A key figure in Metallica's history has died. Producer Paul Curcio, who is best known for his production work on the band's 1983 debut Kill 'Em All, died at the age of 74.

According to Curcio's daughter Brianne, the producer and studio founder suffered heart failure in St. Petersburg, Fla. on the night of Sept. 10.

Curcio's career started as a musician, playing with J.P. Racer and The Mojo Men. He eventually relocated from New York to the West Coast where he founded Pacific Recording in San Mateo, California, and his includes albums by Bay Area favorites Santana (1990's Acapulco Sunrise, 2002's Soul Sacrifice), the Doobie Brothers (1971's The Doobie Brothers) and Blue Cheer (1985's The Beast Is ... Back).

However, his biggest credit was producing Kill 'Em All.  Curcio told Billboard that Metallica manager Jon “Jonny Z” Zazula chose him because he was willing to book the band at an inexpensive rate, with the project budgeted for approximately $15,000 for 17 days of studio work.

In his later years, Curcio had moved to the Tampa-St. Petersburg area where he remained tied to the music industry scouting and developing talent.

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