METALLICA is teasing a deluxe remastered version of its “…And Justice For All” (1988) album. A short video clip of the reissue being manufactured has been posted to the band’s official Twitter account along with the hashtag #comingsoon.
In addition to the original album and other rarities, the deluxe edition will apparently include a 1989 METALLICA concert in Seattle, recorded during the “…And Justice For All” tour.
While “…And Justice For All” is considered one of METALLICA‘s classics, it has been criticized almost since the day it was released in 1988 for the lack of any bass guitar on the record. Jason Newsted‘s playing is virtually buried in the mix — and many fans feel that drummer Lars Ulrich, who had very specific ideas for how he wanted his drums to sound, is to blame.
“…And Justice For All” was Jason Newsted‘s first full-length album with METALLICA after he replaced late bassist Cliff Burton in 1986.
The album was the first by the band to sell more than a million copies and featured their first radio hit, “One”, which was also the basis of the group’s first music video.
The record was nominated for the first-ever Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance”, but infamously lost to JETHRO TULL‘s “Crest Of A Knave”.
In a 2015 interview with Ultimate-Guitar.com, one of the “…And Justice For All” album mixers, Steve Thompson, revealed that Ulrich was the culprit for the lack of any bass guitar on the record. Ulrich apparently wanted his drums to sound a certain way — even if it meant cutting out the bass.
Thompson explained: “We had to get the drum sound up the way he had it. I wasn’t a fan of it. So now he goes, ‘See the bass guitar?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, great part, man. [Newsted] killed it.’ He said, ‘I want you to bring down the bass where you can barely, audibly hear it in the mix.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding. Right?’ He said, ‘No. Bring it down.’ I bring it down to that level and he says, ‘Now drop it down another 5 dB.’ I turned around and looked at [guitarist/vocalist James] Hetfield and said, ‘He’s serious?’ It just blew me away.”
Thompson added that a terrific performance by Newsted was wasted due to Ulrich‘s meddling, saying: “My only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to at least mix it the way we heard it… It was all there but I think they were looking for more garagey-type sound without bass. And the bass was great; it was perfect.”
Thompson said that he spoke out because he was tired of being blamed for the lack of bass. He remarked: “They flew us out [to METALLICA‘s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2009] and I’m sitting with Lars. He goes, ‘Hey, what happened to the bass in ‘Justice’?’ He actually asked me that. I wanted to cold cock him right there. It was a shame because I’m the one getting the shit for the lack of bass.”
Ulrich told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that fans were extremely vocal about the sound of the album at the time of its release. “I mean, it was unbelievable, you know, ‘…And Justice For All’, ” he said. “People were saying, ‘That’s the worst-sounding record, where’s the bass, and it sounds like it was recorded in a garage, and…’ But, you know, listen, you do the best you can in the moment and then you move on.”