...And Justice for All (album)
|...And Justice for All|
|Studio album by Metallica|
|Released||August 25, 1988|
|Recorded||January–May 1988 at One on One Recording Studios in Los Angeles|
|Genre||Progressive metal, thrash metal|
|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 their first album to feature bassist Jason Newsted, following the death of Cliff Burton in 1986. Newsted had previously appeared on Metallica's 1987 EP The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited. ...And Justice for All features progressive metal music, very fast tempos, and few verse-chorus structures. It is 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 the 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. The album was ranked at number nine in IGN's Top 25 Metal Albums, while the single "One" won the group's first ever Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1990. The album was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on June 9, 2003, having shipped eight million copies in the United States.
Metallica 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 the band to enter the studio was singer 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 on MFN was then in excess of 1.5 million, or about 500,000 each".
Production and recording
...And Justice for All was recorded during 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 Metallica's planned start date 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. James Hetfield described the recording experience with Clink in a 1991 interview with Guitar World saying "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 him to arrive, the band recorded two cover tunes – "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 album Garage Inc. in 1998.
Rasmussen's first providence 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.”
This recording routine was strange to newcomer 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 the band Flotsam and Jetsam, describing their style of playing as "basically everybody playing the same thing like a sonic wall".
"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 features progressive metal music, very fast tempos, and few verse-chorus structures. According to AllMusic, progressive metal at the time was "fairly underground (although such Metallica albums as And Justice for All were as dense and layered as prog albums)". Kid Vinil called it "one of the classic albums of the progressive metal trend". Sputnikmusic's Mike Stagno said that, like Metallica's previous albums, ...And Justice for All is "rooted in the thrash metal genre." By contrast, music journalist Michael Azerrad wrote that "thrash is too demeaning a term" for the album's "meta"-metal. Writer Christopher Knowles said that Metallica took "the thrash concept to its logical conclusion" on the album. Staff members of IGN Music concluded that ...And Justice For All was "built upon the band's progressive tendencies and is considered by many to be their last true thrash album".
BBC Music's Eamonn Stack felt that ...And Justice for All sounds different from the band's previous albums, with longer songs, "gruffer" singing by Hetfield, and "thinner orchestration". Music critic Simon Reynolds said that the epically constructed songs "use up and discard hundreds of riffs" and trifle with timing: "The tempo shifts, gear changes, lapses, decelerations and abrupt halts". Hetfield later said of ...And Justice for All: "songwriting-wise, it 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.' I listen to some of that stuff, and it's pretty progressive."
Allmusic's Steve Huey noted the album for its "dry 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.
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".
"...And Justice for All" is the only promotional single released from their fourth studio album of the same name, and is an example of Metallica's progressive song structures.
"One" is the third and final commercial single from ...And Justice for All. It was nominated for and won the group's first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1990.
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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. Editor Tom King in his book Metallica – Uncensored On the Record 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.
Lars Ulrich described the songwriting process as "our CNN years", with him and James 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." Many of the songs raise issues that are well beyond the violent retaliation of their previous releases. Concerns about environment ("Blackened"), corruption ("...And Justice for All"), and blacklisting and discrimination ("Shortest Straw") are emphasized with traditional existential themes. "Death still lurks around every corner, as do worries about the ways in which institutions lead us to inauthentic lives", wrote philosopher William Irwin in the book Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery. The issues about freedom of speech and civil liberties are presented throughout the third track "Eye of the Beholder". Ballad "One" was unofficially entitled as "antiwar anthem", while the album's closer "Dyers Eve" is lyrical rant from James [Hetfield] to his parents.
Cliff Burton receives 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 compositions are credited as written by Burton and are played by Metallica's bassist at the time, Jason Newsted. The words spoken towards 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...") by Hetfield were written by German poet Paul Gerhardt, but are misattributed 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?") were written by Burton.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
...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." Sharon Liveten of Spin 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 "kind of metal" and "concentrated complexity" 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." 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. Mark Lepage of the Ottawa Citizen facetiously remarked that, with its complex song structures, the album was "either a prog-metal masterpiece or the Hindenburg of bloat. Even the band tired of blackjacking its audience with a 10-minute title track every night." Music journalist Mick Wall felt that, apart from "One" and "Dyers Eve", most of the album was "heavy-handed" and marred by "tortuous slabs of prog-metal". Colin Larkin, writing in the Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2006), wrote that, apart from the "spectacular" highlight "One", the "long and densely constructed" album's "barrage of riffs somewhat obscured the usual Metallica artistry." Lars Ulrich said in retrospect that the album "aged quite well" and that it is well-revered among a lot of their colleagues. Katherine Turman of The Village Voice called it a "landmark" album.
The album was ranked at number nine in IGN's Top 25 Metal Albums. In Guitar World's 2006 reader poll, …And Justice for All 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! magazine listed the album at No. 42 among the "100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". Music journalist and critic Martin Popoff ranks the effort at number 19 in his book The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All Time, which makes it the fourth highest ranked Metallica studio album on that list.
Metallica released its first music video for "One", after years of resisting pressure to release music videos. The video had some controversy among their 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 on 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. 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. 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 the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden, 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, the song "One" quickly gained a permanent fixture in the band's live setlist since the release of the album. 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. When the song "One" is played live, the war sounds heard at the beginning of the song are often lengthened to sometimes around two minutes instead of the original seventeen seconds. When the war sounds have reached a conclusion, after having a pitch-black stage, fire will erupt 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. Sixteen years after "Dyers Eve" was recorded, on March 5, 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.
On June 28, 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. On September 19, 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 9, 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. To date, "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" remains the only song from the album that has never been performed live in its entirety. Instead, 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.
|1.||"Blackened"||James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Jason Newsted||6:41|
|2.||"...And Justice for All"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Kirk Hammett||9:46|
|3.||"Eye of the Beholder"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett||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, Ulrich, Hammett||7:44|
|8.||"To Live Is to Die" (Instrumental)||Hetfield, Ulrich, Cliff Burton||9:48|
|9.||"Dyers Eve"||Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett||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
- Jason Newsted – bass
- Lars Ulrich – drums
- Stephen Gorman – cover art
- Ross Halfin – photography
- Pushead – illustrations
- Reiner Design Consultants, Inc. – design, layout
- Michael Barbiero – mixing
- Mike Clink – drum engineering on "The Shortest Straw" and "Harvester of Sorrow"
- George Cowan – assistant engineering
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Metallica – production
- Flemming Rasmussen – production, engineering
- Steve Thompson – mixing
- Toby Wright – additional engineering
|Canada (Music Canada)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||8× Platinum||8,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Awards and nominations
- Grammy Awards
|1989||...And Justice for All||Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance||Nominated|
|1990||"One"||Best Metal Performance||Won|
- MTV Video Music Awards
|1989||"One"||Best Heavy Metal Video||Nominated|
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- The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:
- "American album certifications – Metallica – And Justice for All". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Anderson, Kyle. "Metallica's ...And Justice For All loses to Jethro Tull's Crest of a Knave for Best Hard Rock/Metal (1989)". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.). Retrieved July 27, 2013.
- "Rock on the Net: Metallica". Timeline. rockonthenet.com. Retrieved July 28, 2013.