The previously announced expanded version of METALLICA's 1982 demo tape, "No Life 'Til Leather", which was supposed to arrive last summer on CD, vinyl and limited-edition deluxe box set, has been delayed due to legal issues.
"No Life 'Til Leather" was released as a limited-edition cassette for Record Store Day in April 2015, available exclusively in independent record stores. It featured artwork copies from drummer Lars Ulrich's own personal copy of the original demo, as well as his handwriting. At the time, the band also promised that expanded editions of the demo, which had never before been commercially available, would arrive on CD, vinyl and in a collector's set.
The seven-song tape was recorded with the first lineup of the band that appeared live as METALLICA, including Ulrich, frontman James Hetfield, lead guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist Ron McGovney. The original recordings were paid for by High Velocity record label owner Kenny Kane, with a view of making them available as an EP in 1982.
Speaking exclusively to Metal Forces, Ulrich explained why the expanded version of "No Life 'Til Leather" has not yet seen the light of day. "There were some unexpected difficulties on the legal side that prevented the 'No Life 'Til Leather' box set and our vision for how we were going to kick this whole reissue series off," he said. "We spent some time doing that dance, but then James and I decided that it wasn’t worth it getting bogged down in all the unpleasantries, because this was supposed to be a celebration and not end up being a tug of war, so we thought, 'You know what? Fuck it. We'll just move on to 'Kill 'Em All'."
Ulrich did not want to get into the details of the exact issues that are preventing the demo tape from being released. "It's a little more complicated than that," he revealed. "There's no reason to go deeper into it. It was just something that we hadn't expected."
The drummer made it clear, however, that METALLICA was still hopeful that the expanded version "No Life 'Til Leather" would arrive at a later date. "As you know, I am the eternal optimist, and I am the eternal 'glass is well fucking half full,' so who knows?" he said. "I think some of those parties have circled back around now that they've seen that this is real and so we'll have to see. It would be great to share 'No Life 'Til Leather' in a year or two with our fans and with the people that care. We haven't shut the door on it."
"No Life 'Til Leather" was recorded on July 6, 1982 at Chateau East Studio in Tustin, California. All the songs on the tape later appeared on the band's 1983 debut album, "Kill 'Em All", including "Hit The Lights", "Motorbreath", "Jump In The Fire", "Seek And Destroy", "Metal Militia", "Phantom Lord" and "The Mechanix", which was renamed "The Four Horsemen" on the album.
"No Life 'Til Leather" track listing:
01. Hit The Lights
02. The Mechanix
04. Seek & Destroy
05. Metal Militia
06. Jump In The Fire
07. Phantom Lord
"No Life 'Til Leather" recording lineup:
James Hetfield - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Lars Ulrich - drums
Dave Mustaine - lead guitar
Ron McGovney - bass