Nothing Else Matters opens with an arpeggio in E minor with all strings open plucked. Legend has it that Hetfield, vocals and guitar, started writing this song while he was on the phone with his girlfriend, then with one hand free, hence the characteristic of the one hand incipit.

A too personal track

Published on April 20, 1992, Nothing Else Matters is one of Metallica‘s most famous and unusual songs.

Hetfield himself didn’t want to bring it out because he thought it was too personal. It was a piece he had written thinking about his first girl. It was the drummer Ulrich who insisted that the song should be released in the Black Album, and he was right: since then it has been played by Metallica in all concerts and often dedicated to fans.

Surprising Nothing Else Matters, something you’d not expect from Metallica, for what were their musical chrisms. Let’s think that Metallica initially drew inspiration from the stories of horror writers for their lyrics (The Thing That Should Not Be, The Call of Ktulu).

Perhaps it is this “amazement” that has contributed to making the piece a true legend. But if the song served to make them known more universally, Nothing else Matters was much criticised by some fans. They accused the band of becoming too commercial.

The lyrics of Nothing Else Matters

The lyrics of the song are very universal in their simplicity. Even if, as admitted several times, Helfield had written it thinking of a woman, the success of the piece lies in the fact that the same feeling provoked by the notes and words of Nothing Else Matters, can be referred to a friend, a brother.

Precisely because especially in the first verse, it also speaks of distance, so it goes beyond love banally understood in its carnal aspect. The distances that are filled, indeed, by a deep feeling that cancels them.