Dirt - Friday, Mar 04

Good morning!   Tickets are now on sale for the hardDrive Live Tour with headliners Sick Puppies!   Run, don’t walk, www.harddrivelivetour.com!

Sorry for lateness today on the ole blog, but due to a flood in my basement last week here in upstate NY, I’ve been a little groggy from the mildew fumes.  Working my way through boxes of old shows, memorablia and such has been, well, interesting.  Finding early bits we did for early hardDrive weekend shows (in the old days, we did these elaborate show opens, complete with sound effects and the like.)  Plus old press and pictures.  Ah, when I was 20 years younger!

Hey, speaking of early days, The Pulse Of Radio reports it was 30 years ago yesterday (Thursday, Mar 3rd) when Metallica released its epic third studio album, Master Of Puppets. The disc was released on March 3rd, 1986 and was produced by Flemming Rasmussen, who also produced 1984′s Ride The Lightning and 1988′s …And Justice For All for the band.  In an interview with Phoenix New Times, Rasmussen was asked if he knew the album was special while he was working on it. He replied, “Oh yes. Right from the demos, we pretty much knew this was gonna be a killer album. I think we all felt that this was gonna be the best Metallica album yet, as we had a bunch of really strong songs. Even the instrumentals were awesome.

Master Of Puppets was the last album to feature bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a tour bus crash in September 1986 and was replaced by Jason Newsted. Rasmussen said about Burton, “He was surely one of a kind, and even though Jason is a great bass player, it was impossible to fill out Cliff’s shoes.”  Watch the band perform the title track with Cliff here.


Many fans consider Master Of Puppets Metallica’s greatest album, which the band itself acknowledged when it played the record in its entirety on a summer 2006 tour of Europe. Frontman James Hetfield told us playing the album live came down to the fans:  It was more of a fan’s asking for that than us wanting to do it. You know, that was a pretty important album in our career, so pretty historic for a lot of people and that made sense.

Master Of Puppets was Metallica’s first gold album, for sales of more than half a million copies. Many songs from the disc, including “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” “Battery,” “Leper Messiah” and the title track are still part of the band’s live set to this day.  It was recorded between Sep and Dec 1985 at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This fall, the band will publish Metallica: Back To The Front, a book on the making of Master Of Puppets. Described as “a fully authorized visual history of theMaster Of Puppets album,” the book was written by Matt Taylor and compiled from a combination of the band’s personal archives, fan submissions of photos, videos and anecdotes as well as extensive interview with the band, their management, tour promoters, members of their crew and other groups.

Master Of Puppets went gold without benefit of a hit single or music video. It has since sold more than six million copies in the U.S. alone. It made Number 167 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time,” and also got onto Time magazine’s list of the “All-Time 100 Albums.”


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