Fuel (song)

Single by Metallica
from the album ReLoad
B-side "Sad But True" (live)/"Nothing Else Matters" (live)
"Wherever I May Roam" (live)/"One" (live)
"Until It Sleeps" (live)/"Fuel" (live)/"Fuel" (demo)
Released June 16, 1998
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Heavy metal
Length 4:26
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Kirk Hammett
James Hetfield
Lars Ulrich
Producer(s) Bob Rock
Metallica singles chronology
"The Unforgiven II"
"Better than You"
Music video
"Fuel" on YouTube
Music sample

"Fuel" is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. The song was written by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, and was released as the third single from their seventh album, Reload. Metallica have frequently played the song in concert over the years, including the 1999 live album S&M with Michael Kamen conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Fuel was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1999 but lost to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant for the song "Most High".


The song's demo was called "Fuel for Fire" and was recorded in Lars Ulrich's home studio "Dungeon" on January 16, 1995 (take 1).

Song usage

As an instrumental piece, "Fuel" was the theme song and used as background music during race recaps for NASCAR broadcasts on NBC and TNT from 2001 to 2003 seasons. (It was also used for the 2004 coverage of the Daytona 500, but not as the theme song.) However, from the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 until the end of the 2001 season, the opening scream ("Give me fuel, Give me fire, Give me that which I desire!") was removed because of its close association with terrorists in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The pre-release version of the song entitled "Fuel for Fire" (recorded on October 5, 1995) (with different lyrics) appears on the NASCAR Full Throttle CD. Sometimes at live concerts, James and Kirk slide their guitars to make an engine roaring sound to add the taste of the theme of the song. The song was used as the entrance music for NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano when they guest-starred on the October 26, 2009 episode of WWE Raw.

The song was featured in the television series House M.D., on the episode "Known Unknowns".[1]

Avril Lavigne has covered the song live paying tribute to the band at MTV Icon: Metallica, held in Universal City, California in 2003.

The song was featured in the video game Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open as the game's opening video music and a selectable music track in the game.

The song was also featured as the theme song for Hot Wheels Turbo Racing.

"Fuel" was used in a 2016 television advertising campaign for the 2016 Dodge Charger and Challenger.

The opening verse ("Gimme Fuel, Gimme Fire" etc) is also used, following a short section of ELPs Fanfare for the Common Man, as introduction music to Top Fuel Dragster class racing at Santa Pod raceway England.

"Fuel" is also used as the intro song for the Indy Fuel hockey team.

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Europe June 16, 1998 Vinyl, CD Elektra
United States June 22, 1998

Track listing

UK CD single 1
  1. "Fuel" – 4:30
  2. "Sad but True" (Live) – 6:23
  3. "Nothing Else Matters" – 6:08
UK CD single 2
  1. "Fuel" – 4:32
  2. "Wherever I May Roam" – 6:50
  3. "One" – 8:06
UK CD single 3
  1. "Fuel" – 4:30
  2. "Until It Sleeps" (Live) – 4:25
  3. "Fuel" (Live) – 4:41
  4. "Fuel" (Demo) – 4:25
Japanese EP
  1. "Fuel" – 4:30
  2. "Fuel" (Live) – 4:39
  3. "Sad but True" (Live) – 6:24
  4. "Until It Sleeps" (Live) – 4:26
  5. "One" (Live) – 8:07
  6. "Fuel" (Demo) – 4:26

All live tracks were recorded on April 20, 1998 at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia


Chart (1998) Peak
Polish Singles Chart[2] 16
UK Singles Chart 31
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 6


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