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Metallica's Master Of Puppets Turns 25
MTV newsroom ^ | 3/4/2011 | Kyle Anderson

Posted on 03/04/2011 10:48:23 AM PST by qam1

Considering how immediate the best of it feels, it's always a little bit surprising how well metal music ages. While not everything still sounds fresh, many of the genre's cornerstone releases hold up extremely well. Slayer's Reign in Blood still sounds as fresh and vital as it did when it first came out, and Black Sabbath's Paranoid remains top-shelf. While not all of their albums hold up well, Metallica's Master of Puppets — which came out on this day in 1986, a full 25 years ago — remains a stone cold classic and an album by which other metal albums should be judged.

The thing that stands out about Master of Puppets all these years later is how hard the whole thing is. Every chord crunch, every drum hit and every bellow from the throat of frontman James Hetfield is jagged and punishing, like the musical equivalent of a steel-toed boot constantly stomping on your face. Even the slower, slightly quieter moments (most notably on "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)") are infused with a snarling menace that permeates everything. Most people consider Metallica's self-titled 1991 album (the one with "Enter Sandman") to be their crossover, but Metallica is a full-on heavy album (a vibe they would inhabit for the remainder of the '90s). Master of Puppets is hard, and in retrospect, it actually does a better job than Metallica of splitting the difference between what the band was (the thrash-happy noisemakers of Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning and ...And Justice For All) and the band they were becoming (a stadium-filling anthem machine of epic proportions).

Indeed, it's the fact that Master of Puppets is so undeniably catchy that stands out more than anything else. Sure, the pounding rhythms of "Disposable Heroes" and the epic shred jam "Orion" are for hardcores only, but "Master of Puppets and "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" are absolute singalongs. You can clearly hear the roots of more obvious crowd-pleasers like "Sad But True" and "The Unforgiven," and it's pretty thrilling to be able to heard a band at the top of its game evolving in real time.

Of course, there's a lot of sadness attached to Master of Puppets, as it ended up being the final album the band recorded with original bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident on September 27, 1986. A certain era of Metallica was over, and a new one began shortly thereafter with the arrival of bassist Jason Newsted (and the creation of Metallica, of course). There's also an argument that Master of Puppets was the last great metal album of the '80s, which is not unreasonable (although fans of Tesla's The Great Radio Controversy would probably raise a stink). And considering Nirvana's Bleach came out only a year after Master of Puppets, change was already in the air for all of rock music. If Master of Puppets sounds like the end of days — and it does — that's probably because it sort of was.


TOPICS: History; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: metallica; xer
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1 posted on 03/04/2011 10:48:27 AM PST by qam1
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To: qam1

That song sucks.


2 posted on 03/04/2011 10:49:47 AM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; xrp; ...
25th anniversary ouch

Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

3 posted on 03/04/2011 10:51:01 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
25th anniversary ouch

In before the obligatory "Who is this band? They're not from the (40s, 50s, 60s,70s, pick one) so obviously they suck!" comments.

ouch is right. Geez, has it been that long?

I'll say, though, that Metallica lost me when they started going after their fans for illegal downloads. Just because they were right, doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

4 posted on 03/04/2011 10:54:22 AM PST by wbill
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To: wbill

They lost me at and after the black album. And Justice For All was the last decent thing they’ve done IMHO.


5 posted on 03/04/2011 11:04:26 AM PST by Peter from Rutland
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To: humblegunner
ping


6 posted on 03/04/2011 11:04:51 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer (biblein90days.org))
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7 posted on 03/04/2011 11:16:05 AM PST by evets (beer)
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To: qam1

I preferred Anthrax over Metallica.

‘Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying’ by Megadeath was much better than Master of Puppets.

F U Lars....

signed: Dave Mustaine


8 posted on 03/04/2011 11:19:01 AM PST by Le Chien Rouge
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To: qam1

Hey, I’m still trying to shake off King Crimson!


9 posted on 03/04/2011 11:21:19 AM PST by eCSMaster (2012 - End of an error)
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To: Peter from Rutland

They lost me with that Load/Reload garbage.


10 posted on 03/04/2011 11:22:42 AM PST by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: qam1
There's also an argument that Master of Puppets was the last great metal album of the '80s, which is not unreasonable (although fans of Tesla's The Great Radio Controversy would probably raise a stink).

Tesla was a hard rock band (and a very good one), not a metal band.

11 posted on 03/04/2011 11:25:53 AM PST by Gena Bukin
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To: evets
bwahahaha.

I just put in some old Metallica this weekend. It had been a long time.
12 posted on 03/04/2011 11:26:28 AM PST by NoGodsJustGuns
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To: Tzimisce

They rock live.


13 posted on 03/04/2011 11:27:12 AM PST by goseminoles
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To: qam1

Man do I feel old...


14 posted on 03/04/2011 11:28:05 AM PST by Durus (Don't talk about what you have done or what you are going to do. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Peter from Rutland

Holy cow, am I that old???

With ya on the Black album and Justice.

I need to sulk. 25?????


15 posted on 03/04/2011 11:30:10 AM PST by ElenaM
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To: evets

LOL!


16 posted on 03/04/2011 11:35:43 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: qam1
I'm to old for Metallica. I just got the CD of Mannfred Mann's Earth Band “Solar Fire.” Great stuff. “Father of Day,Father of Night” is a great old tune!
17 posted on 03/04/2011 11:36:29 AM PST by 4yearlurker (I can't afford anymore hope and change!!!!)
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To: qam1
Paranoid is 40 this year. The year it came out I was a HS junior. But it still rocks. And so do I.


18 posted on 03/04/2011 11:38:12 AM PST by Phlap (REDNECK@LIBARTS.EDU)
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To: qam1

The more I learned about Metallica, the less I liked them. Lars Ulrich comes across as a spoiled prima donna, and the band treated bassist Jason Newstead like crap until he left them. They became poseurs at any rate.


19 posted on 03/04/2011 11:38:49 AM PST by Hacksaw (Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy” — H.L. Mencken)
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To: Phlap

Now we’re Rocking !
F U L U


20 posted on 03/04/2011 11:42:01 AM PST by uddaudd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona.....)
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