Metallica – ...And Justice For All LP levy

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Label: Blackened – BLCKND007R-1
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, 180G
Country: US
Released: Nov 2, 2018
Genre: Rock
Style: Heavy Metal, Thrash

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A1 Blackened
Written-By – Hetfield*, Newsted*, Ulrich*
6:42
A2 ...And Justice For All
Written-By – Hetfield*, Hammett*, Ulrich*
9:45
B1 Eye Of The Beholder
Written-By – Hetfield*, Hammett*, Ulrich*
6:26
B2 One
Written-By – Hetfield*, Ulrich*
7:23
C1 The Shortest Straw
Written-By – Hetfield*, Ulrich*
6:35
C2 Harvester Of Sorrow
Written-By – Hetfield*, Ulrich*
5:45
C3 The Frayed Ends Of Sanity
Written-By – Hetfield*, Hammett*, Ulrich*
7:41
D1 To Live Is To Die
Soloist, Lead Guitar [2nd Solo] – Hetfield*
Written-By – Burton*, Hetfield*, Ulrich*
9:48
D2 Dyers Eve
Written-By – Hetfield*, Hammett*, Ulrich*
5:13

...And Justice for All (album) - Wikipedia

...And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on September 7, 1988,[4] by Elektra Records. It was the first Metallica album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, following the death of their previous bassist Cliff Burton in 1986. Burton received posthumous co-writing credit on "To Live Is to Die" as Newsted followed bass lines Burton had recorded prior to his death.

Metallica recorded the album with producer Flemming Rasmussen over four months in early 1988 at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles. It features aggressive complexity, fast tempos, and few verse-chorus structures. It contains lyrical themes of political and legal injustices, such as governmental corruption, censorship, and war. The cover, designed by Roger Gorman with illustration by Stephen Gorman and based on a concept by Metallica guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, depicts Lady Justice bound in ropes, being pulled by them to the point of breaking, with dollar bills piled upon her scales. The album title is derived from the last four words of the American Pledge of Allegiance. Three of its songs were released as singles: "Harvester of Sorrow", "Eye of the Beholder", and "One"; the title track, "...And Justice for All", was released as a promotional single.

...And Justice for All was acclaimed by music critics for its depth and complexity, although its dry mix and nearly inaudible bass guitar was criticized. It was included in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll of the year's best albums, and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1989, controversially losing out to Jethro Tull in the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental category. The single "One" backed the band's debut music video, and earned Metallica their first Grammy Award in 1990 (and the first ever in the Best Metal Performance category). It was successful in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard 200, and was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2003 for shipping eight million copies in the U.S.

The album was reissued on November 2, 2018, in vinyl, CD, and cassette formats, as well as receiving a deluxe box set treatment with bonus tracks and unreleased video footage.[5] The reissue reached number 37 and 42 on Billboard's Top Album Sales and Top Rock Albums charts, respectively.[6][7]

Background

...And Justice for All is the first Metallica album to feature bassist Jason Newsted after the death of Cliff Burton in 1986; Newsted had previously played on the 1987 Metallica EP The $5.98 E.P. - Garage Days Re-Revisited.[8] Metallica had intended to record the album earlier, but was sidetracked by the large number of festival dates scheduled for the summer of 1987, including the European leg of the Monsters of Rock festival. Another reason was frontman James Hetfield's arm injury in a skateboarding accident.[9]

Metallica's previous studio album, Master of Puppets (1986), was their last under their contract with the record label Music for Nations. Manager Peter Mensch wanted them to sign with British record distributor Phonogram Records.[clarification needed] Phonogram manager Martin Hooker offered them "well over £1 million, which at that time was the biggest deal we'd ever offered anyone". His explanation was that the final figure for combined British and European sales of all three Metallica albums was more than 1.5 million copies.[9]

Recording

...And Justice for All was recorded from January to May 1988 at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles. Metallica produced the album with Flemming Rasmussen.[10] He had been initially unavailable for the planned start on January 1, 1988, and the band hired Mike Clink, who had caught their attention for producing the debut Guns N' Roses album Appetite for Destruction (1987). Plans deteriorated, and Rasmussen became available three weeks after drummer Lars Ulrich had first called him. Rasmussen listened to Clink's rough mixes for the album on his February 14 flight to Los Angeles, and upon his arrival, Clink was fired. Hetfield explained that recording with Clink had been problematic, and Rasmussen was a last-minute replacement.[11] Clink is credited with engineering drums on "The Shortest Straw" and "Harvester of Sorrow". Awaiting Rasmussen's arrival, the band had recorded two cover songs—"Breadfan" and "The Prince"—to "fine‑tune the sound while they got into the studio vibe".[11] Both were released as B-sides for singles from the album and were later included on the 1998 cover album Garage Inc.[12]

Rasmussen's first task was to adjust and arrange the guitar sound, with which the band was dissatisfied. A guide track for the tempos and a click track for Ulrich's drumming were used. The band played in a live room, recording the instruments separately. Each song used three reels: one for drums, a second for bass and guitars, and a third for other parts. Hetfield wrote lyrics during the recording sessions; these were occasionally unfinished as recording began, and Rasmussen said that Hetfield "wasn't really interested in singing" but instead "wanted that hard vibe".[11] Metallica's recording process was new to Newsted, who questioned his impact on the overall sound and the lack of discussion with the rest of the team. He recorded his parts separately, with only the assistant engineer present.[13] The experience differed from his previous band, Flotsam and Jetsam, whose style he described as "basically everybody playing the same thing like a sonic wall".[13]

Mixing

...And Justice for All is noted for its "dry, sterile" production.[14] Rasmussen said that was not his intention, as he tried for an ambient sound similar to the previous two albums. He was not present during the album's mixing, for which Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero had been hired beforehand. Rasmussen assumed that, in his absence from the mixing process, Thompson and Barbiero used only the close microphones on the mix and none of the room microphones, causing the "clicking", thin drum sound.[11] The bass guitar is nearly inaudible, while the guitars sound "strangled mechanistic".[15] He saw the "synthetic" percussion as another reason for the compressed sound.[16]

At the instruction of Hetfield and Ulrich, Newsted's bass guitar was made almost inaudible.[11][17] According to Rasmussen: "After Lars and James heard their initial mixes the first thing they said was, 'Take the bass down so you can just hear it, and then once you've done that, take it down a further three dBs.' I have no idea why they wanted that, but it was totally out of my hands."[11] In 2009, Hetfield said that the bass was obscured as the basslines often doubled his rhythm guitar, making the instruments indiscernible, and because the low frequencies were competing with his "scooped" guitar sound.[18]

Newsted was not satisfied with the final mix and was unhappy that the bass was inaudible.[11] Thompson was also unhappy, and blamed Ulrich for the decision; he tried to quit the project, but was blocked by management.[17] Rasmussen said in 2018: "I'm probably one of the only people in the world, including Jason and Toby Wright, the assistant engineer, who heard the bass tracks on And Justice for All, and they are fucking brilliant."[19]

In 2019, Hetfield and Ulrich said they had mixed the bass low not to belittle Newsted, but because their hearing was "shot" following heavy touring and so they "basically kept turning everything else up until the bass disappeared".[20] They decided not to adjust the mix for the remastered 2018 reissue, saying: "These records are a product of a certain time in life; they're snapshots of history and they're part of our story ... And Justice for All could use a little more low end and St. Anger could use a little less tin snare drum, but those things are what make those records part of our history."[21]

Music

We took the Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets concept as far as we could take it. There was no place else to go with the progressive, nutty, sideways side of Metallica, and I'm so proud of the fact that, in some way, that album is kind of the epitome of that progressive side of us up through the '80s.

Lars Ulrich, on the band's direction for the album[22]

This is completely sublimated rock, on a quest for a purity of form, light years beyond raunch or blues rock. Metallica turn heavy metal's melodrama into algebra. This isn't thrash, but thresh: mechanized mayhem. There's no blur, no mess, not even at peak velocity, but a rigorous grid of incisions and contusions.

Simon Reynolds, on the album's music[23]

...And Justice for All is a musically progressive album featuring long and complex songs,[24] fast tempos and few verse-chorus structures.[25] Metallica decided to broaden its sonic range, writing songs with multiple sections, heavy guitar arpeggios and unusual time signatures.[26] Hetfield explained: "Songwriting-wise, [the album] was just us really showing off and trying to show what we could do. 'We've jammed six riffs into one song? Let's make it eight. Let's go crazy with it.'"[22]

Critic Simon Reynolds noted the riff changes and experimentation with timing on the album's intricately constructed songs: "The tempo shifts, gear changes, lapses, decelerations and abrupt halts".[23] BBC Music's Eamonn Stack wrote that ...And Justice for All sounds different from the band's previous albums, with longer songs, sparser arrangements, and harsher vocals by Hetfield.[27] According to journalist Martin Popoff, the album is less melodic than its predecessors because of its frequent tempo changes, unusual song structures and layered guitars. He argued that the album is more of a progressive metal record because of its intricately performed music and bleak sound.[28] Music writer Joel McIver called the album's music aggressive enough for Metallica to maintain its place with bands "at the mellower end of extreme metal".[29] According to writer Christopher Knowles, Metallica took "the thrash concept to its logical conclusion" on the album.[30]

Lyrics

The album title was revealed in April 1988: ...And Justice for All, after the final words of the Pledge of Allegiance.[32] The lyrics address political and legal injustice as seen through the prism of war (including nuclear war) and censored speech.[28] The majority of the songs raise issues that differ from the violent retaliation of the previous releases.[33] Tom King writes that for the first time the lyrics dealt with political and environmental issues. He named contemporaries Nuclear Assault as the only other band who applied ecological lyrics to thrash metal songs rather than singing about Satan and Egyptian plagues.[34] McIver noted that Hetfield, the band's main lyricist, wrote about topics that he had not addressed before, such as his revolt against the establishment.[29] Ulrich described the songwriting process as their "CNN years", with him and Hetfield watching the channel in search for song subjects—"I'd read about the blacklisting thing, we'd get a title, 'The Shortest Straw,' and a song would come out of that."[35]

Concerns about the state of the environment ("Blackened"), corruption ("...And Justice for All"), and blacklisting and discrimination ("The Shortest Straw") are emphasized with traditional existential themes.[33] Issues such as freedom of speech and civil liberties ("Eye of the Beholder") are presented from a grim and pessimistic point of view.[36] "One" was unofficially nicknamed an "antiwar anthem" for its lyrics, which portray the suffering of a wounded soldier.[37] "Dyers Eve" is a lyrical rant from Hetfield to his parents.[29] Burton received co-writing credit on "To Live Is to Die" as the bass line is a medley of unused recordings Burton had performed prior to his death. Because the original recordings are not used on the track, the composition is credited as written by Burton and played by Newsted. The spoken word section of the song was erroneously attributed in its entirety to Burton in the liner notes. The first line was actually from the film Excalibur ("When a man lies, he murders some part of the world.")[38] while the second line comes from Lord Foul's Bane, a fantasy novel by American writer Stephen R. Donaldson ("These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives.").[39][40] The second half of the speech ("All this I cannot bear to witness any longer. Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?") was written by Burton.[41]

Metallica

Production

Artwork

  • James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich – cover concept
  • Stephen Gorman – cover illustration
  • Ross "Tobacco Road" Halfin – photography
  • Pushead – hammer illustration
  • Reiner Design Consultants, Inc. – design, layout

 


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