Nothing Else Matters

Nothing Else Matters

"Nothing Else Matters"
Single by Metallica
from the album Metallica
B-side "Enter Sandman" (live)
"Enter Sandman" (live)/"Harvester of Sorrow" (live)/"Nothing Else Matters" (Demo)
Released April 20, 1992
Format CD single, Cassette, Vinyl, Download
Recorded June 16, 1991 at One on One Studios, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock
Length 6:28
Label Elektra
Writer(s) James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich
Producer(s) Bob Rock
James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Metallica singles chronology
"Nothing Else Matters"
"Wherever I May Roam"
Music video
"Nothing Else Matters" on YouTube

"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released in 1992 as the third single from their self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart as well as top-ten positions on many European charts. "Nothing Else Matters" was featured as a playable track in the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica. Recognized as one of Metallica's best known and most popular songs, it has become a staple in live performances. The song has been covered over forty times.


  • History 1
  • Demo 2
  • Composition 3
  • Music video 4
  • Live 5
  • Track listing 6
  • Charts and certifications 7
    • Peak positions 7.1
    • Certifications 7.2
  • Personnel 8
  • Alternative versions 9
    • Nothing Else Matters '99 9.1
      • Peak positions 9.1.1
    • "Elevator Version" 9.2
  • Covers 10
  • Lucie Silvas version 11
    • Tracklisting 11.1
  • Charts 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield wrote the song (credited to Hetfield/Ulrich) while he was on the phone with his then girlfriend. Since he held the phone with one hand, he plucked the four open strings of a standard E-minor chord with the other, which eventually made up the first two bars of the song. The lyrics, which talk about being "so close, no matter how far", were also dedicated to his girlfriend, indicating the bond they shared even when Hetfield was on tour. Initially, the song was not meant to be released, as Hetfield had written it for himself, but after drummer Lars Ulrich heard it, it was considered for the album.[1]


The song's demo was also called "Nothing Else Matters" and was recorded in Lars Ulrich's home musical studio "Dungeon" on August 13, 1990.


Its intro is an E minor arpeggio beginning with the open low E followed by the open G, B and high E strings.

It is one of the few Metallica songs in which Hetfield, not Kirk Hammett, plays the guitar solo. Given that Hetfield recorded all rhythm and most harmony tracks on the band's first five albums and that Hammett has stated he didn't learn how to play the song until they were well into the tour for the album, Hammett does not play on the studio recording, making it one of the few in the whole Metallica repertoire, along with Cliff Burton's "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" and the band's cover of "The Ecstasy of Gold" in which he does not appear.

Music video

The music video premiered on MTV on February 26, 1992. It was directed by Adam Dubin, and edited by Sean Fullan. The clip consists of parts of the A year and a half... video tape which was shot during the recordings of Metallica. One of them shows Hetfield playing the 12 string during one of the choruses. MTV will not air the video during daytime hours anymore because it features nudity in the form of pin-up posters and Playboy centerfolds that are taped up in the studio. It also has a picture of Kip Winger which Lars Ulrich is seen throwing darts at. On the band's 2006 music video compilation DVD, the posters are censored, as was done with the nudity featured in the music videos for "Turn the Page" and "Whiskey in the Jar".


The song has now become a staple in Metallica's live performances, and has been dedicated to their fans. When played live nowadays, Hammett does the first part of the intro, and Hetfield joins in for the second, to then sing and play it alone until after the first chorus, when the whole band kicks in. Also, the last verse is left out, ending the song with the heavily distorted guitar solo by Hetfield, and usually fading into "Live Shit: Binge & Purge, on S&M, Cunning Stunts DVD as well as the DVD/Blu-ray The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria as well as on the soundtrack for the band's feature film "Through the Never"

Track listing

U.S. cassette
No. Title Length
1. "Nothing Else Matters"   6:30
2. "Enter Sandman" (Live) 5:26
International single
No. Title Length
1. "Nothing Else Matters"   6:30
2. "Enter Sandman" (Live) 5:26
3. "Harvester of Sorrow" (Live) 6:02
4. "Nothing Else Matters" (Demo) 5:52
Live at Wembley Stadium, London, April 20th, 1992
No. Title Length
1. "Enter Sandman"   5:39
2. "Sad but True"   5:30
3. "Nothing Else Matters"   6:17
1999 CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Live) 6:47
2. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Live) 4:52
3. "- Human" (Live) 4:19
4. "Nothing Else Matters" (Video)  

Charts and certifications

Peak positions

Chart (1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 8
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 5
Canada Top Singles (RPM)
Denmark (Tracklisten)[6] 23
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[7] 14
France (SNEP)[8] 10
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 9
Ireland (IRMA)
Italy (FIMI)[10] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[11] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 11
Norway (VG-lista)[13] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[14] 12
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[15] 5
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company
U.S. Billboard Hot 100
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[16] Platinum 50,000x
Belgium (BEA)[17] Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[18] Platinum 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[19] Platinum 50,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Alternative versions

Nothing Else Matters '99

"Nothing Else Matters '99 (Live)"
Single by Metallica
from the album S&M
B-side "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (S&M version)/"−Human"
Released November 22, 1999
Format CD single
Recorded April 21–22, 1999 at Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, California
Genre Symphonic rock
Length 6:47
Label Elektra
Producer(s) Bob Rock
James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Michael Kamen
Metallica singles chronology
"Die, Die My Darling"
"Nothing Else Matters '99"
"No Leaf Clover"
San Francisco Symphony chronology
"Nothing Else Matters '99"
"No Leaf Clover"

For its appearance on S&M, its orchestration was arranged by Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. This live version is featured on the album S&M. It was also released as the single "Nothing Else Matters '99", which included the b-sides "-Human", and the S&M version of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", on November 22, 1999.[20] This version was also played with guitars tuned to E♭.

Peak positions

Chart (1999) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[21] 28
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[22] 33
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[23] 5
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 4

"Elevator Version"

There is also an acoustic remix of "Nothing Else Matters" that is called the "elevator version" with no electric guitars (replaced by acoustic guitars, even for the solo), Kamen's orchestrations, and Hetfield's voice only; it appears as the b-side to "Sad but True".


Because of the song's popularity it has been covered many times, by artists both within and outside the rock genre. Bands who have covered the song include:

Lucie Silvas version

"Nothing Else Matters"
Single by Lucie Silvas
from the album Breathe In
B-side "Better Love Next Time" (Demo)
Released October 31, 2005
Format CD single, Digital download
Genre Pop
Length 4:36
Label Mercury
Producer(s) Mike Peden
Lucie Silvas singles chronology
"Nothing Else Matters"
"Everytime I Think of You"

"Nothing Else Matters" is a special Europe-only single by British singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas. It was released in exactly the same way as "Don't Look Back", with the same b-sides and artwork.


No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Edit) James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich 3:07
2. "Breathe In" (Live in Denmark) Lucie Silvas, Judie Tzuke, Graham Kearns, Mike Peden 3:32
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Nothing Else Matters" (Edit) Hetfield, Ulrich 3:07
2. "Twisting The Chain" (Acoustic) Silvas, Charlie Russell, Kearns, Peden 3:55
3. "Better Love Next Time" (Demo) Tzuke, Kearns 3:40
4. "Nothing Else Matters" (Video) Hetfield, Ulrich  


Chart (2005) Peak
Dutch Top 40 13
Germany 38
Eurochart Hot 100 160


  1. ^ "James Hetfield And Kirk Hammett Look Back On Metallica's Black Album". 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  2. ^ Live at Wembley Stadium release date
  3. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  4. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ a b " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". Tracklisten.
  7. ^ "Metallica: Nothing Else Matters" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  8. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters" (in French). Les classement single.
  9. ^ a b " – Metallica Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  10. ^ Italian peaks
  11. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Metallica search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  12. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". VG-lista.
  14. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". Singles Top 60.
  15. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters". Swiss Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters" (in German).   Enter Metallica in the field Interpret. Enter Nothing Else Matters in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  17. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2014". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Certificazioni - Archivio" (in Italian).   Select Online, Week 24, Year 2013, then press Vai!.
  20. ^ Nothing Else Matters '99 release date
  21. ^ " – Metallica with Michael Kamen conducting The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra – Nothing Else Matters". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  22. ^ " – Metallica – Nothing Else Matters" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Metallica with Michael Kamen conducting The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Metallica with Michael Kamen conducting The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra – Nothing Else Matters". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ Metallica Sonderheft vom METAL HAMMER Metal Hammer
  26. ^ Jubileumconcert RJSO! Iris Kroes - Nothing Else Matters (October 21, 2012)

External links

  • coversNothing Else Matters40
  • Chart Stats
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
  • Chords & Lyrics to "Nothing Else Matters" on YouTab