Tag Archives: Lars Ulrich

Metallica/ ….And Justice For All(1988)

 

Wowzers!  Got And Justice For All this past Christmas(2016) from my Vinyl Loving Daughter Lexie! Thanks a bunch Lex!

Story Time…..

Lets step inside and go back in Deke’s Time Machine to August of 1988 when I was a soon to be 21-year-old still scooping everything Metal!

The hype for this record at the time  was Huge as Metallica with And Justice being there 4th album was a term we say nowadays “Trending Upwards”  after 1986’s Masters Of Puppets had sold a bunch as people were expecting huge things and huge things were delivered by the Men Of Metallica!

That summer of 88 Metallica were playing on the North American Monsters Of Rock tour featuring Headliner Van Halen/Scorpions/Dokken and Kingdom Come. 

Dokken on this tour was in shambles and they had to follow Metallica every night. So picture this for a second. Here’s Metallica bringing teenage angst to the masses in these stadium shows playing tracks like Battery/Creeping Death leaving the audience wanting to break things or each other than Don Dokken and Curious George follow that by playing the big Power Ballad Alone Again!  Haha…

Betcha those Dokken guy’s were sulking big time every night when they  walked off the stage realizing they got there asses handed to them by having Metallica lay down the Metal Law night after night before them.

Just Saying…. 

So I purchased  this upon release and quite quickly began spinning it and not before too long my younger brother Todd who was at the old ripe age of 11 at this time(1988) took a total shine to this record and it’s still one of those albums he recalls fondly when we talk Rock or should I say METAAAAAAL!

So James/Lars/Kirk and New Dude Jason. We all know there last names and what instruments they play Blah Blah Blah so let’s skip that silliness and delve into some of the tracks….

POUNDING METAL!

No. Title Music Length
1. “Blackened” Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted 6:40
2. “…And Justice for All” Hetfield, Ulrich, Kirk Hammett 9:44
3. “Eye of the Beholder” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:25
4. “One” Hetfield, Ulrich 7:24
5. “The Shortest Straw” Hetfield, Ulrich 6:35
6. “Harvester of Sorrow” Hetfield, Ulrich 5:42
7. “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 7:40
8. “To Live Is to Die” Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 9:48
9. “Dyers Eve” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 5:12
Total length: 65:17

Spread out over Two albums and this album I love front to back not only in the songs(more on that later) but the look as it was kinda like an anti somewhat metal looking like cover with the whole Lady Liberty blindfolded  and it reeks of corruption/filth/dollar bills flying around. It’s just a cool cover love the colours. Dig the graffiti like spray of the album title in the bottom right hand corner. Total eye catcher….

Still recall picking this up the day of its release as the hype as I mentioned earlier was huge.  It was a hot August day when I bought this album and after making a stop at a local convience store to snag the latest copy of Kerrang it was home and a drop of the needle was in order!

The first few bars of album opener Blackened just blew me away as it was a pile driver of a track right out of the gate. Lars drums were huge. James and Kirks guitars were loud. New Dude Jason. Where’s your Bass? Ha ..it’s there but kinda buried under the drums and guitars. Razzing the new guy? Who knows for sure but kinda crazy that the bass is somewhat laid back but perhaps James/Kirk and Lars from what I read in the past were still dealing with the death of Bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 and with drink n drugs floating around I’m sure this didn’t help Jason’s cause! Too be totally honest here I originally thought my vinyl was screwed as the bass was dialed in low..hahaha….silly 20 year old me at the time!

Must mention what the charm for me and this album is not only for the fact that Metallica is at the time writing 5-10 minute songs but the production is dry and think about this for a second as in 1988 it was bands with huge album sounds and 3-4 Radio Friendly Tailor Made Radio Tracks  (I’m not naming names!) so kudos to producer Flemming Rasmussen who was brought back to tidy up and produce this album after original producer Mike Clink got fired.

1988 and a Double Album with the exception of Side 3, Two tracks per side! Also interesting to see in the credits that James is credited with Rhythm Guitars and Kirk with just Lead Guitar. I recall reading at the time that was how they recorded this album. Kinda interesting way of doing things but for this band its Colonel Lars and Captain James!

…And Justice For All the title track is the second and last track on Side 1! Clocking in well at over 9 minutes this song is driven by Lar’s drumming which suffice to say is complex and even the lyrics about social injustice and the environment is crazy as these guys are partying hard at every turn but still taking the craft seriously! That’s saying something!

Eye Of The Beholder with its military like mash-up of drums and guitars take a shot at the mainstream music and censorship at the time the PMRC.  Do you remember all that silliness? Stickering albums as offensive and making Kids wanting music that was offensive  even more….

MuchMusic here in Canada went squirrelly like I’m sure MTV did in the States when Metallica released the video for One.  MuchMusic premiered one night and yup I was home to record it on VHS as this was big news as these guys were the last known holdouts from making a video and when this video was shown everyone went bat shit crazy over it… not your typical video either(no happy joy joy ) as there was no editing involved so it was the full tune. Once again I love when the guitars and drums do that  military like mashup. So  heavy yet pure brilliance as well!

Shortest Straw leads off the second album and it’s a full-out sonic brawl. Straight ahead blistering Metal. The lyrics when you follow them you know James was taking them seriously. Than again I always mention that it blew my mind he was writing lyrics to songs like Fade To Black in 1984!

Huge guitars lead the way with Harvester Of Sorrow. Another stomper of a track that they still play to this day! Great solo in this tune by Kirk.

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity.  What a great title! Lars goes off the rails with his drumming on this one. More guitars/More Drums/More Bass…ummm ok maybe not so much Bass but it’s there……kinda buried under an avalanche of Hetfield rhythm’s!

How about a 9 minute plus musical tribute to Cliff and call it To Live Is To Die a mixture of classical guitar and metallic stomps and it’s a deep long track. Cliff would have been proud ….

The album ends with Dyers Eve which features an all out assault on guitars and drums. If you think Tallica was gonna the end the album on a chill note. Think again….This song is HEAVY!

There ya have it folk’s! 1988 and Metallica step up and do what no bands were doing in 1988 and for one thing that’s a double studio album filled with vocals/riffs/more riffs and drums! How about the length of the tunes! Blitzkrieg!

Too be honest when I first got this back in 1988 like I have said a few other times that there was so much music out that it was hard to devote a full 100 percent to anything as bands were putting out stuff  it seemed like every two weeks.

This album was complete grower on me and here we are like 29 years later and I appreciate this album more now than I did back in 88!

Kudos to James/Jason/Kirk and Lars on this album….

 

 

 

Metallica/Toronto Canada Nov 29 2016

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Metallica! You have to hand it to them as they know how to do things right!

Case in point…For the promo tour of their  fantastic Hardwired…To Self Destruct  Metallica played  a few cities world-wide promoting said release and as per Metallica protocol they record all their live shows and a few days later are offered on there website for sale.

What a great idea and you know with them putting out live product they cannot  go the KISS route and monkey around with the performances in the studio! Plus doing it this way you know Metallica is bring ing their A Game every night!

Metallica rolled into Toronto on November 29th 2016 and played at the Opera House and once it was added to their website for $10.95 Canadian it was a no brainer add to my collection!

We already know these guys….

James Hetfield – vocals, rhythm guitar
Kirk Hammett – lead guitar
Robert Trujillo – bass, backing vocals
Lars Ulrich – drums

MetallaTrackz…

Breadfan
Creeping Death
Battery
Sad But True
Fade to Black
Atlas, Rise!
Harvester of Sorrow
Moth Into Flame
One
Master of Puppets
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Enter Sandman
Whiskey in the Jar
Hardwired
Seek & Destroy

Crazy that these dudes are in there early 50’s and are playing at such a high level. It boggles my mind as since about 1991 I have read garbage that Lars has lost a step in his drumming? Umm….WTF??! Listen to Battery. Losing a step? Whatever…the furiousness that they play Battery just boggles whats left of my Torn and Frayed Mind!

James Hetfield plays super-duper rhythm guitar  and has become a great frontman/singer. Crazy that I like Metallica more now in 2016 than I did back in 1986! James with his stage banter calling it Oprah’s House gets a few chuckles along with telling the crowd to help him with he lyrics as he’s still  trying to remember them.

They have progressed from album to album but yet never forget the roots of their past as they always feature at least a couple of tracks from there earlier recorded works along with cover songs like Breadfan and wickedly awesome version of Whiskey In the Jar. Metallica fuses it up like a Metallica Irish Jig!

I posted below the video Fade To Black from the  actual show. This song still blows my mind as they were writing this stuff back in there early 20’s…. Love it at the 4 minute 40 mark when James shifts gears and the song just roars into another whole direction! Kudos to Kirk for the real slick lead he peels off at the end!

Props has to be given to guitarist Kirk Hammmett who during the guitar solo starts off with a tribute to Toronto act Rush by incorporating the beginning of Rush’s Working Man at the start of his solo and bookending it with Working Man. A real cool solo and the fact that he keeps it under 2 minutes is a bonus so it doesn’t become a total 6 String Wank Fest!

Robert Trujillo lays down some serious bottom end on the bass and locks in a real cool groove especially that crazy assed bass ripping at the beginning of For Whom The Bell Tolls. Right before One is played Robert even lays done a real cool Bass solo thats not all flash but has some real cool intricate playing.

Lars man is simply classic. Classic drumming and his end of the set yammering into the mic is always classic as he talks about playing “Toronto back in 1985 at the Concert Hall than onto Maple Leaf Gardens and the ACC and also at the Fuck Off Dome or whatever its    called.” Haha…

The new song’s played that night in T.0  like Atlas Rise!, Moth Into A Flame  and Hardwired come across real good. IF these guys put out a live album of just this album played front to back I would purchase  it as well! No questions  asked!

Make no mistake this set and I’m sure the other live sets that are available for purchase are awesome performances. What you hear is what you get!

Also since it was  recorded in Toronto it has some  CanCon to keep reader HMO happy!

 

Metallica/March 10/1985…. Los Angeles CA

Metallica recently released Deluxe Editions of there first two albums Kill Em All and Ride The Lightening. On both of these reissues they seem to have done it right with a slew of demo tracks and unreleased live shows from that era (1983 and 1985).

The live dynamic of a bands output has always intrigued me  forever. Though a band’s music would no matter how good it sounded in the studio always would  have a little more edge live( as long as the band didn’t  mess with fixing up the performance in the studio)

iTunes has both of these deluxe editions for sale. They run about $75 each without any packaging which if you’re gonna drop that kinda dough you need the physical product as a book is included with each and to see the credits etc. This is my knock on iTunes for that kind of cash  at least toss in the digital books along with the albums if one is dropping $75!

The good thing about iTunes  though is you can just pay for individual tracks and in this case there was no way I was dropping $75 on these albums but I wanted to at least nab a live show from this era of the band.

I did a bit of homework read some reviews and decided to go with the March 1985 Ride The Lightening show from Los Angeles. Basically it cost about $15 which is pretty good actually so  I delved in and pushed click!

This period of Metallica has always intrigued as they were fast man! These dudes as in James Hetfield(vocals),Lars Ulrich(drums) Kirk Hammett(guitar) and the late Cliff Burton( bass) basically ramped everything up and for me this was all the speed metal I needed. Of course there are heavier faster bands out there at the time but Tallica was heavy enough for me…

Things that come to my mind about this show is the  “Go For The Throat ” mentality  Metallica adapts here! Fight Fire With Fire sets the pace for that nights show! Lars and Guitars just blitz at a rapid rate. It’s funny how you forget how young  James sounds singing!( than again I was 17 when this show was recorded) Full of Piss N Vinegar is in his voice and he does sing good on this album. Thats perhaps the main reason I can handle old school Tallica as the dude does sing and it’s not a continuous ” Aaaaaaaargh” all the time. I can live with this.

Of course one of the drawing features as well is Cliff Burtons bass playing as the guy is a beast on that  4 String Rickenbacker! (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth ( great title) is Burtons bass solo and man what a heavy supped up sound and listen to his fingers wail all over that Bass! Holy Shit comes to mind! Its real cool when towards the end of Cliffs solo Lars joins in and then do a rapid fire one two bass and drum punch that leads right into one of my favourite Metallica tracks For Whom The Bell Tolls as Cliff and Lars control the tempo  while Kirk plays a super cool lead in on guitar. Click the vid below and watch Burton man….phenomenal!

I recall when reading all the Metal Magazines back than (especially Kerrang) that Metallica liked the booze and the party that went with it even so much as there were Alcoholica  t-shirts floating around at the time so it amazes me with all the shenanigans going on they could compose a tune like Fade To Black. This tune is Metal done right it builds from the chillness up. Great all round performance by the band and YUP 31 years later it still freaks me out how good this tune  was and is! Of note the video I  posted is from the show that night but its not the  deluxe edition song as Metallica cleaned up the sound a bit but this version gives you a idea how it was back than and how it was sounding  bootlegged….

The Kill Em All material you can hear Kirk play Dave Mustaines solos. Well you can hear Mustaines vibe on these tracks like Phantom Lord and No Remorse. Interesting to hear it now as back than I would have never picked out Dave’s style at all on Kill Em ALL.

James when he talks to the crowd calls them ‘FREAKS” ha ha…but in a complimentary kinda metal way circa 85!

The band sonically that night is heavy and its a good representation of an era of the band starting to slowly take over the universe!

Metallica Setlist
at Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA, USA

The Ecstasy of Gold
(Ennio Morricone song)

Fight Fire With Fire

Ride the Lightning

Phantom Lord

(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth

For Whom the Bell Tolls

No Remorse

Fade to Black

Seek & Destroy

Whiplash

Encore:

Creeping Death

Guitar Solo

Am I Evil?

Motorbreath

 

 

Metallica/Master Of Puppets

The KMA is run by two dudes Aaron and James! Check there stuff out just look over to your right and under the heading of Fellow Friends there they be! Click Keeps Me Alive  …and have some laughs as Aaron and James have a great way with words. James is great with words he thinks things out kinda like a old school western gunslinger someone like Wyatt Earp he shows up out of the blue and throws down some well written reviews  whereas Aaron is like Billy The Kid he’s constantly moving, darting around with his words making you laugh and than BAM!  Aaron shoots you between the eyes with his writing! No questions asked. Aaron is a fantastic wordsmith! Dude constantly cracks me up…..

Best in both worlds of writing and considering both of them run there site together and even though they are worlds apart in writing  styles  it works!

Kudos Fella’s!

KMA means Keep Me Alive to me though it’s Kick My Ass so here it be!

Enjoy the week Hombres!

Kick My Ass Week…and guess what another snappy happy 3 album meal (maybe?)deal. I think James and Aaron would endorse these three albums (maybe?)I’m about to review….so sit back and enjoy the ride!

1986 and the Metallica Metal Booze Express is loaded with Jack and pounding the sonics of youth across Canada and the world! My first purchase of Tallica was in 1985 with Ride The Lightning and man considering how metal it was and how young they were and how much they liked booze that they could  pull of a tune like Fade To Black just blew my mind! It just showed you there seriousness at there craft And Fade To Black just makes that point more clear that they had there shit together when they unleashed Master Of Puppets in 86!

I bought Masters on cassette and great on Metallica they included full lyrics and  credits in the sleeve which was good and hey speaking of the credits they thanked Neil,Geddy and Alex and we all know who they are right? If not do your homework friends!

Master Of Puppets man its impressive it found its audience in 1986 as everyone was glamming out sonically but here’s Metallica wearing street clothes holes in the jeans sporting Misfits t shirts slammimg back Heineken and playing music at full throttle!

For Whom The Bell Tolls with James Hetfield,Cliff Burton(RIP),Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett…..

BATTERY-some nice little classical guitar is played and boom here’s the crush of Lars on drums,Cliffy on bass, James and Kirk on guitar and let the surge and purge begin! Battery rips along at speeds i didn’t think we’re possible at the time. Holy hell listen to the vid posted especially during the chorus when James,Kirk and Lars are playing and leaving room for Cliff to Riff on his Rickenbacher! Ha! Cliff To Riff sounds good to me! Shit man these speeds are sick and than  heres Kirk dropping down solos at breakneck speed and the song not tilting  under the speedometer at 150 mph! Seriously? This is only track 1!

MASTER OF PUPPETS-Big and I mean a big power crashing sweep of Sonics opens Masters Of Puppet! The title track unleashes what I have always like about Metallica! The song builds up slow than rips into the verses and James leads the charge with his vocals and yeah we all can chant MASTER,MASTER during the chorus and it  just shoots through the roof  as Lars is gulping O2 to keep up and instant Gem I do say ! Kirk plays crazy ass licks but riffs that don’t annoy you or take aways the vibe of the tune! Master builds it  up,Master rips it down! This is a full out metal assault! The great thing about this song and for this album in general  is not dated to the time of 1986! Keep flinging back those Heinekens Boys I like what I hear!

THE THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE-love the groove of this tune it’s not metal at 150 mph more like doing 85 in a 55 zone! Lars and Cliff lock up tight in there playing with Lars slapping his snare drum silly and James following chaos underground! Kirk stays the course on guitar and that’s what i dug about Hetfield the dude could sing with all the amps cranked behind him.

WELCOME HOME SANITARIUM- great slow build up with some neat picking by Kirk and Lars plays busy drums but doesn’t get to crazy and this song goes and gets heavy in the chorus! These lyrics are deep,heavy thought provoking and shit these guys have the chops! Love Cliffs bass runs on this tune! The song ramps up and kicks into overdrive during the solo. Yee haw!

DISPOSABLE HEROES-drums a smashing guitars a crashing and this song gallops in a metal way! Heavy! Big time speed on the pre chorus amn this is metal and Kirk riffs having as Lars is pounding double bass and smashing his Tama drums into the ground! Lots of Kill,Die and Hell and ripping solos ….Geez when James sings “Back To the Front …you coward! ” Umm  Yep that’s me he’s refering to as back in 1986 I’m hiding behind my copy of Poisons Look What The Cat The Dragged In!  Drums are just dope sick good on this song….fuck this is metal

LEPER MESSIAH-Lars counts in and boom metal kinda like a mashup of ACDC groove mixed with Metallica except Lars is playing drums and than halfway thru the tune the song ramps up and ACDC is left behind but man the production on this album by Flemming Rasmussen is mint! Even now in 2015! Kudos producer guy! More Lie,Die,Lie,Die stuff for your listening pleasure.

ORION-Orion is a musical only track with a smash of a Gong! Cliff gives his Rickenbacker a real work out with some serious riffing on it and all the guys do there thing like think of it as a Rush musical on Roids!

DAMAGE INC-Gem man…just love this tune…like the eery creepy guitar effects at the beginning and how about an smash over the head with some real Metal played fast and furious with reckless abandon! But Tallica know the deal end the album with a sure fire mass of metal lodged into your noggin. This works! Speed …man,does not kill it just makes me want to break things! Like Tbone,where’s your Bad English cassette so I can destroy it?

IN CONCLUSION- you want  MEEEEEEEETAL! You got it with Puppets! There is no fooling around here folks! Hetfield and Crew put on the hard hats dig themselves a deep trench and get to work! They knew they had there own fan base so like how Rush did it on there own Metallica goes about it the same way! You with us …GREAT! Your not…MOVE ON……

Check back Wednesday for another installment of KMA Week….