“Enter Sandman” is one of Metallica’s most popular and enduring songs in their catalog. (Fun fact: It’s the band’s sixth most-performed song in Metallica history. As of publishing, the track has appeared on Metallica’s setlists 1,404 times.)
It’s one of Metallica’s most commercially successful songs, peaking at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It’s the top song listed on Metallica’s artist page on Apple Music and Spotify. Additionally, it’s been covered by a slew of major artists, including Motorhead, Weezer, Ghost, Juanes, Rina Sawayama and, inexplicably, Pat Boone.
As if that’s not enough, “Enter Sandman” has received numerous honors. It was nominated for Best Rock Song at the 34th Grammy Awards. (It ended up losing that Grammy to Sting’s “The Soul Cages.” This, of course, proves the Recording Academy’s hard rock/metal blindspot.) The track has also been included on many “Best Songs” lists. It came in at 408 on Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. “Enter Sandman” has been featured on several VH1 lists, including “40 Greatest Metal Songs of All Time” (22), “100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s” (18) and the 2003 list “The 100 Greatest Songs from the Past 25 Years” (88).
With all of this in mind, how come some of Metallica’s members and people in their orbit didn’t like the song initially?
In recent years, stories have emerged of key Metallica figures talking about not really liking the song in its early stages. It’s truly a strange phenomenon, especially considering the longevity of “Enter Sandman.” Seriously, this is a song that refuses to die. If we’re being honest, it’s going to outlive us all.
Below are four instances of notable people talking about their mixed feelings about “Enter Sandman.” Get ready to be befuddled!