The song was ranked as having the 24th best guitar solo ever by Guitar World readers. The song peaked at number on Swiss Singles Chart in The song's lyrics address suicidal feelings. James Hetfield commented on the "Black freaky singles" in a interview with Guitar World:.
That song was a big step for us. It was pretty much our first ballad, so we knew it would freak people out Recording that song, I learned how frustrating acoustic guitar can be. You could hear every squeak, so I had to be careful.
I wrote the song at a friend's house in New Jersey. I was pretty depressed at the time because our gear had just been stolen, and we had been thrown out of our manager's house
Black freaky singles breaking shit and drinking his liquor cabinet dry. It's a suicide song, and we got a lot of flak for it, as if kids were killing themselves because of the song.
But we also got hundreds of letters from kids telling us how they related to the song and that it made them feel better. Since its release, "Fade to Black" has been a fixture in Metallica's live performances.
It was also the last song that Metallica performed live with former bassist Jason Newsted before he left the band. It was one of his favorite Metallica songs, and was said to be of great sentimental value to him, although it had been written before he had joined the band. His Black freaky singles band, Flotsam and Jetsamperformed a Black freaky singles called "Fade to Black" on their album Doomsday for the Deceiver before he left to join Metallica.
Hetfield's guitar protected him from the full force of the blast; however, the fire engulfed most of his left side, burning his hand, both arms, eyebrows, face and hair.
Black freaky singles suffered second and third-degree burns, but was back on stage 17 days later, although his guitar duties were delegated to former guitar tech and Metal Church guitarist John Marshall for four weeks while he made a full recovery.
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