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Why Metallica Allowed Stranger Things To Use Their Music

It's probably fair to say one of the big takeaways from Season 4 for fans of "Stranger Things" was the fans' love for Eddie Munson, played by breakout star Joseph Quinn. The hero with heavy metal in his heart stole the season in which he debuted. His character's final heroic act culminated in a battle between demons from the Upside Down in which Eddie got to play Metallica's "Master of Puppets" on his guitar in the most metal boss battle from all of 2022.

Eddie's big moment led to one of the best uses of a song in the music-filled, nostalgia-fueled Netflix show. Quinn has admitted that he mostly played the song in the scene and that it is one of the highlights of his career. It became the moment everyone was talking about after Volume 2 of Season 4 dropped on the streamer. The epic scene felt like a 1980s album cover come to life, and fans are still talking about it, streaming the song, and downloading it.

Proving that Kate Bush isn't the only musician benefitting from Season 4 of the sci-fi show, Metallica's "Master of Puppets" shot up in popularity in the summer of 2022. The nearly 40-year-old song was graciously given to "Stranger Things" by the band, and they're thrilled they made that decision for the show to use it.

Metallica recently realized it was 'stupid' not to license their songs for movies and TV

In an interview with Howard Stern, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich discussed why the band allowed "Stranger Things" to use their classic song "Master of Puppets." He stated that the band used to never license their music for movies and television, but he said they changed their tune over the last couple of years leading up to "Stranger Things." He said, "We did a 180. We just said, 'You know what? This is stupid. Why are we hanging onto these [songs] like they're so important, like they're the crown jewels?' ... We started saying yes to everything ... Let's share our music with the world."

They made a great financial decision letting properties buy the rights to use their songs. After the song was used in the climatic episode of the show, streams for the song shot through the roof, and the song appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart a good 36 years after its inclusion on Metallica's third album, also titled "Master of Puppets." Ulrich talked about the shock of seeing the song skyrocket back into popularity. He said, "It was totally unexpected. Who would've thought 40 years later that these songs could still have that impact? We were psyched to be part of it."

Metallica obviously approved of how the show chose to use the song because they gave a shout-out to "Stranger Things" when they played "Master of Puppets" on the first day of Lollapalooza in late summer 2022. Joseph Quinn himself got to play the song with the band, and Metallica frontman James Hetfield even dressed up like Eddie Munson for Halloween. It appears the song's appearance in "Stranger Things" was a win-win for all involved.