Expanded Edition. CD1: Remastered album. CD2: Combination of rough mixes, demos, and an interview. CD3: A mix of live shows that are sequenced to a typical setlist from the Damage Inc. Tour.
Metallica were a band on the rise by the release of this, their third album, in March 1986. This was their first album on a major label (Elektra) after their first two (‘Kill ‘Em All’ and ‘Ride The Lightning’) had created enough of a buzz to attract the interest of A&R man Michael Alago. Metallica were the first ‘Thrash Metal’ group to sign a big deal and their progress inspired other groups to continue the development of the sub-genre.
According to music writer Joel McIver, “Master of Puppets introduced a new level of heaviness and complexity in thrash metal, displaying atmospheric and precisely executed songs. Hetfield’s vocals had matured from the hoarse shouting of the first two albums to a deeper, in-control yet aggressive style.” Lyrically, the band explored such themes as alienation, abuse of power, war, oppression and horror. The arrangements benefited from the input of the bands secret weapon, bassist Cliff Burton who had received classical training as a child.
‘Master Of Puppets’ became the first thrash metal album to be certified platinum in the US but after supporting Ozzy Osbourne on tour that summer, the band went to Europe and in September the groups bus was involved in an accident in Sweden. Sadly, Burton was killed instantly in the crash. The other three members, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett recruited Jason Newsted to replace Burton and continued their march to success becoming one of the biggest groups in the world by the time of their fifth album ‘Metallica’ in 1991.