No Life 'Til Leather

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No Life 'Til Leather
Metallica demo album


17th July 1982

Format (s)

Compact cassette

Genre (s)

Thrash metal

Title (number)


running time

29 min 41 s



Jay Ruston

Studio (s)

Chateau East Studio, Tustin

No Life 'Til Leather is the second demo by the US thrash metal band Metallica . It was released on July 17, 1982.


After the band released their first demo Power Metal with four songs in April 1982 , they wanted to bring out a second demo a short time later. To enable a professional-sounding recording, drummer Lars Ulrich tried to get an advance payment of $ 8,000 from Brian Slagel , the head of Metal Blade Records . Slagel refused, however. In the end, Ulrich found someone in Kenny Kane, owner of the punk-rock label High Velocity, who financed the recordings and wanted to release them as an EP . At that time Kane only knew various cover versions of NWoBHM songs from Metallica .

The demo was recorded on July 6, 1982 at the Chateau East Studio in Tustin , California . In addition to the four songs of the Power Metal demo, No Life 'Til Leather contains three new songs with Seek & Destroy , Metal Militia and Phantom Lord . An 8-track cassette was used for the recordings . The title of the demo comes from the first line of the song Hit the Lights and pays homage to the Motörhead live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith . Kenny Kene was not very enthusiastic about the music on the finished demo and refused to publish the demo. He still left the recording tapes to the musicians. The demo was finally released on July 17, 1982 on compact cassette . Metallica sent the demo on their own, sometimes as far as Japan .

Although the bass was recorded by Ron McGovney , his successor, Cliff Burton, is named as bassist on the supplement . All seven tracks were released a year later on the debut album Kill 'Em All , where The Mechanix is called The Four Horsemen . Guitarist Dave Mustaine , who had to leave Metallica before the release of Kill 'Em All and formed the band Megadeth , released Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! On their debut album . the same song under the name Mechanix .

Track list

  1. Hit the Lights - 4:19
  2. The Mechanix - 4:28
  3. Motorbreath - 3:18
  4. Seek & Destroy - 4:55
  5. Metal Militia - 5:17
  6. Jump in the Fire - 3:51
  7. Phantom Lord - 3:33


For Eduardo Rivadavia of the online magazine Ultimate Classic Rock , No Life 'Til Leather is "just three-quarters of Kill' Em All and packed with so much revolutionary Thrash Metal firepower" that it's "no wonder the demo is closing quickly became a worldwide tape trading sensation ”. According to British journalist Joel McIver, No Life 'Til Leather, along with Kill' Em All, "had an immense influence on Thrash Metal and the large extreme metal community". Journalist Bob Nalbandian is of the opinion that Metallica with No Life 'Til Leather were "one of the first US American bands to cause a stir with a demo". Matthias Herr also declared the demo to be the "most famous [...] that ever electrified the global underground" in his Heavy Metal Lexicon Vol. 1 . In addition, he saw in it the overtaking of the leading metal bands from England. It is referred to as "legendary" in the Rock Hard encyclopedia . On , Holger Andrae remembers how - in a positive sense - he was “stunned” about the playing technique.



The demo was re-released several times as a bootleg . One release was known as Metallica: Bay Area Thrashers or Bay Area Thrashers: The Early Days . The work, referred to as a live album from 1981, contained excerpts from the demo No Life 'Til Leather , which had underlaid audience noises and dialogues from the video Cliff' Em All . The band learned of the existence of this bootlegs, as the online - mail order company this album as UK Import offered. In spring 1998 the band took legal action against the bootleg and its creators. Amazon took the album out of its program, whereupon the album became a coveted collector's item. Another illegal re-release took place under the title Metallica: In the Beginning ... Live .

Official re-release

On the occasion of Record Store Day on April 18, 2015, the band officially re-released the demo on cassette. The musicians have brought the original recordings up to the status of 2015 without changing the original mix. The artwork of the cassette is borrowed from the copy by Lars Ulrich. The cassette was released in selected record stores and on the band's website .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Michael Rensen: Thrash, grief & triumphs . In: Rock Hard , April 2007 edition
  2. Joel McIver: Justice for All: The Truth About Metallica . Bosworth Music GmbH, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86543-368-8 , p. 86, 87 .
  3. ^ A b Eduardo Rivadavia: The History of Metallica's' No Life 'Til Leather'. Ultimate Classic Rock, accessed March 6, 2015 .
  4. a b c cf. McIver, p. 88
  5. Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 35
  6. cf. McIver, p. 84
  7. Matthias Herr: Matthias Herr's Heavy Metal Lexicon Vol. 1 . 2nd, revised edition. Verlag Matthias Herr, Berlin March 1993, Metallica, p. 107 ff .
  8. Holger Stratmann (Ed.): Rock Hard Enzyklopädie . 700 of the most interesting rock bands from the last 30 years. Rock Hard GmbH, Dortmund 1998, ISBN 3-9805171-0-1 , Metallica, p. 250 f .
  9. Holger Andrae: Classic 'Em All! In: April 2, 2014, accessed February 27, 2016 .
  10. a b cf. McIver, p. 333
  11. ^ Ari Bendersky: Metallica Attack Bootleggers. Rolling Stone , accessed March 6, 2015 .
  12. Metallica release remastered "No Life 'Til Leather" demo for Record Store Day. Rock Hard , accessed March 6, 2015 .