“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. “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 nearly 100 times.
Lead singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield wrote the song in 1990 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.
The music video premiered on MTV on February 26, 1992. 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”.