Metallica gave the world many classic rock songs, however, only one of them stands as Lars Ulrich’s favorite. He revealed which song is his favorite in an interview — and how he likes to play it live. Interestingly, Metallica producer Bob Rock had a strong reaction to the same song as well.
Why Lars Ulrich loves his favorite Metallica song
During a 2020 interview with Kathleen Johnston of GQ, Ulrich discussed many of “firsts,” including the first time he met a fan, the first time he sang karaoke, and the first time he played for a live audience. In addition, Johnston asked Ulrich which Metallica song was his favorite. “‘Sad But True,’” he replied. “I just love playing that song. I play it a little differently each time. I love the tempo and giving it a different interpretation every time I play it.”
How the world reacted to Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’
“Sad But True” clearly means a lot to Ulrich. However, it’s certainly not the American public’s favorite Metallica song. The track reached No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100. Considering Metallica released top 40 hits, “Sad But True” is not one of their more popular singles. On the other hand, the song’s parent album, Metallica, fared better on the charts, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
How Bob Rock reacted to Metallica’s ‘Sad But True’
Ulrich isn’t the only one who had a strong reaction to “Sad But True.” During an interview with Blabbermouth, producer Bob Rock said he initially became interested in Metallica because he bought their classic album …And Justice for All. “I bought the Justice album,” he said. “I liked the song that I saw on MTV, ‘One’… So I listened to the record, and there was just no bottom end, and I’m going, ‘Okay. This is kind of interesting’.… Anyway, so I went to see The Cult and I stayed for Metallica.”
Rock revealed he wasn’t a fan of …And Justice for All because he didn’t think it made sense. However, he acknowledged the album became a “standard” for a lot of people. Rock had a much different reaction when he heard “Sad But True.”
“They flew up to Vancouver and we had a meeting. They brought a cassette deck. And they played it. And I’m just listening to the demos. I heard ‘Sad But True’ and I went, ‘Phew! Wow!’ It was all there — the tempos. In my head, I was just going, ‘I can do this. I can make a great record.’” Rock would subsequently work on Metallica’s self titled album and other albums from the band.
It’s notable that both Ulrich and Rock were very fond of the temp of “Sad But True.” While “Sad But True” wasn’t a huge hit, the song clearly had an impact on two rock legends.