Adam 12

11am - 4pm

August 12, 1991. Metallica releases their fifth album, turning the worlds of their long-time fans upside-down, while simultaneously igniting a new generation of fans.


We’ve marked the 30th anniversary of The Black Album by talking about what a game-changer it was for both the band and the music industry. We’ve also looked at how it was the first of a half-dozen albums to release over an insane 44-day stretch in 1991. But what we haven’t done is dug into the videos.


MTV was 10 years young in 1991 and still trafficked in music videos. And you’d be a fool to think they weren’t a driving force in Metallica’s rise to superstardom. The Black Album yielded five singles, and all five music videos featured prominently on the network. Do you remember them? Keep scrolling; you will.

  • "Enter Sandman"

    The clip for lead single “Enter Sandman” hit MTV a day after the song debuted on rock radio: July 30, 1991. Directed by Wayne Isham–who made his bones in the ’80s making music videos for Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Def Leppard and others–it was the first taste fans got of what The Black Album would look and sound like.

  • "The Unforgiven"

    “The Unforgiven” had a decidedly different look: stark, bleak, out-of-focus. It was the product of director Matt Mahurin, whose distinctive style permeated music videos in the ’90s. Clips from Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, and Bush all come to mind.

  • "Nothing Else Matters"

    1991: The year Metallica wrote a proper ballad. This was a bone of contention for die-hard Metallica fans at the time, but given the fact that the Adam Dubin-directed clip, which features footage of the band recording The Black Album, is up over ONE BILLION views on YouTube, I’d say history will judge it as a good move.

  • "Wherever I May Roam"

    Fun fact: Bands in the ’80s and ’90s who were lucky enough to go four singles deep on an album were contractually obligated to make a “performance montage” video for the fourth single. At least that’s what I heard.

  • "Sad But True"

    The band reunited with Wayne Isham for the fifth and final video from the album.