The iconic 1991 single appears on the metal titans’ ‘The Black Album’, which was reissued this month to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Alongside the album reissue came ‘The Metallica Blacklist’, a mammoth covers album featuring Taylor and many, many more. Elsewhere on the album, Rina Sawayama has covered ‘Enter Sandman’, Idles have taken on ‘The God That Failed’ and Royal Blood have reinterpreted ‘Sad But True’. The likes of St. Vincent, Biffy Clyro, Phoebe Bridgers, Mac DeMarco and Weezer have also contributed to the project.
As part of a four-part interview with Knotfest.com’s Ryan J. Downey, Taylor discussed the impact of ‘Enter Sandman’ on his generation.
“One of the first songs I ever learned how to play on guitar was ‘Enter Sandman’,” Taylor said. “Because that was kind of our generation’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ or ‘Smoke On The Water’. It’s one of those riffs that… I like to call it the Guitar Center virus.
“Anybody who comes in is either playing ‘Sandman’, ‘Crazy Train’, ‘Smoke On The Water’ or ‘Stairway’ or ‘Whole Lotta Love’… You have those gateway riffs where you go, ‘Oh, I figured it out.’”
“I sat down one day, as I got better at guitar, and I went back and listened to the first four Metallica albums and just started woodshedding and learning all these riffs,” he added. “And it became a sort of language that you could speak to other musicians when you’re jamming for the first time. If you kicked into ‘Blitzkrieg’ or something, or if you kicked into ‘Ride The Lightning’ and just started, and they kicked in with you, you knew you were off to the races, because you don’t just learn that riff; you learn the whole tune and you just go for it.”
Reviewing ‘The Metallica Blacklist’, NME wrote: “This is a record that makes ‘DONDA’ look positively zippy. Inevitably, the record descends into a series of multi-band cover-offs, the listener acting as Caesar, deciding which ‘winning’ version should really have made the cut. Half the time you feel like you’re doing the compiler’s job for them.”