"Nothing Else Matters" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the third single from its self-titled fifth studio album, Metallica. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart as well as top-ten positions on many European charts. "Nothing Else Matters" was featured as a playable track in the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica. The song has been covered over forty times.
Singer and rhythm guitarist James Hetfield wrote the song (credited to Hetfield/Ulrich) while he was on the phone with his then girlfriend. Since he held the phone with one hand, he plucked the four open strings of a standard E-minor chord with the other, which eventually made up the first two bars of the song. The lyrics were also dedicated to his girlfriend, which talk about being "so close, no matter how far", indicating the bond they shared even when Hetfield was on tour. Initially, the song was not meant to be released, as Hetfield had written it for himself, but only after drummer Lars Ulrich heard it, it was considered for the album.He is the best ballad of all time in Rolling Stone and is the number one greatest song of all time in Kerrang.
Its intro is an E minor arpeggio beginning with the open low E followed by the open G, B and high E strings. It was first rumored, and then confirmed by Hetfield on Classic Albums: Metallica -- Metallica DVD, that he started composing it while he was on the phone with his girlfriend and only had one free hand.
It is one of the few Metallica songs in which Hetfield, not Kirk Hammett, plays the guitar solo, given that Hetfield recorded all rhythm and most harmony tracks on the band's first five albums. Hammett does not play on the studio recording, making it one of two songs in the whole Metallica repertoire, along with Cliff Burton's "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth", in which he does not appear.