Then they made a cover album and a live album with San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra.
Their most criticized album St. Anger was released in 2003. And yeah, this album is shit. Heavy metal without guitar solos and with a drum kit that I could assemble in my very own kitchen. It really sounded horrible.
Seems like they sought compromises for a long time without finding solution. Then they finally returned back to thrash in 2008 with the album Death Magnetic. I'm not sure if it's the kind of album they wanted to make but the fans have spoken.
And the album is great.
Quite similar to Metallica's story. Their former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine formed this band after getting kicked from the band and formed Megadeth. They got their record deal, like Metallica and made two thrash metal classics: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? and Rust in Peace (which is maybe my favorite album of all time!) and even got popular with that. However they wanted more too. They 'sold out' at the same time as Metallica and released Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth has returned to heavier metal in the last years. They were once accused of creating the whole pop-metal scene. But how can you hate a song like this?? (The album which this song is off has been spitted on, a lot.)
Okay, Metallica completely changed their style but Dave Mustaine's style stayed the same. Both started making more simply songs. Sad but true, simply songs are the most popular ones.
Anyway, Megadeth is maybe my favorite metal band so everything they've done, I see it as perfect.
Is it really so big deal when a band sells out? I think that Metallica, at least, reached their limits and the end of the road with AJFA and it was evitable for them. World doesn't run out of real thrash metal bands guys. And yeah, selling out is what happens when you combine making music with money.