Until It Sleeps

"Until It Sleeps" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on May 20, 1996, as the lead single from their 1996 album, Load. It was the band's first number one song on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, as well as their first and only song as of the release of Hardwired... to Self-Destruct to hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, debuting and peaking at number 10. Outside the US, the song topped the charts of Australia, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, and Sweden. Moby produced a remix of the song, titled "Until It Sleeps (Herman Melville Mix)".

"Until It Sleeps"
Metallica - Until It Sleeps cover.jpg
Single by Metallica
from the album Load
B-side
ReleasedMay 20, 1996 (1996-05-20)[1]
Recorded1995
Genre
Length4:30
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Metallica singles chronology
"Sad but True"
(1993)
"Until It Sleeps"
(1996)
"Hero of the Day"
(1996)
Music video
"Until It Sleeps" on YouTube

VersionsEdit

The song was performed with orchestral accompaniment on the album S&M. An early demo version of this song was entitled "F.O.B.D." (recorded on December 8, 1995) because it reminded the band members of the Soundgarden song "Fell on Black Days", in that the "It grips you...It stains you..." refrain is in the same 6/4 time signature that "Fell on Black Days" is in. The band can be heard saying "Fell on Black Days" on the fanclub-only Fancan 1 CD just prior to jamming on a portion of "Until It Sleeps". The 10-inch vinyl version of the single is red in color. Moby, credited as "Herman Melville", did an industrial-sounding remix used as a B-side.[3]

"Until It Sleeps" became the first "officially" pirated MP3 when it was released by Compress 'Da Audio (a piracy group and spinoff of the Warez scene) via an Internet Relay Chat network on August 10, 1996. An EFnet member on the #mpeg3 IRC channel named Coyote666 was responsible for creating the first mp3 ripping software.[4]

LyricsEdit

The lyrics of the song, written by Hetfield, address his mother's battle with cancer, to which the "it" in the title refers. They can be seen as either describing the emotional pain he feels for the loss, or the physical pain his mother was feeling while she was ill. Both of his parents were Christian Scientists, and did not believe in medicine. The lyrics are also interpreted as dealing with anger issues. Hetfield's father, Virgil, died in late 1996, during Metallica's Load tour.

Music videoEdit

The song also has a music video directed by Samuel Bayer (Nirvana, Green Day, The Smashing Pumpkins). It was shot in various locations around Los Angeles on May 6 and 7 in 1996. It was premiered by MTV on May 21.[5] The video depicts surreal concepts dealing with the fall of man, taken from various paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. Apart from the general forms inspired from Bosch's paintings, the prominent figures in the video are the human-eating monster from The Garden of Earthly Delights, the fall of Adam and Eve from Haywain and Christ in the Crucifige Eum (Crucify Him) scene of Ecce Homo. The video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 1996.[citation needed]

AwardsEdit

The song won a 1996 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Award for Song of the Year.[6]

Track listingsEdit

US CD single[7]
No.TitleLength
1."Until It Sleeps"4:33
2."Overkill"4:07
UK and European CD1[8]
No.TitleLength
1."Until It Sleeps"4:33
2."2 X 4" (live at Castle Donington, England)6:06
3."F.O.B.D." (aka Until It Sleeps – early 'writing in progress' version)4:56
UK and European CD2[9]
No.TitleLength
1."Until It Sleeps" 
2."Kill/Ride Medley" (live at Castle Donington, England) 
3."Until It Sleeps" (Herman Melville mix) 
Japanese EP[10]
No.TitleLength
1."Until It Sleeps" 
2."Until It Sleeps" (Herman Melville Mix) 
3."Kill/Ride Medley" (live at Castle Donington, England) 
4."2 X 4" (live at Castle Donington, England) 
5."Overkill" (live at the Plant Studios in Sausalito, California) 
6."F.O.B.D." (aka Until It Sleeps – early 'writing in progress' version) 

Charts and certificationsEdit

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom May 20, 1996
  • 10-inch vinyl
  • CD
Vertigo [1]
United States May 21, 1996
  • CD
  • cassette
Elektra [53]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. May 18, 1996. p. 25.
  2. ^ Jenkins, Mark (December 3, 1997). "Metallica's 'Re-Load': Bludgeon The Drum Slowly". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  3. ^ Thump 'n Grind
  4. ^ Witt, Stephen (April 21, 2015). "The Man Who Broke the Music Business". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 24, 2015.
  5. ^ Metallica In For a Lollapalooza of a Summer
  6. ^ Metal Edge, June 1997
  7. ^ Until It Sleeps (US CD single disc notes). Metallica. Elektra Records. 1996. 64276-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ Until It Sleeps (UK & European CD1 disc notes). Metallica. Vertigo Records. 1996. METCD 12, 578 145-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  9. ^ Until It Sleeps (UK & European CD2 liner notes). Metallica. Vertigo Records. 1996. METCX 12, 578 135-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  10. ^ アンティル・イット・スリープス (Japanese EP liner notes). Metallica. Sony Records. 1996. SRCS 8062.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  11. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  12. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9529." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 3025." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 24. June 15, 1996. p. 14. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  18. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 24. June 15, 1996. p. 12. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  19. ^ "Metallica: Until It Sleeps" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  20. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in French). Les classement single.
  21. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  22. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 30. July 27, 1996. p. 14. Retrieved February 16, 2020. See LW column
  23. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (6.7. – 12.7. '96)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). July 6, 1996. p. 26. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Until It Sleeps". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  25. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13, no. 25. June 22, 1996. p. 16. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 23, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  27. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  28. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps". Top 40 Singles.
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  30. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
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  33. ^ "Metallica – Until It Sleeps". Swiss Singles Chart.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  35. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  36. ^ "Metallica Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  37. ^ "Metallica Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "Metallica Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  39. ^ a b "1996 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  40. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1996" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  41. ^ "Rapports annuels 1996" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  42. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
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  44. ^ "Árslistinn 1996". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1997. p. 16. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1996" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  46. ^ "Årslista Singlar, 1996" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  47. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1996". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  48. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Metallica – Until It Sleeps". Recorded Music NZ.
  49. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway.
  50. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 17, 2011.
  51. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1996". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 109 (3): 61. January 18, 1997. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  52. ^ "American single certifications – Metallica – Until It Sleeps". Recording Industry Association of America.
  53. ^ "Until it Sleeps". Metallica.com. Retrieved August 7, 2016.