For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica song)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (Metallica song)

Infobox Single
Name = For Whom the Bell Tolls

Artist = Metallica
from Album = Ride the Lightning
A-side = "For Whom the Bell Tolls (Edit)"
Released = 1985
Format =
Recorded = Sweet Silence Studios Copenhagen, Denmark, 1984
Genre = Thrash metal
Length = 5:10
Label = Elektra Records
Writer = James Hetfield
Cliff Burton
Lars Ulrich
Producer = Metallica
Flemming Rasmussen
Mark Whitaker
Certification =
Chart position =
Last single = "Creeping Death"
This single = "'For Whom the Bell Tolls"
Next single = "Master of Puppets"

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" is a song by Metallica, the third track from their second album "Ride the Lightning". The song was composed by Cliff Burton, James Hetfield, and Lars Ulrich and the lyrics are based on Ernest Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls". The chromatic introduction, which is usually mistaken for an electric guitar, is in fact Cliff Burton playing his bass guitar through distortion and wah-wah. The intro was written by Burton before joining Metallica. Burton first played it in a 12-minute jam at a battle of the bands with his first band "Agent of Misfortune." [ [ Agents of Misfortune video.] ] The guitars in the song sound slightly sharper than a standard-tuned guitar should sound. However, this may not be intentional, as it is rumored that the song was sped up after recording. If the song was sped up too much or was sped up using low quality means, it would raise the pitch of the recording, thus apparently sharpening the guitar's tuning.However, James Hetfield's voice is the same pitch as the other songs on the album, therefore, most likely, only the pitch of the instrumentation was raised, not the speed.

Track listing

Side A:
#"For Whom the Bell Tolls" (5:11)

Other versions

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" has also appeared on Metallica's live 1999 album "S&M", in which Metallica performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Covers versions

*Drone metal band Sunn O))) recorded a very loose cover of the song on their album "Flight of the Behemoth", entitled "F.W.T.B.T."

*The song was also covered partially by pop rock band Sum 41 at the Metallica's MTV Icon special in 2003.

*Another punk rock band, Goldfinger, played a partial cover at Bumbershoot in 1996.

*The Moonsorrow EP Tulimyrsky features a cover of the song, and it adds approximately two and a half minutes to the original song; it is 7:43.

*The song was also covered by Apocalyptica for their album Inquisition Symphony in 1998.

Tribute versions

*The song was covered by Eric Bloom, Al Pitrelli, Tony Franklin, and Aynsley Dunbar for the album "Metallic Assault: A Tribute to Metallica".

*Tribute duo Harptallica recorded a harp version of the song on their album "".

ampled on

*A song by The Bloodhound Gang called "Mope" features the chromatic introduction riff in the chorus of the song.


*There is a remix of the song on the The Memory Remains single, entitled the "Haven't Heard It Yet Mix."

A remix by DJ Spooky appeared on the Spawn soundtrack. For some reason this song version is not available on any of the online versions of the CD except Napster; which ironically, Metallica sued in 2001.


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