The band last month quietly made the entire Metallica back catalogue available through iTunes in the US and Canada, saying of the lack of international availability: "Our record company overseas doesn’t seem to want to play ball with us on this at the moment. Hopefully this will get sorted out ASAFP, but we didn’t want our fans in North America to have to wait any longer while our overseas record company tries to get their shit together!
On the move to make music available through iTunes after years working hard to control online access to their music, the band said, "Over the last year or so, we have seen an ever-growing number of Metallica fans using online sites like iTunes to get their music. So, in continuing with the tradition of offering our albums for sale online (which we’ve been doing for a few years through various sites), as well as making our live concerts available for download in their entirety (through the livemetallica.com site), we are now offering fans the opportunity to obtain our songs individually."
The band has also boosted the catalogue by adding a selection of previously unavailable tracks to the collection included within their first four albums.
Meanwhile, in related news, a track from the bands soon-to-ship album, Death Magnetic, has appeared across file-sharing networks. The band’s ninth album is set for official release on September 12.