Metallica – Jump in the Fire (12” Single – Review)

The Orange Demon Dude!
The Orange Demon Dude!

(Single taken from The Good, the Bad & the Live: (6½ Year Anniversary EP Collection) that I bought back in January 2013)

Can I be honest here and admit one of my main reasons for wanting this was the incredible cover? I love the orange demon dude. He looks so pleased with himself. And so he should! He is adorning the first (if you’re British, anyway) Metallica single!

Jump in the Fire is taken from Metallica’s seminal debut, Kill ‘Em All. It’s one of the more old-school Metal tracks on the debut with its mid-tempo rhythm, bluesy soloing and a sing-along chorus (which always reminds me of Deep Purple’s Space Truckin’). It’s a fun track but not one of the debut’s more promising efforts. Hammett’s soloing and Hetfield’s hoarse vocals sell the song and, thankfully, the band replaced the shagging lyrics from the No Life ‘til Leather demo version with something more orange demon dude friendly. Besides, no-one should have to imagine James Hetfield moving his hips in a circular way. Ever.

The Back Cover with the Studio and "Live" Sides
The Back Cover with the Studio and “Live” Sides

Apart from the orange demon dude, the main attraction of this single is its live B-Sides. Unfortunately, these “live” versions of Seek and Destroy and Phantom Lord were actually recorded in a studio. Reverb was added (most audibly on Hetfield’s voice) to replicate the acoustics of a larger venue and crowd noises were added on. I’m sure I can remember reading that the crowd noise was taken from a classic live album but I’m not sure if that’s true or not (answers on a postcard please) but the crowd noise does give the impression that the band had amassed a pretty large following at this early stage in their career!

Like, Hetfield's hips, this record moves in a circular way
Like Hetfield’s hips, this record moves in a circular way

If you can get over the naïve fakery involved, these lively alternate versions are still well worth hearing. Both of the B-Side tracks are more representative of the band’s early, influential Thrash style than the A-Side. While these versions are missing the breakneck intensity of Metallica’s actual live performances, Cliff Burton’s fabulous bass playing is clear as a bell, Kirk’s soloing is free of bum notes and the performance as a whole is pretty tight. Pleasingly, Hetfield’s voice is starting to sound more like it would on future albums but his exhortations to the imaginary crowd (“let’s go, c’mon”) during Seek and Destroy are embarrassing.

Sans the fakery these are still excellent performances. If they had been radio sessions instead they would have been more appreciated and it’s probably preferable to think of them along those lines. For future releases, Metallica would lose the naiveté… and the orange demon dude.

The Box Set from whence this came!
The Box Set from whence this came!

38 thoughts on “Metallica – Jump in the Fire (12” Single – Review)”

  1. I like the orange demon dude! He insists I call him ‘arry when he’s ’round the house, having tea with me and Cthulu.

    That’s a sweet looking single, and an even sweeter box set. An excellent artifact for the collection. Even with the fakery. And man, I can’t stand the fakery. But they were young, energetic, and probably still missing Mustaine dearly, amiright? Hahaha


    1. ‘Arry’s not been round to my house in ages! Yog-Sothoth misses him.

      The fakery is pretty embarrassing. Not sure if they were missing Mustaine yet though, they still had plenty of his riffs to use! 😉


      1. Well, ‘arry told me he hasn’t been coming by because of that last time. He wouldn’t specify what happened, but he’s pretty disgusted with Yog-Sothoth right now.

        Rollins taught me to dislike the fakery. Thanks Hank! As for Mustaine, it’s all OK. They had that ‘absolutely riveting scene together’ in Some Kind Of Monster… you know what, in retrospect, holy f@#k that was a terrible film.


    1. Beauty, eh? Cheers Mike!

      The Orange Demon Dude is getting a lot of love… no wonder he looks so happy!

      The Creeping Death single is fantastic. I’ll maybe work my way through all the singles from the box… could be fun!


  2. Haha, I remember seeing this cover back in the day and going “This seems a little uncommon for a Metallica cover”. Since then, it has been one of my favorites as well.
    I must add also that “orange demon dude” fits him immensely.


      1. Indeed, it seems like Metallica always lacked a mascot, an insignia that wasn’t his logo. it wouldn’t have done any damage to them and actually would have enhanced their albums/singles covers. Maybe orange demon dude was the one and only but forgotten in time


      2. That’s a great point. Compared to the other big bands they never had much of a visual identity… and the majority of their album covers are pretty uninteresting. I think the time they probably had their best artwork/identity was the …And Justice period when Pushead was doing their art.


  3. Have to agree with you about the orange demon dude (does that make him a ginger demon?) – that’s why I bought that CD – I think it was 2 LPs released together on CD – can’t remember – should try unearthing it sometime…now that I’ve read the review I want to listen to it again.


      1. Yes that’s it!!! Damn, which box is it in…somewhere in there – if I don’t pop back for say a week, send in the search party! I’m either in there od-íng on all the buried treasure or a stack of boxes killed me.


      2. Of course it will be! The plan is, soon as I move into my new house I’m going to have shelves etc installed for my CDs and books. Already claimed the study for myself and I’m going to have fun with it.


  4. Wow, I also dig that demon’s bliss idea! Never made that leap before. Badass artwork and I like that quasi digital script-like lettering because when it gets thin, the flames feel like they are whipping around the cover’s liveliness, to my mind. I actually don’t have this song committed to memory so I’m interested to give it a listen, especially as it has clear Cliff notes, as you mention. Thanks.


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