Was “Enter Sandman” the best Metallica song they wrote? I don’t think so, but then it wasn’t up to me to decide. The Metallica fans decided. Kirk Hammett didn’t think it was going to sell a gazillion copies either…but it did.
When it was released in 1991, “Enter Sandman” quickly became Metallica’s biggest hit, selling more than 1 million copies in the U.S. and prompting the sales of more than 30 million copies of the group’s self-titled album. All of which came as a total surprise for guitarist Kirk Hammett. “‘Enter Sandman’ never struck me as being a hit song,” Hammett says. “None of those songs ever struck me as being hit songs. They struck me as being just really good, concise songs with great periods of heaviness and great periods of melody.”
In fact, Hammett says he was so sure “Enter Sandman” wouldn’t be successful, he made a bet with producer Bob Rock that the single would fail. “I was, like, ‘I’ll give you my Porsche 911 Carrera if that happens,'” Hammett says. “And guess what? It happened. And guess what? I had to give him my Porsche 911 Carrera.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I would probably have let Kirk keep the Porsche. If it were a Mercedes Benz..different story. Where are the keys?