‘The Memory Remains’ – Story Behind the Song
1997's Reload marked the seventh studio album released by Metallica. Written and recorded during the same sessions as their previous album, Load, Reload is chock full of ripping rock tunes, from the massive "Fuel" to the heavy "Bad Seed," with a few others sprinkled in between.
One track on Reload stands out more than any other, though, mainly due to the backup vocalist 'Tallica employed for the tune.
"The Memory Remains" features Marianne Faithfull, an incredible singer who also was once in a romantic relationship with Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. Relationships aren't always worth pointing out, but during her stint with Jagger, Faithfull co-wrote "Sister Morphine" from the Stones' 1971's Sticky Fingers.
Over 20 years later, Faithfull had another amazing collaboration thanks to her unforgettable contribution to "The Memory Remains." If you've ever heard the song—which we know you have about a thousand times—then there's no doubt that you've had Faithfull's haunting vocals stuck in your head. The female vocalist last performed the song live with the band on Dec. 7, 2011, during their 30th-anniversary celebration at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California.
Watch Marianne Faithfull Sing "The Memory Remains" With Metallica
Faithfull was featured in the music video for the single, too. One of Metallica's most expensive music videos, "The Memory Remains" was directed by Paul Andresen and cost a reported $400,000 to create. The high bill came from the complex suspended stage that the band plays on during the video.
Watch the Official Music Video For "The Memory Remains"
Initially called "Memory," Metallica recorded their first demo of the song on March 6, 1995, and it remains a core track for rock radio stations throughout the country today. Since its first performance in front of a live audience on Nov. 11, 1997, in Philadelphia, Metallica have played "The Memory Remains" live more than 300 times. Debuting at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, this would mark the last time Metallica had a song in the Top 40 spot of that chart until "The Day That Never Comes," the first single from Death Magnetic.