The Metallica classic Elton John called “one of the best songs ever written”

Alongside being one of the most successful artists of all time, Elton John has cemented his place as a national treasure by keeping up to date with music despite the multiple changes of the zeitgeist since he burst onto the scene in the late 1960s.

Recently, in the run-up to his career-crowning headline set at Glastonbury 2023, John gave fans a peek into his extensive music taste and revealed his love for a variety of contemporary movers and shakers. He even picked out four new artists for fans to look out for when revelling at Worthy Farm in an enlightening conversation with Clara Amfo on Future Sounds.

The most compelling pick of the bunch was that of the swaggering British duo Nova Twins, who have by far the heaviest sound of the small selection he compiled. Choosing their song ‘K.M.B.’ as an example of their might, John explained: “These girls rock my world. I’ve had them on the show, I’ve played their music’ till you know… It’s so wonderful what they’re doing.”

Although he might be closely associated with the pop world, fundamentally, Elton John is a rock artist, emerging from a school produced by the likes of Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. This means he has a penchant for the genre in all its forms, not to mention its most blistering. One band from rock’s heavier flank that John has made no bones about loving is thrash metal pioneers Metallica.

John is such a fan of Metallica that he appeared on their expansive 2021 album, The Metallica Blacklist, which sees various artists cover every track from 1991’s hit record, The Black Album. John featured on a rendition of the ballad ‘Nothing Else Matters’, alongside Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, Miley Cyrus, Chad Smith, Watt and Yo-Yo Ma.

When Metallica appeared on The Howard Stern Show in 2021 to promote the record, they were joined by Miley Cyrus, who performed ‘Nothing Else Matters’. Elton John was also on hand via Zoom to provide some kind words about the stirring track, and he expressed his deep love for it. He even described it as “one of the best songs ever written”.

“Listen, this is one of the best songs ever written,” he said. “It’s a song that never gets old. And playing on this track, I just couldn’t wait. The chord structure, the melodies, the time changes, it’s got drama written all over it.”

“I have to say, it was a no-brainer playing on this song,” he continued. “Metallica are probably the crème de la crème of those kind of bands. You can’t really define them. They’re not a heavy metal band. They’re a musical band. Their songs aren’t just heavy metal. They’re beautiful songs. This is such a melodic song — it’s fucking great, actually.”

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