Metallica is an American heavy metal band, formed on October 28, 1981. They have become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of the recent decades, with more than 90 million albums sold worldwide, including 57 million albums sold in the United States. Metallica is also credited as one of the "big four" thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax.
When Ride The Lightning caught the attention of major labels, Metallica signed with Elektra Records. Their first release with Elektra was 1986's Master of Puppets, which would serve as their breakthrough album. Despite the fact that no singles were released from the album, the band received minor airplay from album tracks "Master of Puppets" and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)". The band gained even more exposure when they were asked to open for Ozzy Osbourne, and Master of Puppets climbed to number 29 on the Billboard Top Album Charts.Critics consider the album to be one of the "greatest heavy metal albums of all time".
On September 27, 1986, during the European leg, Cliff Burton was killed near Ljungby, Sweden when Metallica's tour bus skidded off an allegedly icy road and flipped over.Burton was thrown out of the window and the bus landed on top of him. It is debatable whether Burton was dead at this point or not, although he would certainly have been critically injured.