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Dave Mustaine Reveals Credit Dispute Held Up Metallica ‘No Life Till Leather’ Reissue, Shuts Down Metallica Bashing

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Metallica have mined their catalog in recent years, reissuing their classic albums in massive packages, but one expanded item that has been missing so far is No Life Till Leather, their early demo with material dating back to Dave Mustaine‘s stint in the band. Mustaine, who is one of the more accessible musicians on Twitter in answering fan questions, opened up about the snag in a tweet.

James [Hetfield] contacted me 2 years ago. We were going to officially release the ‘No Life Till Leather’ demo as a record, w/27 tracks, pics, the whole enchilada, and the talks broke down because Lars [Ulrich] wanted credit on two songs I wrote every note and word to. I have the texts. I passed,” explained Mustaine directly in the post.

As might be expected, the tweet generated some anti-Metallica sentiment with some of Mustaine’s followers taking shots at Ulrich. But Mustaine was having none of it and actually defended Ulrich in a couple of tweets while urging fans to stop bashing Metallica and move on off the topic. “I don’t care if they like me or not, I still have to be respectful of them and their accomplishments for my own self-respect,” added Mustaine in his final post on the matter.

The No Life Till Leather demo was recorded in July of 1982, featuring some early recordings of songs that would appear on their classic debut effort Kill ‘Em All the following year. Of all their demo recordings, No Life Till Leather was the most circulated offering from the early years. While the larger package that Mustaine mentioned has yet to come to fruition, Metallica did put out a limited-edition No Life Till Leather cassette for Record Store Day in 2015.

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