A Trip Through the Early Days of Piracy with a Mislabeled Metallica Cover

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Hi, my name is W., and I’m a Metallicaholic. [“Hi, W.” you respond in unison]. They say you never forget your first kiss. If the same holds true for metal, you never really forget that first album that hooked you, embarrassing as it might have been. Thankfully, my first metal kiss happened to be Metallica…And Justice for All, a decidedly unembarrassing crush if we’re being honest with ourselves. However, as many crushes go, what began as a healthy appreciation soon turned to a desperate, bizarre fixation. For the first few years of my heavy metal fandom, I was completely devoted to and obsessed with Metallica. I purchased and loved all of their albums (yes, even those ones). I sought out the live bootlegs they offer for free download through their fanclub. I bought Metallica shirts and posters and DVDs. I got a restraining order from James Hetfield and a C&D notice from Lars Ulrich. Okay, that last part might not be true, but you should have a pretty clear idea about how much I loved Metallica until I really got hooked by the heavier stuff. Since all of this went down in the mid Aughts, though, there was another, seedier side to my obsession, one that forms the focal point of this article. So great was my gluttony for Metallica music that I ventured down the dark rabbit hole of internet piracy. This post is the story of perhaps the most infamous “Metallica” cover I downloaded.

Younger readers who came of age after Web 1.0 may be unfamiliar with the hazy, highly piecemeal days of illegal downloading. Before The Pirate Bay and other major torrenting sites really hit their stride, most of us had to do our dirtywork through ambiguously legal software like Napster or Kazaa. Although both of those sites had their time in the sun, both also experienced a number of setbacks (most notably Lars’ righteous crusade against Napster in 2000), and during my time in high school, most of us chose Limewire as our particular poison. True, the free version of Limewire was loaded with viruses, but savvy stealers knew they could swipe a copy of Limewire Pro from Limewire Free and go about their nefarious ways worry free. Free or Pro, though, every version of Limewire had one commonality: really, really bad metadata.

Because Limewire was essentially an ungoverned, godless Wild West of P2P sharing, any joker wishing to watch the world burn could upload really any MP3 file with any particular metadata and call it a day. Then, hapless dupes like me, searching for rare, unreleased, or demo versions of songs would download these shoddy files, add them to our collections, and then seed them back to the P2P network, allowing the duplicitous ouroboros to swallow its tail on some other poor sadsack’s computer while we remained none the wiser of the evil we had abetted. Because tracks were downloaded individually rather than as entire albums (or even discographies, as became the norm with torrenting sites), it was next to impossible to ever verify if that track you just found was really not Metallica playing the “The Imperial March.

So, if you were trying to find a cool cover song of a tune you dig mightily, not only would you have to sift through a lot of bands attempting to do self-promotion (SHATTERSPHERE *FOR FANS OF METALLICA, LINKIN PARK, LIMP BIZKIT, PANTERA*), weird troll audio clips (including the notorious “Bill Clinton E-Free Club Dot Com” track that probably unloaded who knows how many trojans onto my my parents’ computer [sorry, Pops]), and *rare* and *unreleased* tracks that you could actually find on pretty widely available EPs, but you’d also have to deal with wildly inaccurate metadata and misattributed songs. Some of the more infamous misattributed songs that littered Limewire included a live version of “Dust in the Wind” by Linkin Park (I’m 99.99% certain this is not in fact Linkin Park), the “Legend of Zelda” song by System of a Down (actually written by a guy named Joe Pleiman for the album Rabbit Joint), and “Detachable Penis” by The Butthole Sufers (actually King Missile).

Being the Metallica megafan that I was in my late teens, I used Limewire to download all manner of Metallica covers because I just could not get enough. Some were legitimate; others were totally bogus. Perhaps the most notorious mislabeled track, though, was a cover of Metallica’s “One” by none other than Children of Bodom. Or at least that’s what I and millions of others believed after downloading the cover. Hell, it was a decent Metallica cover, and I didn’t really know enough metal at the time of download to identify its true identity, so this song remained in my music library for years, nestled up to Are You Dead Yet?  and Hate Crew Deathroll.

My ignorance persisted for years, even long after my bizarre fixation with Metallica had ended. Sure, I knew that the song probably wasn’t really performed by Children of Bodom. The production was too unpolished, the vocals too sloppy, the synths missing, and the guitarwork more soulful than skilled. Still, ignorance is bliss, and since I had spent the majority of college delving much deeper into the void of extreme metal, I really wasn’t even aware of how potentially flawed the data on this track was. I knew it definitely wasn’t Crematory’s cover of “One,” as is often claimed on Youtube videos, because the track lengths are inconsistent, so Children of Bodom was as good an answer as any. Then, about 6 years ago, give or take one, I was cruising through Facebook late one night and saw a younger metalhead who had found the cover on Youtube (the new preferred distribution method for shoddily labeled pirated tracks) had posted it on his wall. He too, was operating under the Children of Bodom paradigm (as was the uploader of the above video, apparently). Thankfully, a sage metalhead happened upon this thread and revealed the long-obscured identity of the actual artist. “This isn’t Children of Bodom, you idiots,” he chimed in, “this is Dispatched.” Dispatched! The Swedish melodeath band! Of course! It actually made a lot of sense…

Except, as I have since discovered, Dispatched never actually covered “One” either! What’s the deal? Has the entire internet been duped into playing one long, stupid game of Metallica Cover Telephone? Who really performed this cover?

cob

Could this C.O.B. really be the culprit behind this notorious farce? Those initials would actually go a long way at explaining where all this confusion came from, and it makes sense that this cover would have been ripped from a relatively obscure tribute album and seeded to the primitive pirate networks with slipshod data. As it turns out, a quick investigation on discogs reveals that there was in fact a cover of “One” performed by a Korean band called C.O.B. for a tribute album called Am I Metallica, A Tribute to Metallica, and that the run-time for that cover matches up with this old file I have on my computer.

cob2

I guess, after a decade of (in)actively searching for the truth, I can finally mark this case closed.

So what’s the moral of the story here? I grew up in a special time and place when many of us were really trying to figure out this brave new world called the internet, a time before hidden links to explicit images of old naked dudes completely ruined my opinion of my fellow internet dweller, a time when naivety was free to explore and learn. Sure, we made a lot of mistakes and downloaded a lot of bad MP3’s, but we braved the skies like Icarus together, hoping this newfangled technology would never melt our digital wings. This process of downloading terrible music files is why I am so strict on maintaining my metadata in my media library. Though I abandoned my pirate ways back in undergrad (and strongly suggest you do the same so that we can keep supporting this genre of broke fools that we all claim to love so much), if someone from a future generation ever finds my hard drive and uploads it to whatever architecture the future internet houses for disseminating ancient media formats, I hope that they’ll look at my tidy, well-maintained media library and think of me fondly. Perhaps even erect a stature to commemorate my heroism.

A man can dream, anyway.

(Photos VIA, VIA)

  • BALLS ROLL

    I love the discogs catalogs

    • Dubs

      I created a discogs account after that convo the other night.

      • hieronymus bossk

        You’ve done a good.

      • Oh boy.

        • Dubs

          It’s the only reliable place I could find Rites of Thy Degringolade CDs.

          • I got mine from Hells Headbangers. It was the vinyl version though.

      • BALLS ROLL

        you catalog your collection too?

        • Dubs

          I haven’t started yet. That sounds like a project and a half.

          • BALLS ROLL

            once you do it you can have discogs export all the data into a csv. Nothing beats data in csv

          • Yup, that’s exactly why I ignore it.

  • Joaquin Stick

    Side note – The fact that you could steal Limewire Pro from free Limewire is just about the funniest damn thing ever.

    • Dubs

      I felt so utterly clever, like a master hacker.

  • Limewire… Kazaa… man those were the days.

    If we were breaking 1.5kb/s on a download, life was good!

    Neat write up, W!

    NOW BACK TO THE FLUSH.

    GL

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      And the good old days of being new on there or Kazaa, and the asshole you were getting the song from cutting you off because you didn’t have any files to trade yet. Good times!

  • I used to sneak out of my room at night when I was in middle school and use my Dad’s computer to download death metal songs from Limewire. That’s were I first started to get into extreme metal I guess. My Dad eventually found out and became very concerned with my musical tastes and well-being. My parents were not proud of me, I’ll just say that.

    • Dubs

      My parents, bless them, were kind of clueless about Limewire.

      • My Dad used Limewire all the time, so I took advantage. I didn’t have a computer at that time and my parents wouldn’t buy me anything metal so I had to take drastic measures.

        • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

          And look at you now!

        • Dubs

          I didn’t have my own computer until just before I went off to college.

          • Same here, I remember it was a black mac book. I fucking abused that poor thing. Lasted me about 4 years though.

          • Dubs

            Mine was this hefty Toshiba satellite. I used it for five years until it would literally stop connecting to the internet.

          • Since we are jerking, mine was a HP dual core. It is 10 years old in May. It runs Linux Mint like a CHAMP. Which is cool.

          • JAG, Gorak, and myself truly appreciate that. <3 also, it's rare to come across a virus that likes Linux.

          • YOU, GL, AND GORAK are all the same person.

            -Papa Joe

          • Dubs

            Cosigned

            -Dubs

          • Logging in and out of all those accounts sounds like a logistical nightmare.Ha

          • Dubs

            Not if you use different browsers to do it. You could use Firefox for GL, Chrome for Jimmy, and IE (lol) for Gorak.

          • lol you just backed clean over Gorak. poor guy!

          • ME GORAK KING OV CAVEMEN!!!

            IE????? ME NOT THAT PRIMITIVE!!!!!!! & IT NOT ON UBUNTU!!!!!!!

          • High on Vallenfyre

            I personally think we’re ALL Jimmy.

          • ME GORAK KING OV CAVEMEN!!!
          • brokensnow

            I had windows 01′. Destroyed that bitch with porn, lol.

          • That’ll do it.

      • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

        mine were, and still are, very computer illiterate

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Not mine! My dad was the one who actually showed me Youtube Downloader, which is one of the greatest things to ever hit the net.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      My mom caught my brother and I checking out a Cradle of Filth video a long time ago and freaked out when tits appeared onscreen.

      • Haha, nice.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        I didn’t use a proper computer until I moved out, so didn’t have to worry about even being able to watch a video on the Web TV we had at home.

      • hieronymus bossk

        Babylon A.D.?

      • From the Cradle to Enslave?

    • To add to this, during study hall at school I would go to the computer lab and look up metal record labels and research bands to download on Limewire when I got home. My Dad would not be home until after 5 so I had about an hour after school to sneak down to his computer and get my tunes. Exciting times they were.

      • RJA

        That Nahtrunar record is already gone from Arcane Altar – give me a heads up if you see it anywhere else.

        • Oh shit, he said they were selling fast. Will do man.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      The last time I ever torrented an album it was Domination by Morbid Angel; the file also included an EP by a shitty anonymous Spanish thrash band. Never again.

      • Its been years since I’ve torrented anything. Never again indeed.

        • Dubs

          Yah, I don’t think I’ve torrented anything in like 7 years.

          • It’s like being an addict. Those years of not using mean a lot.

          • Dubs

            You get a bigger coin each year of torrent sobriety.

          • The Toilet ov Hell has stopped my music piracy. srs.

        • Dave Vincent’s Perm

          Come on, I was bloody fourteen or something.

          • Right, I’m not giving you shit. I did the same. I’m just agreeing with you.

    • I’m going to show my age here and say that I had my own personal PC at this stage of the internet, so sky was the limit for me.

    • Pentagram Sam

      hahaha hell yea man. Similar story, at a friend’s house jr year of high school we downloaded a bunch of Anal Cunt songs and for a week his parents looked at us oddly. Finally they told him they found the sick porn on the cpu and told him to quit letting me download it. We had to show them that Anal Cunt was in fact, a band and not us “exploring”

  • Joaquin Stick

    Lol, one dude probably thought C.O.B was just the initials for Children of Bodom, and caused thousands to be duped. You know what they say about assumptions…

  • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

    Awesome story Dubs! Very entertaining. I too like to keep my tunes tidy.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Good article, especially for us fossils old enough to remember the Metallica/Napster feud as it was happening. I never heard of it before Lars went on a tear about it, and I thank him for that (especially since a lot of the music I liked was hard as fuck to find in stores, and electro-industrial labels were dropping like flies left and right). Thanks, Lars, for being a walking, talking Streisand Effect!

  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    Ive just buyd your album its really owns!i hate every one that downloads it n i wont leven let my best friend copy it he must buy it self! because u deserve every single money!

    – Posted by xRedZeR0, 2010-09-20 11:06

  • Spear

    Growing up with dial-up, I feel like I missed out on this huge transitional period of musical culture. On the other hand, I probably would have been too afraid of getting caught to actually pirate anything, so I guess the point is moot.

    • Dubs

      If memory serves, we finally got DSL when I was a junior in high school, which I guess is when I first started using Limewire.

      • Spear

        I didn’t have consistent access to broadband until I started college. My parents were pretty poor for several years, and when we finally started to get on our feet, we moved to a place that wasn’t served by any broadband providers.

        • Dubs

          That makes sense.

    • Dial up <<<<<<<<<<<

      Damn those were dank, dark, and dank days.

      • Dubs

        I get a little misty-eyed sometimes thinking about that sound of the modem firing up.

        Somehow I managed to play Starcraft on Battle.net with a dial-up connection.

        • Ha that sounds like a feat!

          Our rural phone was so bad that when it would rain and the ground was saturated we could not use the phone/internet for a day or two. Tough times!

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            And when you’d get a call, it’d kick you off.

          • Spear

            I got really good at leading targets in CoD 1 back in the day. Real shooter pros play with a full second of lag.

      • Spear

        and not the good kind of dank

        • Mostly dark, yes. Lol

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        And that startup noise will forever be in our heads. Beeeeeeooooooooo zzzzzztttttttttttt hisssssssss hissssssss uuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrr! It’s the sound of an angry computer saying “you’ll be the first to die when we rise and crush you humans!”

  • hieronymus bossk

    Soulseek >>> Limewire.

  • Oh man, Limewire. I got a lot of stuff off that site back in the day but it was a fucking dumpster fire.

    • Half the content was a virus, too. Well… some of the content were virus’s huehue

      • Dubs

        I performed virus scans fairly regularly for this reason.

        • Haha, god those were stressful. So glad I have a Mac now.

  • Dubs i love it! many younger, less nerdy folks, may not have known about the crazy world of Internet infancy and the piracy that came along with it. hilariously enough, i like knowing that you have the brain type that simply CANNOT tolerate improper meta data…just like me. i was the only human being organizing his MP3 collection 15 years ago. “crazy” they called me.

    • Dubs

      I recently had to install anew SSD in my desktop, and though some of my metadata carried over (I keep all my music files on the backup D drive), I still had to do a fair bit of revision. It drives me crazy that a lot of the labels that send us promos/have stuff on bandcamp have such junk data.

      • COUGHironboneheadCOUGH

      • that would annoy me too. especially if i was in said band and my label made a simple typo in the promo material.
        one more question before i leave you:
        does it drive you crazy when your music player has two separate listings, one for Temple of Baal and one for Temple Of Baal? time to torch the PC and buy a new one!

        • Dubs

          Thankfully, the Zune software makes managing that stuff pretty easy. but yah. I try to make sure band/album/track names follow standard capitalizing convention.

          • (the normies of the world probably think we jest about Zunes)

          • Dubs

            They’ll never know what pearls they tossed before the swine.

          • brokensnow

            I ioved my zune. had it stolen. was devastated.

          • those fuckers are expensive now. and the software, while good, is picky about the O.S. on which it runs 🙁

          • Max

            Just be thankful we’re not into classical music. Have you ever looked at the song titles on a Mozart album or suchlike?

            And who exactly is the “artist?” The composer, the orchestra or the conductor? It gets to be a real grey area.

            One of my day-jobs is as a guy who rips peoples’ CD collections to .flac for them (usually because their collections are so big they haven’t time to do it themselves), and classical collections are a nightmare from a metadata/cover art standpoint.

          • Dubs

            Oh, I totally believe that from my experience of listening to classical on Spotify.

          • I downloaded a Bach and Wagner collection on Torrent.

            Never again I will do that, matey.

  • RJA

    Speaking of Metallica AND downloading. I just downloaded the deluxe versions of Ride the Lightning and Kill em’ All. Just a bunch of live shows in addition to the albums – who is buying this shit. Shit like this just encourages illegally downloading.

    • people who used to wait for the Roadrunner digipaks.

      • RJA

        Yea, I mean I guess I would like to have it too – but 150.00 – gtfo.

        • Exactly. Although for the content it comes with I don’t think it’s that unfair of a price.

          • RJA

            No, not at all. If you break it down you could argue it’s a really good deal!

          • But, there is that “but”. 150.00 is indeed GTFO!

      • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

        WANT! So expensive though.

        • Yeah, same goes for the Kill Em All boxset too 🙁

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            I was thinking about maybe possibly buying one of them but the choice would be too hard and I’d end up getting both if I got one. And 300 dollars for 2 albums is too beaucoup.

          • I think I’d have to go with Ride the Lightning.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            I’d probably go that too, for the extra cd and posters. Make sure i get my money’s worth. Haha!

          • BALLS ROLL

            Here’s a box set that I would pay around the sales history’s price for – https://www.discogs.com/Morbid-Angel-MMXI-Boxset/release/3278813

          • Good luck.

          • BALLS ROLL

            yeah not gonna be seeing one of those come up for sale for a while

          • One of my most prized boxsets is the Moonblood boxset I have.

            http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/enlarge/moonblood.jpg

          • BALLS ROLL

            sexy

          • It really is man. Definitely happy with this purchase.

          • NO 380 ROUNDS. DOES NOT COUNT.
            <3

          • It’s not actually a picture I took.

        • more beer

          Yea $150 is pricey.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Granted, you get a lot of stuff in the bundle, but 150 all at once kinda sucks.

          • Dubs

            I’d rather buy 10 killer cds or like 5 awesome records than pay all that for one thing.

          • more beer

            Or go to 7 or 8 shows!

          • Dubs

            And buy some shirts and cds there.

          • more beer

            You know the band is getting your money that way too.

          • Dubs

            These Metallica box sets are just a cynical cash grab if I’ve ever seen one.

          • more beer

            Hell yea. I believe Lars wants to get buried in a pile of his money.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Lol, their ‘opening up box sets’ videos are hilarious/vain in a way I’ll never quite be able to put my finger on.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFbupH-aDz8
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNNQkOpMTBY

          • 🙁

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            But, but, but…

          • BALLS ROLL

            while I’m not opposed to cash grabs, this one seems especially insufferable to me because the originals of this stuff are still easily accessible at more reasonable prices.

          • A lot of that extra shit is so rad though. Live sets from the early years, plus it will look awesome on my shelf. All well, it’ll make me happy at least.

          • BALLS ROLL

            you mean extra shit like this has? yeah I feel you bro

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Double exactly.

          • more beer

            The band you are seeing for 10 or 15 bucks Needs the money more than the one releasing $150 box sets does. I would much rather the little guys get my money.

          • i also like to think if i buy a t-shirt FROM the band members selling their own merch at the table, it means something more

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            more beer, you’re my hero.

          • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

            Exactly.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            $150 = two copies of Suffocation ‘Pierced From Within’. Why a classic CD that seemed to sell relatively well is that expensive is beyond me. Thanks, Roadrunner!

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I got Alphaville’s ‘Crazytown’ box set (20 CDs, and almost all unreleased stuff and rarities) on download a while back. Normally, it would’ve cost over $600, plus the shipping costs from Germany. Plus it was only for fan club members, so yet another cost on top of it.

    • Dubs

      I think you could probably find most of those live shows in their vault for free anyway.

    • BALLS ROLL
      • Dubs

        I’ve got the 180 gram master-cut vinyls for this, Kill Em All, and Justice. I’m a fan, even if the 180 gram thing is probably a bit of a crock.

        • I hear there are 1.21 jigagrams per cocaines.

          #drugskoolfacts

        • Yeah, I have records that are not 180 gram that sound better than records that are.

          • Dubs

            It’s certainly a clever marketing ploy, as with most things in the vinyl revival.

          • Oh, totally.

          • BALLS ROLL

            the 180 gram presses are usually remasters

          • Yes sir.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            sadly my Emperor represses are remasters (makes Nightside Eclipse more listenable tho)

          • BALLS ROLL

            some remasters do good things for certain bands, and records, others not so good

        • BALLS ROLL

          are they 45’s?

          • Dubs

            I think the Justice one is. I’ll have to check when I’m home.

          • BALLS ROLL

            play it at 33

        • What “180 gram master-cut vynils” means?

    • Boss theSpeedMetalBastard Ross

      I wouldn’t mind just having the regular album and the picture discs that come with the set.

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      The band gives away mp3s of the live shows free anyway

  • brokensnow

    SOAD Zelda! the good ol days…..BODY CRUMBLES!!

    • stupid, early internet trolls* making us think that “Weird Al” Yankovic and Charlie Daniels were racists.
      *okay so trolling wasn’t around yet, but nobody bothered to fact-check these?

  • Count_Breznak

    Don’t pirate, selflessly offer some of your valuable hdd-volume as a shelter to poor penniless music files.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Ah, man, takes me back to the good old days of grabbing a pile of those free AOL startup discs that littered every fucking store in the city, getting the free 30 day trials, and just popping in a different disc when my 30 days was up. Managed to get a whole year and a half of free net that way.
    Is AOL even around anymore?

    • i bet Ted Nu-Djent still uses an AOL e-mail address

      • Also people in the Pentagon.

        • I still maintain a junk AOL email for when websites that require “registration”. Handy!

        • it’s untraceable.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Because no one would suspect that it even still exists.

        • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

          Billary Clintons emails

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            The firm that accidentally leaked the Panama Papers.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i didnt find any streams, only downloads

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            For the new Galneryus, I’m guessing? No biggie, I’ll probably just buy it when my budget allows. I thought you had it on CD or digital download, and were sending it over.

          • Ol Dirty Blastbeard

            i mean i could do that, but it wouldnt be a legal copy

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Eh, toss it over if you can. I was wanting to give it a spin before buying it.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        And people in 3rd world villages and slums.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        That one flew over my head.

      • Óðinn
    • Dubs

      What a bizarre business model.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        How so? Definitely not questioning you being right about that, but I never kept up with their business model. They seemed to lose dominance virtually overnight.

        • Dubs

          Charging per minute but distributing a nearly endless supply of free minutes.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Never heard of the charging by the minute thing, but wouldn’t be surprised.

          • Dubs

            Oops, i think it was per hour, not minute. It was definitely based on usage rather than a monthly subscription.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Oh, the hourly thing I’ve heard of. Can’t think of anyone I’ve known who went that route though.

          • Dubs

            I’m pretty sure that’s the main pricing scheme they had when it started.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Probably. My gf at the time was the one paying for the net (before I left and got my own place/started using the free trial discs) when I first started using it in 2001, so perhaps that might’ve been the plan we were using. *shrugs*

    • 80 FREE HOURS

      *SIGN UP TODAY*

      !!!!

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        I wonder how many landfills all those discs took up once AOL choked.

        • I thought I remember some guy trying to collect every version that AOL put out, for the CD’s. What a knob. lol

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I vaguely remember reading about that guy a while back. I’m scared to know what he’s up to nowadays.

    • Joaquin Stick

      Fun fact, there are still people paying for AOL when they have no need to.

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        Probably the same people who actually pay for porn when they don’t have to. Somewhere between those two, time stood still for them starting in 2002.

        • brokensnow

          lol

      • Fun fact: my parents still use dial up AOL. There are no other options where they live.

        • BALLS ROLL

          Hughes, Wild Blue?

          • My good buddy just moved to southern Indiana and has to use Hughes. I think the have so much “data” like a cellphone plane. He says after they use the data, it caps the bandwidth to a third. I guess it is a total draaaaag. AND it is $100 a month.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, that’s why Google Fiber was a smash hit with Kansas City because the Midwest really didn’t and still doesn’t have Broadband.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          They live in rural Somalia? Easter Island? Rural Mongolia? I can’t think of anywhere else where that’d be the only option.

          • more beer

            There are some really rural places in America.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            That are best left forgotten. That’s Trump Supporter territory out there, and should be sent the way of the dodo.

          • more beer

            At least they are in the middle of nowhere.

  • You know you’re a goddamned fossil when people are speaking nostalgically about P2P file-sharing over Limewire and I start reminiscing about P2P tape-dubbing.

    • Dubs

      Lol need some metamucil lol?

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        And some Deathpends.

      • Well, I truthfully am almost out so…

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      I’m old enough to remember when me and my friends would trade mix tapes in school and doodle all over the sleeves.

      • Count_Breznak

        Who needs tapes, when you can get FLAC-rips of tapes ?

        • kudos for this comment, sir.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          We’re talking back in ancient times (1994-1998). I would’ve thought FLAC was a misspelling of FLA (Frontline Assembly) around that time and got excited.

          • Count_Breznak

            It was Fear Factory and Marduk arround that time for me. Never really got into FLA. Well, never tried, tbh. Maybe should.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            One of the FLA guys, Rhys Fulber, actually produced FF for a while. If you’re looking for the more metal end of their catalog, go with Millennium. Jed Simon from Strapping Young Lad actually plays on that one, and Devin Townsend played for them for a little while, IIRC.

        • Guppusmaximus

          Trolling or not – Do you know anyone who has a flac rip of this
          http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/231906619184?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true

          • Count_Breznak

            All I did find was some tape-only black metal releases as FLAC. One of the bees-in-a-trashcan with casio synth ones. Losslessly sounding like shit.

          • I do “tape rips” of rare stuff.

    • you can’t come in here and drop that bomb…. without writing an article about it!

    • more beer

      Also trading tapes. Remember home taping is ruining the recording industry.

      • I have a vintage “tape copier” at home. It copies tapes at like 3 or 4x speed. Weird huh?

        • BALLS ROLL

          for sale?

        • more beer

          Dual cassette deck?

        • I have a sweet Nakamichi tape deck that makes some seriously amazingly great-sounding copies on Type II tape. Unfortunately something went wrong with it and I still haven’t sent it in for servicing.

          I literally have three component cassette decks and even have a tape deck in my truck.

          • being an electronics nut, i’m super curious what went wrong with your copier and how easy/hard it would be to repair

          • I’m not sure exactly what went wrong but it happened twice when I used a cassette head demagnetizer. Basically if I forgot to demag in Pause/Record mode and just hit play something would begin making a terrible clicking sound until I stopped it. From there things would get bad towards the end of each tape side until it finally would just completely die.

            I want to send it in to a retired Nakamichi tech who everyone respects. My model would cost 350 for complete factory-spec restoration.

          • $350 USD seems like a fair price for complete refurbish of a device like that. especially if there’s a specialty motor inside failing intermittently like that.

        • Max

          I work at a place that’s got three 16x speed ones all slaved together (one of them has a master deck, obviously).

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        And almost everyone had their own little doodles on the sleeves of the tapes. It was the next step up from doodling band logos and skulls on your notebook.

        • more beer

          Nah always had the song titles. You need to know what you are listening to.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Well, duh, of course me and my friends would include that, but doodles where we could fit them as well.

          • Max

            It always sucked when friends couldn’t write neatly.

          • more beer

            Plus it was actually kind of a task to write the titles in the limited space provided.

          • Max

            Oh, fuck yes! And the glossy cardstock made the ink smudgeable; so you had to make sure you wrote with your hand not touching the surface lest you brush the previous line of writing, which was also a pain in the ass.

          • more beer

            That too. When I think about it. I spent a lot of my youth making tapes. Time well spent.

      • Guppusmaximus

        No, actually, Scotch Invisible Tape is ruining the recording industry…
        http://thenestinggame.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/IMG_1311.jpg

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Bwahahahahaha! Never would’ve taken you for a New Edition/Bobby Brown fan! *starts humping around*

          • Guppusmaximus

            “Cool it Now” was the bomb-diggity. I couldn’t help it, I was 10 for fucks sake…

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            OK, fair enough then!

        • more beer

          Hahaha! I used to do that. But back then. The record industry complained that dubbing tapes was putting them out of business. These were the real enemy because you could typically fit two albums on one of these.

          • when it comes to any new technology in the industry, this phrase from a cinema classic always comes to mind: “Losers always whine about their best.” companies can either sit around crying their eyes out or try and innovate… which eventually leads to some variation of success

          • Guppusmaximus

            Exactly! The fucking RIAA saw the writing on the wall and just like the Print Industry they sat back and expected the money to keep flowing for doing nothing.

          • more beer

            Yep, and the more things change the more they stay the same.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Oh yea, definitely. That’s why I posted that picture because the “security” they implemented didn’t stand a chance against office supplies. These were my favs for dubbing CDs
            http://www.glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Maxell_XLII-S_90.jpg

          • Guppusmaximus

            *Oops* actually it was these (it’s been a while)
            http://www.tapedeck.org/400/Maxell_XLII_90.jpg

          • Maxell was the best. Hands down. TDK made some decent blanks too but Maxell was the shit.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yea, TDK was a good 2nd choice but Maxell had the patent to the right formula. That is some chemical element wizardry going on there. I betcha they were fucking alchemists …LOL

          • more beer

            Those were the best ones back then. Definitely high tech for the time. It was probably this one the XLII-S were the most expensive ones.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Yup. It was all about the Metal (not the genre either,lol)- if you didn’t spend the extra cash then you realized just how bad you got robbed after spending all that time dubbing. *ugh* https://tapetardis.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-type-iv-metal-audio-cassette/

          • more beer

            There was an absolute difference in quality, if you didn’t spend a little more money.

          • CyberneticOrganism
          • Guppusmaximus

            Back then, I think they were called Mary Palmer & The 5 Sisters.

          • Those were some super high-quality fucking tapes. I still have quite a stash of unopened ones. With a good tape deck and a good source they sounded phenomenal.

          • Guppusmaximus

            PC Soundcards just don’t have the power that a nice deck had. Sure, the pre-amps that most decks had weren’t the same level as an actual dedicated amplifier, but, there was just something about the clarity(?) of a well recorded cassette that I don’t experience with digital file playback on a PC. Maybe the circuitry wasn’t as cheap? I think I need to setup my SACD player again…

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            And they ripped after not very many listens, hence had to be replaced.

          • more beer

            Not the Maxell’s. Maybe some of the cheaper quality tapes. Or maybe it was your tape player. It wasn’t unheard of for some tape players to eat and rip your tapes.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I meant when you’d actually go out and buy a band’s tape, not the recording tapes. As far as I know, bands rarely or never printed them on the higher quality tapes. And yeah, could’ve been my player as well. I couldn’t switch to CD soon enough!

          • more beer

            Back then I bought vinyl. It was very rare for me to buy a cassette.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            I very very rarely bought vinyl growing up, unless it was something I could only find on that format. Last one I got was Amgod’s ‘Half Rotten And Decayed’ back in ’97, since the CDs were sold out and there were only a few vinyls left.

          • Max

            Oh, the commercially-released tape formats of the albums were fucking shit in durability. I would transfer a new cassette straight to blank tape as soon as I purchased it to preserve the life of the bought product.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Good thinking!

          • CT-12

            A few years ago I found some mixtapes/dubbed albums on cassette in a free bin at a local music store; listening to those really got me into Subhumans and G.B.H.

    • Guppusmaximus

      Or when their qualifier for being obsessed with a band is d/l’ing free & readily available videos from the bands ACTUAL website while not having to drive to another state to buy way overpriced unofficial bootlegs. (I’m talking to you New Hampshire)

      • Dubs

        It’s not my fault you’re a relic.

        • Guppusmaximus

          True dat. No one beats Father Time…

          • Dubs

            Ha, I’m just hassling you.

    • I remember those times when I had to dub a tape, hit record for something I might like from a radio show or wait for stupid Riki Rachtman to play one decent video over the course of 3 hours of Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. You younger folks don’t know what we had to suffer through.

      • Max

        Headbanger’s Ball!?!? We were lucky to get TV in black and white! You were living in the lap of luxury.

        I had to walk 17 miles to the nearest record store, which didn’t sell metal anyway, and hand over a sack of freshly-mined coal in exchange for the latest Rolling Stones album on wax cylinder.

      • Guppusmaximus

        Yup. When they got rid of Adam Curry for that Glam Rock Whore the whole show took a nosedive. They should’ve changed the name to “The Hard Rock Cafe”.

        • Could not stand that guy. He prentended to like every single band on the show. There’s a picture of him right next to the word “poseur” in the dictionary.

          • Guppusmaximus

            Well, I don’t think he was necessarily pretending because he owned a club on the strip – I think it was called The Cat House or something. But, yea, he was a fucking poseur.

  • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

    Lol, remember when this trended back in the day?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OGGtF_h0mw

    • Dubs

      You didn’t click the embedded links, did you?

      • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

        On youtube? *scratches head*

        • Dubs

          “(most notably Lars’ righteous crusade against Napster in 2000)”

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Oops! I rarely ever click on those, tbh.

          • Dubs

            They’re different videos, but same series of napster stuff.

          • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

            Gotcha. DOH!!!!

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    Ah, everything about this article tickled me. Metallica, old school piracy, cover tunes (my brother and I spent hours one summer compiling our discs Covered In Punk 1 & 2 off Kazaa), dodgy meta-data, dogged investigation, obscurity… Wonderful stuff.

    • Guppusmaximus

      Or how about the mislabeled uploads on P2P #timespentpainfully

  • Soulseek was my pirating P2P of choice and it is still active. It was useful for when I couldn’t get a hold of the hard to find site. That being said, my metadata is tip top because I like order and cleanliness in my music files.

    • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

      Eh, just get a Youtube downloader. Practically every song is up on YT or will be within a day or two of release, and none of the viruses/guessing games you get with Soulseek. Plus awesome for DLing old underground movies from there, especially foreign ones.

      • I don’t use it anymore, I’m mostly a law abiding citizen now.

        • Lisa Ling: Devourer Of Souls

          Lol, perfectly legal so far as I know! Now, if you get a visit from a certain balding Danish midget with a fetish for banging on coffee cans………..

  • Waynecro

    Super article, W. Thanks! I didn’t really use the Internet until I was in college. Before that, I thought the Internet was just something rich kids used to look at naked pictures of Lara Croft.

    • waynebro: the awkward sensual years

      • Waynecro

        Except I wasn’t a rich kid, and I didn’t own a computer.

        • doesn’t matter any more, cause nowdays they got internets on phones, on watches, and in cars!

          • Waynecro

            Now anyone, not just rich kids, can look at naked Lara Croft. And not just in the privacy of their own homes–in public as well. Truly this is Atlantis.

    • Dubs

      To be fair, that was what it was (and still is) mainly used for.

  • Óðinn
  • Óðinn
  • CT-12

    I remember having a revelation similar to yours Dubz. I had downloaded some Slayer song, which I knew full and well after I listened to it, it wasn’t Slayer. Thought it was a badass track though, but could never really understand the lyrics so I never had a clue as to who the band were. Years later, found out the song was “Darkness Descends” after checking out Dark Angel on a whim, and hearing it was the same song immediately drew me into listening to that album. Thanks go out to whoever mislabeled that song on LimeWire!

  • Max

    An entertaining read.

    The only time I ever used Limewire was via a friend so we could lift a few songs that we’d decided to cover in our band and needed to learn. So the whole thing passed me by – I basically went from buying CDs straight to streaming (and I still buy CDs). To this day, I’ve never downloaded an album legally or illegally, although I have been known to pirate by recording out of YouTube or Bandcamp via D/A/D conversion for the odd song here and there (never a full album).

    What this story really does hit home to me, however, is just how much the labels fucked up by not embracing downloading at that time instead of trying to stamp out the problem. The low fidelity of the files shared, plus the issue of dodgy metadata as illustrated here, surely added up to a real potential to entice consumers back to the legitimate product if only the price was right – which, of course, it wasn’t if you were an impoverished student with an insatiable hunger for discovering more music.

  • Warheart

    Back in those days, everything was from Children of Bodom. I remember downloading “The Trooper” and “Final countdown” from Audiogalaxy, both covers credited to COB, but years later I found out the first one was actually Sentenced, the other I don’t even remember the band, but it wasn’t COB.

    • Dubs

      I suppose it wasn’t the worst possible guess since so the band did record so many covers.

      • Warheart

        The fact that Spinefarm had some split records (well, more promos than actual splits) of COB with 2 or 3 bands at the same time made it worst, in those days people just ripped everything and mislabeled it without giving a fuck. That’s how I found different finnish bands titled as COB.

    • I think it was Norther, the one who made The Final Countdown, isn’t it?

      • Warheart

        I don’t think so, I should remember it since Norther is a pretty well known act, I’m almost sure it was some obscure band no one cares anymore.

        Actually, there’s more than one metal cover of the Final countdown, maybe Norther did one of them indeed.

      • Warheart

        Pretty popular tune. Well, a quick search in youtube and I found it, the old “COB cover”, it was Dispatched:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8gc6vulshI

        Also, there’s one from Unlimited:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjFh43DcjR8

        And the Norther version, which I didn’t knew of it’s existence, I lost interest in them years ago, but is a fine cover:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNvRMBqqvrs