Metallica – Nothing Else Matters (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)


Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” is a song for ages. Possibly one of the greatest songs of the 20th century and it’s still one of the most played songs in live concerts. Why? Because this song has the power to move people. A song that was never meant to be released, later became the identity of metal band Metallica.

“Nothing Else Matters” is released on Metallica’s fifth studio album, also titled “Metallica”. This album also marks a turning point in the band’s history, as they turn somewhat towards integrating their music and as a result, the album has sold over 16 million copies in the years alone. United States. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album at number 252 on the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. Additionally, the album spent 363 weeks on the Billboard charts, making it one of the longest running albums of all time. However, due to this subtle shift in their music in an effort to make it more mainstream, Metallica lost some of their die-hard fans and hence this album is forever labeled a “Black Album”.

metallica nothing else matters band members

Metallica band members: James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo

“Nothing Else Matters” was released as the third single from this album and entered the top 10 on most music charts around the world. The song was written by James Hetfield, while talking on the phone with his girlfriend while on tour. The song began as a personal confession by James and was never intended for release as a song. However, when Lars Ulrich felt the lyrics, he insisted on making a song out of it. James spoke about the song in an interview with The Village Voice.

“It’s absolutely crazy, it was the song that I thought was the least Metallica, the least likely to be played by us, the last song anyone would really want to hear. It was a song for me in my room on tour when I was depressed from being away from home. It’s pretty amazing, it’s a real testament to honesty and to expose yourself, to show yourself and to take the risk, to take the bet someone will either step on your heart with spikes or put their heart right next to it, and you never know until you try.

Watch Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” Music Video

Download the single “Nothing Else Matters” on iTunes and Amazon

In light of what James had to say about the song, we’ll explore the song’s lyrics below.

“Nothing Else Matters” Song Lyrics & Meaning Review

Verse 1

James Hetfield composed this song while the band was recording the Black Album in San Francisco. During a break from the recording sessions, James phoned his girlfriend and jotted down the opening verses of “Nothing Else Matters” with his free hand.

The first verse explains how James feels as he has to rely on a long-distance relationship most of the time due to the band’s busy schedule. The verse actually talks about a pretty strong bond between James and his girlfriend. Because they make each other feel like they’re closer even when they’re miles apart. It was truly a bond of the heart. How do they do? Trust is the key. They know each other so well and they trust each other. And nothing else matters in a relationship, if two souls are so intertwined.

Never opened up that way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All those words I didn’t just say
And nothing else matters

The second part of verse 1 is in a confessional mode of James. Love made him open to the vulnerabilities of life. And no matter what obstacle stands between them, they can overcome it if they live faithfully to each other. James doesn’t just say these things. He thinks them.

The third part of the first verse could talk about his relationship and the new direction of the group. He seeks trust and he finds it in his girlfriend. He could also ask his fans to trust them in their new musical trajectory. A new obstacle could come between his relationship or even the group. He must remain open-minded for this long-distance relationship to work. And he wants fans to be open-minded about this new change, too.


Again, these lyrics could be about the girlfriend or the band. In the relationship, James left little to no room for third party opinions about the relationship or the girlfriend. He wouldn’t care what anyone said of her, as long as he could trust her. Because he knows her. From the group’s perspective, it could mean something similar. James doesn’t care what other people think of their new direction. Because he and the rest of the band members know this is the right way.

The balance lyrics are different compositions of the same lyrics that appeared above, so we won’t go into detail about them.

Watch Metallica Perform “Nothing Else Matters” Live

However, it seems that James Hetfield started writing lyrics about his relationship and very subtly merged a different theme into it. So even if you decode the meaning as a description of his relationship with his girlfriend or a spokesperson for the change Metallica is going through, it still makes perfect sense.

What are your opinions on this song? How does this song make you feel? Let us know in the comments below. If you enjoyed the annotation, share it with other metalheads.

Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” Full Lyrics

Acoustic cover of “Nothing Else Matters”

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