"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by heavy metal band Metallica. It was first released in 1991 on the self-titled Black Album. Many long-standing Metallica fans, who were used to the harsh lyrical nature of the first three Metallica ballads, did not appreciate the inclusion of a love song. It was one of the principal songs fans pointed to when accusing the band of "selling out." Regardless, the song is now very popular among Metallica fans and hit #11 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks Charts in 1992. It is still played frequently on the radio.
Singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield initially wrote it to a former girlfriend, but now he cannot remember why; some say it meant that "no matter how far" he was (since Metallica spent most of their time on tours), he was still "so close" with the heart. He considered it a very personal song and was not going to publish it, but once lead guitarist Kirk Hammett heard it he wanted it on the Black Album. Now Metallica consider it a song dedicated to all their fans. It has become a staple of their live performances.
Its intro is an E minor arpeggio beginning with the open E, G, B and high E strings. It was first rumoured, and then confirmed by Hetfield on Classic Albums: The Black Album DVD, that he started composing it while he was on the phone with his girlfriend and only had one free hand. Also on the Classic Albums DVD, Hetfield admits that at that time in his career, girlfriends came and went and were a regular happening on the road.
This arpeggio is considered very simple to play, and as such many Metallica fans learn this song when they are first beginning to play guitar. However, the beginning of the song does sound like two guitars playing, so the easiest 'one' is easy, but in reality Hetfield plays one guitar and makes it sound like two (rhythm and lead), so played properly it is not that easy.