The Memory Remains

The Memory Remains
"The Memory Remains"
Single by Metallica
from the album ReLoad
B-side Fuel for Fire/Memory
The Outlaw Torn/King Nothing
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Haven't Heard it Yet Mix)
Released November 11, 1997
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Heavy metal
Length 4:38
Label Elektra
Writer(s) James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Producer Bob Rock with Hetfield and Ulrich
Metallica singles chronology
"Bleeding Me"
"The Memory Remains"
"The Unforgiven II"

"The Memory Remains" is a song by Metallica from their 1997 album ReLoad. It was first performed live in a "jam" version on July 2, 1996.[1] The song is about a once-great, now forgotten celebrity who is desperate to regain her fame but is driven half-mad by her obscurity.[citation needed] The song features British singer-songwriter Marianne Faithfull performing backing vocals.

The song was the first single from the album. It was written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Part of the intro riff is similar to their earlier song "Fade to Black" and to Black Sabbath's song "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". The song can be heard playing in the strip club "Bada Bing!" in the episode of The Sopranos, "The Knight in White Satin Armor".


Other versions

The band, with Marianne Faithfull, performed the song on the December 6, 1997 edition of Saturday Night Live. A live version of the song was released as b-side to the single "The Unforgiven II". It was later performed with the San Francisco Symphony (conducted by Michael Kamen) on S&M. Another live version was included on Orgullo, Pasión y Gloria.


Several bands have covered the song (either live or on record), including The Kovenant, Spleen, Iron Horse and The Stanford Harmonics.

Chart performance

The single was successful, hitting #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #13 on the UK Singles Chart. It was Metallica's last appearance in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 until 2008's "The Day That Never Comes".

Music video

The "Memory Remains" music video (directed by Paul Andresen) features a surreal, anti-gravity concept. The band plays on a large, suspended platform making full and continuous rotations throughout the performance, like an enormous swing. The platform and band are actually stationary and the room, a giant constructed box, spins around it like the ride "Hex" at Alton Towers in the UK. Marianne Faithfull sings in a dark corridor and turns the crank of a street organ. In some scenes money rains down, an allegorical reference.

According to Encyclopedia Metallica, the video was shot at the Van Nuys Airport and cost $400,000, with the large platform costing over $100,000. The video premiered on MTV's Mattrock on November 15, 1997.[1]

Track listing

CD Single (UK pt. 1)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Memory Remains"   James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 4:38
2. "Fuel for Fire" (work in progress with different lyrics) Hetfield, Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 4:41
3. "Memory" (demo) Hetfield, Ulrich 6:41
CD Single (UK pt. 2)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Memory Remains"   Hetfield, Ulrich 4:38
2. "The Outlaw Torn" (Unencumbered by Manufacturing Restrictions Version) Hetfield, Ulrich 10:48
3. "King Nothing" (Tepid Mix) Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 5:07
CD 2-track Single (US & Canada) & 7" Single (Europe)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Memory Remains"   Hetfield, Ulrich 4:38
2. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Haven't Heard It Yet Mix) Hetfield, Ulrich, Cliff Burton 4:39


Additional performer
  • "The Memory Remains", "Fuel for Fire", and "The Outlaw Torn" produced by Bob Rock with Hetfield and Ulrich
  • "The Memory Remains" and "Fuel for Fire" mixed by Randy Staub
  • "The Outlaw Torn" mixed by Mike Fraser
  • "The Memory Remains" and "The Outlaw Torn" mastered by George Marino
  • "King Nothing" (Tepid Mix) remixed by Sascha Konietzko
  • "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Haven't Heard It Yet Mix) remixed by DJ Spooky


  1. ^ a b The Memory Remains Retrieved March 21, 2008.

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