Undisputed kings of thrash, 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Metallica streamlined heavy metal. They unplugged the power, doubled the speed and wrapped themselves in a bleak worldview, poles apart from the party-rockers they helped sweep aside. Combining punk energy with progressive rock's intricacy, Metallica gained notice via metal's tape-trading underground in the early Eighties. It took nearly a decade for them to conquer the pop charts without compromising their initial sound with a self-titled album featuring this hit. "Enter Sandman" is a typically nightmarish tale from singer James Hetfield. It's awash in images of doom, darkness and death worthy of the Brothers Grimm, and replete with Lars Ulrich's drum heroics. "Enter Sandman" prompted restitution on the part of NARAS, who awarded Metallica a Grammy for best metal performance after ignoring them previously in favor of, er, Jethro Tull.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to a featured Metallica exhibit, including the "Scales of Justice" stage prop from 1988 and electric guitars belonging to James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett.
Metallica performs "Enter Sandman" live at the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Cleveland: