"Fade to Black" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the first single from their second album, Ride the Lightning. The song was ranked as having the 24th best guitar solo ever by Guitar World readers.
The song peaked at #100 on Swiss Singles Chart in 1984.
In an interview with drummer Lars Ulrich on the set of the production "MTV Icon: Metallica" in 2003, he recalls how he and bandmate James Hetfield were obsessed with death at the time the album and song were produced.
The song's lyrics address suicidal feelings. It begins with an acoustic guitar introduction and becomes progressively heavier as the song goes on, similar to their future songs, "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "One", and "The Day That Never Comes". James Hetfield commented on the song in a later interview,
"That song was a big step for us. It was pretty much our first ballad, so we knew it would freak people out... Recording that song, I learned how frustrating acoustic guitar can be. You could hear every squeak, so I had to be careful. I wrote the song at a friend's house in New Jersey. I was pretty depressed at the time because our gear had just been stolen, and we had been thrown...