I was once a little…um, okay, terribly obsessed with iTunes. I got my first iPod in 2004 and became immediately entranced by Apple’s seeming infinite lists of music for sale. Over the years, I spent way too much time on iTunes and spent way too much money on music, some of which was great, and some of which was not. In 2011, for the sake of my sanity and my bank account, I went cold turkey. I suspended my iTunes activities and completely stopped visiting site. With the iTunes Diaries, I take a look back, highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly in music that I just had to have in the moment.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I’m some master of thrash metal music. Because I’m not. In fact, if Metallica’s “One” from their …And Justice for All album hadn’t made it into Top 40 radio, and if I hadn’t been such a fan of the weekly list in the first place, then I probably might have never discovered the genre. Actually, that’s probably not entirely true. I might have traveled a more circuitous route to hardcore through the mainstreamier sounds of hair metal of the 80s and early 90s, because there aren’t a million degrees of separation between Motley Crüe and Slayer (in fact at least, if not in spirit). Regardless, hearing “One” on the radio, amid a musical landscape that was ruled by boy bands and girl talk, marked a decided turn in my aural tastes. (Funny thing though, I don’t have many Metallica songs on my iPod, even though I think they’ve got an amazing catalog up to The Black Album. But more on that another time.) What “One” did was introduce me to the driving, needful, and intense sounds of thrash. In my head, those sounds, well…they just stuck with me, and the addiction grew from there. I borrowed …And Justice for All from a friend and made a copy, and I got The Black Album as soon as it was released. It wasn’t long before I started craving more and tried to figure out ways to sneak in viewings of MTV’s Headbangers Ball. You’d have never known it by looking at me the metal fire that raged in my veins. I was just a ordinary, dorky high schooler.