Metallica
Master of Puppets (3cd Deluxe Reissue)

Without question Metallica’s Master of Puppets, in 1986, is one of the all-time greatest thrash metal records ever to be released.  This is the album that platooned them into super stardom. Along with their US tour with Ozzy, Metallica then began to rise to a popularity that many groups only have dreams of.  Last year, Metallica released super crazy box set deluxe vinyl and supplemental cds/dvds to go along with this and the first 2 albums.

I opted for this new version and a few thoughts on the original album, my time era observations and this deluxe 3 cd reissue.  Master of Puppets, has some of the greatest thrash metal songs ever.  From opener, “Battery”, thrashing you all over the place to “Damage, Inc.” to everything in the middle, this is a perfect thrash album.  The band peaked at this album.  I remember my local record store, Slipped Disc Records posting their new releases in their window.  I had a turntable, but wanted the cassette.  After school I rushed to the store and the place was jam packed and I bought the cassette and threw it in my boom box and proceeded to walk around my neighborhood cranking the shit out of the cassette.  For that time period this was one of the best looking cassettes.  Multi-paneled outlay with lyrics and pictures.  This was the year record companies also started making clear, see through, cassettes-damn I still remember the plastic smell of these, when unwrapping the brand new cassettes.  I was in school when I found out about the passing of bassist Cliff Burton (RIP).  A bunch of us metalheads, began crying in class.  It was so tragic, but the band soldiered on.  Being a huge fan of the first Flotsam and Jetsam album-Doomsday for the Deceiver, Metallica getting Jason Newsted was a great choice.

Disc 1 is the original album newly remastered.  I have the 20 year old gold remaster and it’s probably worth some coin, but this new remaster is fuller.  “The Thing That Should Not Be”, always a heavy tune, is brought forth to such a heaving heaviness as you can hear the powerful rhythm section pummel the crap out of you.  A simplistic, yet fantastic song, sounds even heavier than before.  Really a great remastering job.  Disc 2 contains  demos, riffs, instrumentals of the songs eventually making their way onto the full-length.  These tracks are also remastered and honestly bore the piss out of me.  I really have no desire to go back to this disc again, since the final versions of the tunes are perfect and I really don’t want to hear isolated riffs, or instrumentals without vocals.  Although; Disc 2 has a 20 minute audio interview with Cliff Burton, while they were touring the US with Ozzy.  It is awesome.  The interviewer is quite young and sounds like he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about as he constantly keeps mispronouncing the title for “Damage, Inc.” and Cliff continuously correcting him-it’s funny.   Disc 3 is made into a full 14-song concert.  Has Cliff for some of the live tracks and also Newsted for other tracks, when he replaced Cliff (RIP).  The tracks and song selections are great.  They could have thrown “Fight Fire With Fire”, on here, but whatever.  The sound is excellent.  Personally, I feel this should be disc 2 and disc 3 should have been a live dvd/blu-ray.  They dropped the ball on failing to do this.

The booklet is gorgeous.  Contains lyrics and tons of pictures and I remember a ton of the pics from magazines over 30 years ago.  Only gripe is no liners, from any of the band or anyone else for that matter.  Everything is housed in an ultra-chunky digipak.  The front cover is also embossed.  It’s a great reissue and shows that Master of Puppets is a timeless thrash metal classic.  Now the next remaster has to be …And Justice for All, and Metallica, put the bass guitar back in the fucking mix!

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Written by Frank Rini
February 2nd, 2018

Comments

  1. Commented by: AR

    God yes on the Justice/bass remaster! Although I rarely listen to these guys anymore, this is a perfect record, for sure.


  2. Commented by: Frini

    Exactly. They are remastering Garage Days and that’s to be released soon. I cannot imagine AJFA is not gonna be next. We’ll see if they just remaster or remix and remaster.


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