Legend has it that James Hetfield came up with the idea for "Nothing Else Matters" while on the phone with his girlfriend. Holding the phone in one hand, he idly plucked out the open strings progression that would become the first two bars of one of his band's biggest hits.
"Nothing Else Matters" has been one of Metallica's gifts that keeps on giving. It has been played at nearly every one of their shows since 1991, fulfilling the fans' needs for a singalong and giving the band a break from two hours of more demanding material. Wikipedia currently lists over 40 cover versions, including ones from Shakira, Macy Gray and the Vienna Boys Choir.
By now, "Nothing Else Matters" should be exhausted. Yet a SoundCloud user calling himself Inaudible Whisper has found something new in the song by slowing it down 800%:
The whole thing lasts nearly an hour, but drop in at any given minute and you'll be rewarded. The song loses its simplicity with every note drawn out into an ambient wonderland. Parts of it sound like Sigur Rós. Traces of the original are scarce, yet the result it a must-hear, both to appreciate for its own aesthetics and to absorb what went into Metallica's recording.