"Hero of the Day"
Single by Metallica
from the album Load
B-sideSee below
ReleasedSeptember 9, 1996[1]
RecordedDecember 13, 1995
StudioThe Plant (Sausalito, California)
Genre
Length4:21
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Metallica singles chronology
"Until It Sleeps"
(1996)
"Hero of the Day"
(1996)
"Mama Said"
(1996)
Music video
"Hero of the Day" on YouTube

"Hero of the Day" is a power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica from their 1996 album Load. The song was recorded on December 13, 1995, at Plant Studios in Sausalito, California.[4] "Hero of the Day" was Metallica's second single release from the album. The song became their second consecutive number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and reached number two in Australia, number three in Finland and number eight in Norway. The song is one of the few Metallica songs written primarily in a major key. A promotional video for the track was also filmed.

The "Hero of the Day" single is notable for including four Motörhead cover songs, recorded live direct to two-track at The Plant Studios during a rehearsal for Lemmy's 50th Birthday Party at Los Angeles' Whiskey A Go-Go nightclub.[5] These B-sides were later released on the second CD of the Garage Inc. compilation in 1998.[6]

History

According to an article in the rock music magazine Kerrang, around the time of Load's release, the demo for the song was entitled "Mouldy" due to the main riff reminding James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of a typical Bob Mould sound. The demo was recorded on December 10, 1994, one of the earliest demo recordings for the Load sessions (the first demo to be recorded was for "Wasting My Hate" on November 28, 1994).[7]

Critical reception

Discussing the style of the song, Loudwire opined "Hero of the Day" to be a "mellifluous saunter into soft rock territory".[3] Terry Bezer of Louder Sound called the song "epic".[8]

Music video

The music video for this song was directed by Anton Corbijn and features a drug-addled youth watching a television, with every channel featuring Metallica in some way. A Western movie titled Load is featured, starring Newsted and Hetfield, followed by a boxing match with Hetfield as coach, and Newsted and Kirk Hammett as the fighters. After a drink called "Load" is advertised by Ulrich and Hetfield in matching suits, a game show called "Hero of the Day" (which is a parody of Jeopardy!) is seen being played of which Jason Newsted is the host. Then, it cuts to the news with the anchorman played by Hammett and featuring a clip of Hetfield singing the lyrics to the song. A girl calls at the youth's house and they later try having sex, but the young man is unaroused, and leans back in his bed, visibly disappointed.[9] The girl later leaves. At the end, the youth passes out, and dreams of tiny robot creatures, rendered in stop motion, emerging from his ear. He awakes from the dream and vomits into his toilet.[10]

Track listings

US CD and cassette single[11][12]
No.TitleLength
1."Hero of the Day"4:22
2."Kill/Ride Medley" (live at Castle Donington, England, August 26, 1995)10:17
UK CD1[13]
No.TitleLength
1."Hero of the Day"4:22
2."Overkill"4:07
3."Damage Case"3:53
4."Hero of the Day" (Outta B-Sides Mix)6:34
UK CD2[14]
No.TitleLength
1."Hero of the Day"4:22
2."Stone Dead Forever"5:06
3."Too Late Too Late"3:18
4."Mouldy" (aka "Hero of the Day"—early demo version)5:22
UK limited-edition maxi-CD single (MotörheadACHE)[15]
No.TitleLength
1."Hero of the Day"4:22
2."Overkill"4:07
3."Damage Case"3:53
4."Stone Dead Forever"5:06
5."Too Late Too Late"3:18
Japanese EP[16]
No.TitleLength
1."Hero of the Day"4:24
2."Mouldy" (aka "Hero of the Day"—early demo version)5:24
3."Hero of the Day" (Outta B Side Mix)6:35
4."Stone Dead Forever"4:50
5."Damage Case"3:38
6."Too Late Too Late"3:13

Charts and certifications

References

  1. ^ "Hero of the Day". Release date. Metallica.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Mark (December 3, 1997). "Metallica's 'Re-Load': Bludgeon The Drum Slowly". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Every Metallica Song Ranked". Loudwire. October 14, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Metallica: Fuel and Fire ISBN 978-1-896-52209-8 p. 165
  5. ^ Metallica: Fuel and Fire ISBN 978-1-896-52209-8 p. 174
  6. ^ "Metallica Cover Songs - Other bands songs that Metallica have covered". Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2012.
  7. ^ metallica.com: releases
  8. ^ Bezer, Terry (June 4, 2014). "Why Load is Metallica's last great album". Louder Sound. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  9. ^ Corbijn, Anton (director). Hero of the Day (Music video). Elektra Records.
  10. ^ "mvdbase.com - Metallica - "Hero of the day [version 1]"". mvdbase.com. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Hero of the Day (US CD single disc notes). Metallica. Elektra Records. 1996. 64248-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  12. ^ Hero of the Day (US cassette single cassette notes). Metallica. Elektra Records. 1996. 64248-4.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  13. ^ Hero of the Day (UK CD1 disc notes). Metallica. Vertigo Records. 1996. METCD 13, 578 575-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  14. ^ Hero of the Day (UK CD2 disc notes). Metallica. Vertigo Records. 1996. METCX 13, 578 577-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  15. ^ Hero of the Day (UK limited maxi-CD single disc notes). Metallica. Vertigo Records. 1996. METCY 13, 578 579-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ Hero of the Day (Japanese EP liner notes). Metallica. Sony. 1996. SRCS 8135.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  18. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  19. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "Billboard: Hits of the World". Billboard. 16 November 1996. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13 no. 42. October 19, 1996. p. 18. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  22. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13 no. 40. October 5, 1996. p. 16. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Metallica: Hero of the Day" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  24. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  25. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13 no. 44. November 2, 1996. p. 16. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  26. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (26.9. – 2.10. '96)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). September 27, 1996. p. 16. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  27. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Hero of the Day". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  28. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  29. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  30. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  31. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day". VG-lista. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  33. ^ "Metallica – Hero of the Day". Singles Top 100. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  36. ^ "Metallica Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  37. ^ "Metallica Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  38. ^ a b "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1996". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  39. ^ "Årslista Singlar – År 1996" (in Swedish). Hitlistan. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2019.