Byron Cooke of Australia's long-running rock station Triple M, asked "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert about his decision to cover METALLICA's "Enter Sandman" at his concert in Auckland, New Zealand this past Sunday night (October 17) as a birthday surprise for his bass player, Tommy Joe Ratliff"Yeah, we do it our way… with a bit more glitter," Lambert laughed. "It's one of Tommy's favorite songs. We practiced it that afternoon for the first time so we just kind we kind of threw it up there. It was a lot of fun."
How do you respond to, say, a metalhead that that song is sacred in some way and shouldn't be covered, even for a birthday present?
Lambert: "I think any song could be covered if a musician wants to cover it. I don't think any song is sacred. There are great songs, there are beautiful songs and I think anybody has the right to sing them."
Not to mention that your guitarist, Monte Pittman, played on [several] albums with [industrial rockers] PRONG, so there's some rock cred.
Lambert: "Exactly! My band has a lot of cred. They're always coming to me going, 'Hey, man, can we try this please...?"
"Enter Sandman" was featured as the opening track and lead single from METALLICA's eponymous 1991 album. The song was produced by Bob Rock, and the music was written by Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, and James Hetfield. Vocalist and guitarist Hetfield wrote the lyrics, which deal with the simplest concept of a child's nightmares.
The "Enter Sandman" single was certified gold in the United States for sales in excess of 500,000 copies. Acclaimed by critics, the song is featured on all of METALLICA's live albums and DVDs released after 1991 and has been played live at award ceremonies and benefit concerts. It is considered to be METALLICA's signature song to the general public.
METALLICA's self-titled "black album" has sold more than 15 million copies in the U.S., according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).