Ride the Lightning is the second studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on July 27, 1984, by the independent label Megaforce Records. The album was recorded in three weeks with producer Flemming Rasmussen at the Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artwork, based on a concept by the band, depicts an electric chair in the midst of a thunderstorm. The title was taken from a passage in Stephen King's novel The Stand. Although rooted in the thrash metal genre, the album showcased the band's musical maturity and lyrical sophistication. This was partly because bassist Cliff Burton introduced the basics of music theory to the rest of the band and had more input in the songwriting. Instead of relying strictly on fast tempos as on Kill 'Em All, Metallica broadened its approach by employing acoustic guitars, extended instrumentals, and more complex harmonies. The overall recording costs were paid by Metallica's European label Music for Nations because Megaforce was unable to cover it. It was the last album to feature songwriting contributions from former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine.