Metallica’s 1982 demo tape, No Life ‘Til Leather, was released as a limited edition cassette on Record Store Day in April 2015. It was released under the premise that it would also arrive in stores the following summer on CD, Vinyl and a limited edition box set. However, it has now been delayed due to legal issues.
The seven song tape was recorded with the first ever Metallica line-up, which included frontman James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, bassist Ron McGovney and drummer Lars Ulrich. Ulrich spoke exclusively to Metal Forces Magazine about the hold-up: “There were some unexpected difficulties on the legal side that prevented the No Life ’Til Leather box set and our vision for how we were going to kick this whole reissue series off. We spent some time doing that dance, but then James (Hetfield) and I decided that it wasn’t worth it getting bogged down in all the unpleasantries, because this was supposed to be a celebration and not end up being a tug of war, so we thought, you know what, f*ck it, we’ll just move on to Kill ’Em All.”
Even with the legal setback, Metallica and Ulrich haven’t given up hope on releasing the album at a later date. “As you know, I am the eternal optimist, and I am the eternal ‘glass is well f*cking half full,’ so who knows?” he said. “I think some of those parties have circled back around now that they’ve seen that this is real and so we’ll have to see. It would be great to share No Life ‘Til Leather in a year or two with our fans and with the people that care. We haven’t shut the door on it.”
No Life ‘Til Leather was recorded on 6 July 2016 in California. All of the songs on the tape later appeared on their 1983 debut studio album, Kill ‘Em All, along with the tracks Whiplash, No Remorse and (Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth. The Mechanix, was re-named to The Four Horsemen.
No Life ‘Til Leather: Track listing
01. Hit The Lights
02. The Mechanix
04. Seek & Destroy
05. Metal Militia
06. Jump In The Fire
07. Phantom Lord