Music Video Friday: Metallica – The Unforgiven

Today’s video is Metallica’s The Unforgiven. The first one. The good one. Hell, I didn’t even know there was a third Unforgiven until I looked this video up on YouTube for this post.

I was a huge Metallica fan in my teen years but I have to admit that I started losing interest after the Load & Reload albums. I was out of high school by that point and moving on somewhat from my headbanging days but, quite frankly, those albums were also really shit compared to their previous ones. Well, I believe Garage, Inc. came out just after those? I did like that album a lot but that’s because I already loved the songs that were on the original Garage Days Re-Revisited (The Wait & The Small Hours rule). A few of the new covers on Garage, Inc. were okay too but, mostly, it was the older re-released covers that were the best. Man, I remember how excited I was in anticipation of Load & Reload being released, though! What a massive disappointment.

It was the same way with Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II. Remember those?! Ugh. Although, more decent singles actually came out of those than Metallica’s Load or Reload… Unbelievable! I far prefer Metallica. I was actually just getting over mono, which I was convinced would be the death of me (mono sucks), when those Guns N’ Roses albums came out & I dragged myself from my death bed to go buy those fuckers. Dammit. Those albums were SO not worth setting back my mono-recovery for a few more days.

But I digress. Massively. Because The Unforgiven is from Metallica’s last truly good (although very mainstream & not my actual favorite) album. Master Of Puppets is probably my favorite album, followed by Ride The Lightning. Sorry… Reminiscing again! I miss old school metal. Ah, but Metallica’s Black Album (or self-titled if you prefer) came along when I was the perfect age for it & it ended up being the one I’ve heard the most by far as my friends & I would drive around constantly listening to it. I remember a friend & I going to a local fair and headbanging to the album being played loudly on one of the rides. The carnies saw us and decided it would be fun to leave us on the ride for f*^king ages while I screamed at them to stop the damn ride because all the headbanging ended up making me sick. Those bastards. Ahh…. The teen years…. *sigh*

Okay – should I actually talk about the video for The Unforgiven? I suppose One is Metallica’s most famous video (I love that too – I’ll post it one of these Fridays) but I became quite obsessed with this one. Why? Because I was an idiot teenager with too much time on my hands & I loved to analyze lyrics & videos and to think I was all deep & shit. I thought The Unforgiven video was all deep & shit too. I could totally relate to my interpretation of this video and I was all “Metallica understand me & my teen angst, man!”. Or something. I dunno but I don’t have time for overanalyzing anything anymore. You lose interest in that in old age (and when you have kids). I’m too tired for that shit now!

But, watching this again now and clearly remembering every single second of it despite not seeing it in decades, I do still think it’s a fantastic video. I always saw it as being about lonliness & desperately trying to reach out & open up to someone but never being able to. How teen angst is that! But according to Wikipedia:

“The song deals with the theme of the struggle of the individual against the efforts of those who would subjugate him.”

Bullshit. I like my interpretation better. Maybe that’s the meaning of the lyrics but not so much the video. There was a longer 11 1/2 minute version of the video but I don’t think the extra bits added to the story (you can watch that HERE if you want). Then of course there was The Unforgiven II from Reload and I appreciate the similar theme to that video (HERE) but it doesn’t make much sense plus I was too old by that point to care to spend time analyzing it. Finally, there’s The Unforgiven III, which I can’t seem to find a video for other than one showing clips of the first two. Does anyone know if one exists?

Well, this was a nice little trip down memory lane but it’s time for me to go take out my dentures & listen to Adele. Ha! Just kidding. Adele sucks. Here’s The Unforgiven video. Finally.

12 thoughts on “Music Video Friday: Metallica – The Unforgiven

  1. My default guess for overanalyzing metal and electronica music from that era was that it was about drugs somehow. I was a more mainstream Metallica fan and enjoyed their albums from Master of Puppets through… the one I can’t remember and don’t feel like Googling where they supposedly returned to their thrash roots and Frantic was one of the songs. This was also one of my favorite videos alongside Tool’s Sober, it just had some amazing visuals and the song helped it out quite a bit too.

    • Ha! Most definitely. EVERY song is either about drugs or sex. That was St. Anger, I believe? The funny thing is that I continued to buy every single album they’ve ever put out (even that horrible one with Lou Reed) so I own every album but never ever listen to the ones after Load & Reload. The Day That Never Comes is a good later song of theirs but nothing else really pops to mind. Tool’s Sober was a great song & video too! : ) I miss that era of MTV. It all turned crap soon after that… : (

  2. I was trying to remember when I wrote this post but for the life of me couldn’t – in other words, so much of what you said (sans the profanity 😉 ) is exactly how I feel!

    MOP is my fave Metallica album followed by RTL, I gave up on them with Load but got the Garage Days re-revisited album! And I didn’t know there were three Unforgivens either! 😮

    I do have to disagree though about the theme of Unforgiven – I think it is about being oppressed as the lines about being a “whipping boy” and the “You label me, I’ll label you” refrain, etc attest, as much as it is about loneliness. 🙂

    Sorry… :-\

    • Oh shit.. Did I use profanity?? Lol. Man, I miss the old days of Metallica. I’ve actually continued to buy every single album but I’ve barely listened to the ones after Load & Reload. Yeah, I suppose the lyrics are about what it says they’re about on Wikipedia but I still prefer my original interpretation of the video. 😛 I don’t accept Metallica’s explanation just because they wrote it! Lol ; ) Now I feel like posting more Metallica videos. But nothing beats this & One. : )

  3. Metallica has some great videos. Hero of the Day is also one of my favourites even though it was starting to go wrong by then. I have seen them live a couple of times and they are pretty epic.

    • That must’ve been awesome to see them live! I’ve never gone to concerts. I’m so damn boring! Metallica would be high on my list of bands I’d like to see, though. : )

  4. OK, I think I’m officially in love with you. Our relationship is like that fairground ride you were on, you’ll feel like you want to throw up but the thrill is too much! I loved Metallica as a teenager, loved that they did cool songs about the electric chair and guys with their limbs blown off. Master of Puppets is my favourite too!

    P.s I honestly think Load is a masterpiece. All the album’s after that were total shit though.

    • Well, that’s not unexpected. I’m pretty irresistible. I’m not sure about the thrill but you’d definitely make me want to throw up. 😜 YES! I liked Metallica because they didn’t do a bunch of sexist stuff like Motley Crue or something. They were METAL! I honestly can’t even think of any of the songs on Load now…. 😕 Maybe I should give it another chance! ) I probably won’t) 😉

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