Musical Musings With Metallica

“Do you bury me when I’m gone
Do you teach me while I’m here
Just as soon as I belong
Then it’s time I disappear”

These lyrics were the first thing that popped into my head when I read today’s prompt.  Metallica recorded “I Disappear” as a contribution to the soundtrack of Mission Impossible 2. The song does not appear on any of the band’s studio albums, and is their only standalone single. When the movie came out in May 2000 (Wow! Eighteen years!), the song was on the number one slot on various charts for several weeks. Two versions of the single were released – one with the lyrics, and the second an instrumental one. I Disappear was written and composed by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Of course, having been featured in a Tom Cruise movie, I was introduced to the song from it’s music video. I vaguely remember the first time I saw the video, wondering why a song from a movie didn’t have that many scenes from the movie. That too a Tom Cruise movie! The music video was directed by Wayne Isham, and features the members from Metallica in scenes that are references to other movies. In between these scenes depicting the band members separately, the band plays together on the top of a rock in Monument Valley, Utah. These are interspersed with Tom Cruise’s rock climbing scenes from the movie. (That was some opening scene! And the best part of the movie for me.) So basically, Tom is climbing up the rock where the band is playing. And by the time he reaches the top, the band has disappeared.

The prompt reminds me to watch the movie again. M:I 2 was quite something – A complete detour from the first part, this one didn’t have much in terms of a storyline or acting, but dollops of John Woo’s action scenes woven by a thin thread of a narrative. In fact, for many audiences, Metallica’s contribution was the only good to come out of M:I 2. In spite of a top action director and superstar actor-producer, Metallica completely owned the song and video. The Mission Impossible franchise might be known for Tom Cruise, but M:I 2 was known for this amazing song in it’s soundtrack – even the Mission Impossible theme didn’t stand a chance to this. (Those who hadn’t seen the movie wondered what Tom Cruise was doing in a Metallica video.) A good time to revisit – Fallout, the 6th part in the franchise releases in July. For those who haven’t heard or watched I Disappear, here’s the video.

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