...And Justice for All (album)
|...And Justice for All|
|Studio album by Metallica|
|Released||August 25, 1988|
|Recorded||January 28One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles– May 1, 1988 at|
|Producer||Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen|
|Singles from ...And Justice for All|
...And Justice for All is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on August 25, 1988, by Elektra Records. It was the band's first album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, following the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. ...And Justice for All is musically progressive, featuring long and complex songs, fast tempos, and few verse-chorus structures. It was noted for its dry, sterile production, which producer Flemming Rasmussen attributed to his absence during the album's mixing process. The songs' dark lyrics have themes of political and legal injustice, as seen through the prism of war, censored speech, and nuclear brinkmanship.
The front cover depicts a statue of Lady Justice cracked, blindfolded, and bound by ropes with her breasts exposed and both of her scales filled with dollars. The words "…And Justice for All" are written in graffiti-like lettering to the right. The cover art was created by Stephen Gorman, based on a concept developed by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. The album was initially released on one vinyl disc, but soon after re-released (without additional tracks) as a double-album.
...And Justice for All was acclaimed by music critics. It was included in The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll of the year's best albums, while the single "One" earned Metallica its first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1990. It was also the group's best-selling album at that point and became the first underground metal album to achieve chart success in the United States. The album was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2003, having shipped eight million copies in the US.
...And Justice for All was Metallica's first studio album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, following the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. However, Newsted had previously appeared on Metallica's The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, an extended play released in 1987. The band intended to record the album earlier, but the process was interrupted with a substantial number of festival dates scheduled for the summer of 1987. Another reason that prevented Metallica from entering the studio was frontman James Hetfield's arm injury that occurred in a skateboarding accident.
The band's previous studio album, Master of Puppets, marked the end of the licensing deal the group had with record label Music for Nations. Metallica's manager Peter Mensch wanted the band to sign with the British record distributor Phonogram Records, and Phonogram's chairman Martin Hooker was keen to renew the band's contract. To persuade the group to choose his label over Q Prime, who were also interested in making an agreement with the band, Hooker offered them a bigger deal, saying "worth well over £1 million, which at that time was the biggest deal we'd ever offered anyone." Hooker explained his decision by saying that the final figure for combined British and European sales of all three Metallica albums was then in excess of 1.5 million, or about 500,000 each.
Production and 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. Rasmussen was initially unavailable for the planned start at January 1, 1988, and so the band brought in Mike Clink, who had caught their attention as the producer of Guns N' Roses' album Appetite for Destruction (1987). But things did not work out as planned, and three weeks later Rasmussen became available after drummer Lars Ulrich gave him a call. Rasmussen heard Clink's demos for the album on his flight to Los Angeles on February 14, and upon his arrival Clink was fired. Hetfield explained that the recording process with Mike Clink "didn't work out so well, so we got Flemming to come over and save our asses". However, Clink is credited with engineering the drums on two of the album's tracks – "The Shortest Straw" and "Harvester of Sorrow". While waiting for Rasmussen to arrive, the band recorded two cover songs – "Breadfan" and "The Prince" – to "fine‑tune the sound while they got into the studio vibe". Both tunes were later released as B-sides of the "Harvester of Sorrow" CD single, with them also separately being B-sides for "Eye of the Beholder" and "One" respectively, as well as included on the compilation Garage Inc. (1998).
Rasmussen's first task was to adjust and arrange the guitar sound, which the band had not been satisfied with. Both a guide track for the tempos and a click track for Ulrich's drumming were employed. The band would perform in a live room, with the instruments being recorded separately. Each song used three reels, one for drums, one for the bass and guitars, and one for anything else. Hetfield wrote the lyrics during the recording session, at times not having them finished as the song started recording, which Rasmussen attributed to Hetfield "wasn't really interested in singing" in lieu of "wanting that hard vibe". The recording routine was strange to Jason Newsted, who complained about not having bigger impact to the overall sound, nor having any discussion between him and the rest of the working team. He had a different experience during his tenure in his previous band Flotsam and Jetsam, describing their style of playing as "basically everybody playing the same thing like a sonic wall". On ...And Justice for All, Newsted said that he recorded his parts separately from the rest of the band, with just the assistant engineer present. He also noted that his bass parts ended up at the same frequency as Hetfield's guitar parts, creating a "[battle] for the same frequency".
"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."
"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."
...And Justice for All is a musically progressive album that features long and complex songs, with very fast tempos and few verse-chorus structures. The band decided to broaden the sonic range, writing compositions that had multiple sections, heavy guitar arpeggios and odd time signatures. Hetfield later explained that, "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.'" Music critic Simon Reynolds said that there are various riff changes and experimentation with timing on the album's epically constructed songs: "The tempo shifts, gear changes, lapses, decelerations and abrupt halts".
BBC Music's Eamonn Stack felt that ...And Justice for All sounds different from the band's previous albums, with longer songs, sparser arrangements, and harsher singing by Hetfield. Journalist Martin Popoff opined that the album did not have as much melody as its predecessors, because of the frequent tempo changes, unusual song structures, and layered guitars. He argued that rather than thrash, the album is more of a progressive metal record characterized by intricately performed music and a bleak sound. Biographer Joel McIver viewed the music aggressive enough for Metallica to maintain place among the bands "at the mellower end of extreme metal". According to writer Christopher Knowles, Metallica took "the thrash concept to its logical conclusion" on the album.
The album was noted for its dry, sterile production. Rasmussen said it was not his intention, as he attempted to get a sound filled with ambience like in the previous two albums, and he was not present for the album's mixing, for which Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero had been hired beforehand. Rasmussen felt that, in his absence from the mixing process, Thompson and Barbiero ended up using only the close microphones on the mix and none of the room microphones, thus causing the "clicking", thin drum sound. Popoff noted that due to the strange production, the bass guitar was nearly inaudible, while the guitars sounded "strangled mechanistic". He saw the "synthetic" percussion as another reason for the compressed, "difficult cyborgian" sound of the album.
The sound has nearly-inaudible bass guitar, which Rasmussen claims was ordered by Hetfield and Ulrich after hearing the initial mixes, resulting in his belief that "Jason Newsted, [engineer] Toby Wright and I are probably the only people who know what the bass parts actually sounded like on that album". In their defence, Hetfield and Ulrich said that most of Newsted's bass lines closely followed the rhythm guitar lines to the point of being indiscernible from each other. A lack of direction is also partly to blame; since the album was largely produced by the band, there was no one present in the studio to guide the band's new bassist and tell him what was expected of him, something a producer would typically do. Newsted was quoted as saying "The Justice album wasn't something that really felt good for me, because you really can't hear the bass".
The album's title track is based on an aggressive riff and a drum pattern by Lars Ulrich.
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...And Justice for All has a dark lyrical material which features a conceptual uniformity around notions of political and legal injustice, as seen through the prism of war, censored speech, and nuclear brinkmanship. The majority of the songs raise issues that differ from the violent retaliation of the previous releases. Editor Tom King wrote that the lyrics, for the first time dealt with political and environmental issues. He named fellow contemporaries Nuclear Assault as the only other band who "applied ecological lyrics to thrash metal songs" rather than singing about Satan and Egyptian plagues. McIver noted that the band's main lyricist, James Hetfield, wrote about topics that he has not addressed before, like his revolt towards The Establishment.
Ulrich described the songwriting process as "our 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." Concerns about the environmental plight of the planet ("Blackened"), corruption ("...And Justice for All"), and blacklisting and discrimination ("The Shortest Straw") are emphasized with traditional existential themes. Issues such as freedom of speech and civil liberties are presented from a grim and pessimistic point of view. Due to its theme which depicts the suffering of a wounded soldier, "One" was unofficially entitled as "antiwar anthem". The album's closing track, "Dyers Eve", is a lyrical rant from Hetfield to his parents.
Cliff Burton received co-writers credit on "To Live Is to Die" as the bass line was a medley of unused bass recordings Burton had performed prior to his death. While the original recordings are not used on the track, the composition is credited as written by Burton and played by Metallica's bassist at the time, Jason Newsted. The spoken word at the end of the song ("when a man lies, he murders some part of the world. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives...") was written by German poet Paul Gerhardt, but is erroneously attributed to Burton in the liner notes. Still, 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.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Released on August 25, 1988, by Elektra Records, ...And Justice for All was acclaimed by music critics. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, Michael Azerrad said that Metallica's compositions are impressive and called the album's music "a marvel of precisely channeled aggression". Spin magazine's Sharon Liveten called it a "gem of a double record" and found the music both edgy and technically proficient. Simon Reynolds, writing in Melody Maker, said that "other bands would give their eye teeth" for the songs' riffs and found the album's densely complicated style of metal to be distinct from the monotonous sound of contemporary rock music: "Everything depends on utter punctuality and supreme surgical finesse. It's probably the most incisive music I've ever heard, in the literal sense of the word." Borivoj Krgin of Metal Forces said that it is the most ideal album he has heard because of typically exceptional production and musicianship that is more impressive than on Master of Puppets. In a less enthusiastic review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau felt that the band's compositions lack song form and that the album "goes on longer" than Master of Puppets. In 1988, ...And Justice for All was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, but with much controversy, it lost to Jethro Tull's Crest of a Knave. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly, named the win one of the 10 biggest upsets in Grammy history.
In a retrospective review, Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said that ...And Justice for All was both the band's "most ambitious" and ultimately "flattest-sounding" album. AllMusic's Steve Huey noted that Metallica followed the blueprint of their previous two albums, with more sophisticated songs and "apocalyptic" lyrics that envisioned a society in decay. Music journalist Mick Wall was critical of the progressive elements on the album and felt that, apart from "One" and "Dyers Eve", most of the album sounded clumsy. Colin Larkin, writing in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006), wrote that, apart from the praiseworthy "One", the album diminished the band's creativity by concentrating the songs with too many riffs. Lars Ulrich said in retrospect that the album has improved with time and that it is well-revered among a lot of their colleagues.
In The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll, ...And Justice for All was voted the 39th best album of 1988, having received 117 votes, including 12 first-place votes. The album was ranked at number nine in IGN's Top 25 Metal Albums. In a 2006 reader poll organized by Guitar World, ...And Justice for All was placed 12th on a list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums. All of the album's tracks were featured on the list "The 100 Greatest Metallica Songs of All Time" made by the same magazine. The album is featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Kerrang! listed the album at number 42 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". Martin Popoff ranks the effort at number 19 in his book The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time, the fourth highest ranked Metallica studio album on that list.
After years of resisting pressure to release music videos, Metallica released its first, for "One". The video was controversial among some fans, who had valued the band's apparent opposition to MTV and other forms of mainstream commercial metal. The guitar solo of "One" was ranked number seven in Guitar World's compilation of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of all time. Slant Magazine ranked it at number 48 on their list of "100 Greatest Music Videos" in history, commenting that "Metallica arguably evoke a revolution of the soul far more devastating than that presented in the original text". Additionally, heavy metal web site Noisecreep put the single on the ninth place among the "10 Best '80s Metal Songs".
Though Metallica's music was considered unappealing for mainstream radio, ...And Justice for All became the first underground metal album to achieve chart success in the US, becoming Metallica's best-selling album upon its release. It peaked at number six on the Billboard 200, on which it charted for 83 weeks. Since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales, ...And Justice for All has sold 5,330,000 copies in the United States. It was certified platinum nine weeks after it first was released in stores. Since its release, the album has scanned more than 8 million copies in the US alone and, according to MTV's Chris Harris, "helped cement [Metallica's] status as a rock and roll force to be reckoned with", becoming a multi-platinum act by 1990. Classic Rock explained that with this album, Metallica's music received substantial media exposure. The group broke through on radio in 1988 with "One", released as the third single from the record. According to Billboard, ...And Justice for All found the band evolving into "arena headliners", as the single "One", accompanied by the group's first video, garnered significant airplay.
...And Justice for All achieved similar chart success outside of the United States. It peaked within the top 5 on the charts in Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, where it remained on the UK chart for six weeks. The album managed to peak in the top 10 on the Finnish, Norwegian and Swiss album charts. It was less successful in Spain, Mexico and France, where it peaked at number 92 on the former chart, number 130 on the latter and at number 64 in Spain. It eventually received a three times platinum certification from Canadian Music Association for shipping 300,000 copies and a platinum certification from IFPI Finland for having a shipment of little over 50,000 records. ...And Justice for All was certified gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI) for shipments of 250,000 copies. ...And Justice for All was later succeeded commercially by the band's following album Metallica (1991).
Hammett noted the length of the songs being problematic for fans and the band. "Touring behind it, we realized that the general consensus was that songs were too fucking long," he said. "One day after we played 'Justice' and got off the stage one of us said, 'we're never fucking playing that song again.'"
In spite of this, "One" quickly gained a permanent fixture in the band's live set list since the release of the album. When the song is played live, the war sound heard at the beginning of the song is often lengthened to approximately two minutes instead of the original seventeen seconds. When the war sound has reached a conclusion, after having a pitch-black stage, fire erupts from various points of the stage. The band's live performance of the song is characterized as a "musical and visual highlight" by Rolling Stone journalist Denise Sheppard. The only other song from …And Justice for All that has been performed as often as the latter is "Harvester of Sorrow", a song that was played live heavily after the album's release. "Blackened" also saw exposure in the World Magnetic Tour and for the Sonisphere festival. "Dyers Eve" saw its live debut sixteen years after it was recorded. In March 2004, the band performed the song in its entirety for the first time on the Madly in Anger with the World Tour at The Forum in Inglewood, California. During the World Magnetic Tour, Metallica played the song live 18 times.
In June 2007, Metallica played the title track for the first time since October 1989, in Lisbon, on the first show of their Sick of the Studio '07 tour, and made it a set-fixture for the remainder of that touring. A statue of Lady Justice is commonly placed on the scene during the band's performance of "...And Justice for All". The statue is eventually torn down as the song approaches its conclusion. In September 2009, "The Shortest Straw" made its way back into the set lists during Metallica's World Magnetic Tour after a 12-year absence at the Montreal Bell Center, not being played live since February 1997. From that tour onwards, the song again has become a permanent fixture in the band's set list. On December 8, 2011, Metallica performed "To Live Is to Die" in its entirety during the exclusive 30 Years of Metallica concerts at The Fillmore in San Francisco, California. On May 28, 2014, "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" was played live for the first time on the Metallica By Request tour. Before this performance, the band has played segments of it during solos, impromptu jams, or in a "Justice" medley featured on the live album Live Shit: Binge and Purge. "Eye of the Beholder" has not been played live in its entirety since 1989. One such performance appears on Metallica's live extended play, Six Feet Down Under.
All lyrics written by James Hetfield.
|1.||"Blackened"||Hetfield, Jason Newsted, Lars Ulrich||6:41|
|2.||"...And Justice for All"||Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Ulrich||9:46|
|3.||"Eye of the Beholder"||Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich||6:30|
|5.||"The Shortest Straw"||Hetfield, Ulrich||6:35|
|6.||"Harvester of Sorrow"||Hetfield, Ulrich||5:45|
|7.||"The Frayed Ends of Sanity"||Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich||7:44|
|8.||"To Live Is to Die" (Instrumental)||Hetfield, Burton, Ulrich||9:48|
|9.||"Dyers Eve"||Hetfield, Hammett, Ulrich||5:13|
|Japanese bonus track|
|10.||"The Prince" (originally performed by Diamond Head)||Sean Harris, Brian Tatler||4:26|
|Digital reissue bonus tracks|
|10.||"One" (Live in Seattle 1989)||7:59|
|11.||"...And Justice For All" (Live in Seattle 1989)||10:05|
Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.
- Kirk Hammett – lead guitar
- James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar; 2nd guitar solo in "To Live Is to Die" and harmony guitar solo in "One"
- Jason Newsted – bass guitar
- Lars Ulrich – drums
- Michael Barbiero – mixing
- Mike Clink – drum engineering
- George Cowan – assistant engineering
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Metallica – production
- Flemming Rasmussen – production, engineering
- Steve Thompson – mixing
- Toby Wright – additional engineering
- Stephen Gorman – cover art
- Ross Halfin – photography
- Pushead – illustrations
- Reiner Design Consultants, Inc. – design, layout
|Canada (Music Canada)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||8× Platinum||8,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
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