Eye of the Beholder (song)

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"Eye of the Beholder"
Single by Metallica
from the album ...And Justice for All
B-side "Breadfan"
Released October 30, 1988
Format Cassette, vinyl
Recorded January–May 1988
Genre Thrash metal
Length 6:30
Label Elektra
Writer(s) James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich / Kirk Hammett
Producer(s) Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen
Metallica singles chronology
"Harvester of Sorrow"
(1988)
"Eye of the Beholder"
(1988)
"One"
(1989)

"Eye of the Beholder" is a song by American thrash metal band Metallica. It was released as the second single from their fourth album, ...And Justice for All.

Lyrically, the song concerns imposed limitations on freedom of speech and freedom of expression in general. "Eye of the Beholder" is notable for its chorus section containing 12/8 time played, not as an ordinary compound quadruple time, but as a syncopated rhythm. The rest of the song is a more conventional 4/4 rhythm at a slower tempo than seen on Metallica's previous three albums.

"Eye of the Beholder" was released as a single in place of "Harvester of Sorrow" in the United States (actually coming before the "One" single) but failed to chart. The B-side of the single was a cover of the Budgie song "Breadfan".

The song has not been performed live in its entirety since 1989. However, "Eye of the Beholder" always formed part of the medleys of songs from …And Justice for All often played by the band in concert during the 1990s as an alternative to playing full songs that were seen as too difficult because of the numerous guitar parts. One such "Justice Medley" was featured on its 1993 live album Live Shit: Binge & Purge.

Track listing[edit]

US 7" single
No. Title Length
1. "Eye of the Beholder"   6:25
2. "Breadfan"   5:44

Cover versions[edit]

In Flames recorded a cover of "Eye of the Beholder" on Metal Militia – A Tribute to Metallica, a tribute album recorded by various artists. This version of the song also appears on the remastered edition of In Flames' first EP, Subterranean. A cover of the song also appeared on the Metallic Attack: Metallica - The Ultimate Tribute tribute album, performed by Life After Death, a band formed by Phil Sandoval after the break-up of Armored Saint.