Metallica: Master of Puppets [1986]

Released March 3, 1986
Recorded September 1–December 27, 1985at Sweet Silence Studios inCopenhagenDenmark
Genre Thrash metal
Length 54:40
Label ElektraMusic for NationsVertigo
Producer Metallica, Flemming Rasmussen

Master of Puppets is the third studio album by the American thrash metal band Metallica. It was released on March 3, 1986, through Vertigo RecordsMusic for Nations and Elektra Records, making it the group’s major label debut. The album peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200chart[2] and was the group’s first record to be certified gold for sales of over 500,000 copies. This was done without any radio airplay or the release of a music video. The album was certified six times platinum by the RIAA.[3] Master of Puppets received positive reviews. Master of Puppets marks the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident while touring to promote the album.

Allmusic‘s Steve Huey commented that Master of Puppets was “the band’s greatest achievement.” “Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best metal album ever recorded,” Huey noted.[4]

Master of Puppets has been featured on several “greatest albums of all time” lists. The album is present in the list “The All-TIME 100 Albums,” published by TIME magazine in November 2006.[11] In TIME critic Josh Tyrangiel’s opinion, “Metallica didn’t bother with hooks or pop discipline” in writing Master of Puppets.[11] IGN ranked it #1 in a list of the “Top 25 Metal Albums” issued in January 2007.[12] The album is featured in the book1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Q magazine counted it among the 50 heaviest albums of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 167 on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Music critic Piero Scaruffi ranks Master of Puppets as the second best metal album of all time, just after Type O Negative‘s Slow, Deep and Hard and before Kyuss‘ Blues for the Red Sun.[13] In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at #90 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980’s”.[14] The album has frequently been tagged by critics as “one of the most influential thrash metal albums of all time.”[4]

As an early parody of the PMRC‘s “explicit lyrics” warning labels, many prints of Metallica’s 1986 release of Master of Puppets featured an octagonal sticker on the front stating:

“The only track you probably won’t want to play is ‘Damage, Inc.’ due to the multiple use of the infamous ‘F’ word. Otherwise, there aren’t any ‘Shits,’ ‘Fucks,’ ‘Pisses,’ ‘Cunts,’ ‘Motherfuckers,’ or ‘Cocksuckers’ anywhere on this record” (six of George Carlin‘s Seven Dirty Words).[15]

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release, Metallica played the album in its entirety on its Escape from the Studio ’06 tour for the first time ever at the Rock am Ring festival on June 3, 2006. These concerts included the first-ever complete performances of the instrumental “Orion” (previously, only portions of the song’s lengthy middle section had been performed onstage, as part of instrumental medleys and bass solos).

The title track was ranked number 51 on The Greatest Guitar Solos from Guitar World. In 2006, the album was voted the fourth “greatest guitar album of all time” in Guitar World.[citation needed] The April 5th edition of Kerrang! was dedicated to it, providing readers with the cover album Master of Puppets: Remastered.[citation needed] In March 2007, the guitar magazine Total Guitar ranked it in the 100 greatest riffs of all time and the main riff of the album’s title track was ranked number one.[citation needed]

“Damage, Inc.” is the last of four songs to feature writing from all members of Metallica while Cliff Burton was still a living member of the band.

All of the songs from the album, with the exceptions of “Leper Messiah” and “Damage, Inc.” are playable on the music video game Guitar Hero: Metallica.[16] The song “Battery” is also featured as a playable track on Rock Band 2.[17]

ESPN has used the title track, “Master of Puppets”, to promote the NASCAR Nationwide Series.[citation needed]

The album’s title track is also featured in the 2003 comedy film Old School, starring Luke WilsonVince Vaughn and Will Ferrell.

Track listing

All lyrics written by James Hetfield.

No. Title Music Length
1. Battery James HetfieldLars Ulrich 5:09
2. Master of Puppets Hetfield, Ulrich, Cliff BurtonKirk Hammett 8:37
3. “The Thing That Should Not Be” Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:33
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 6:27
5. Disposable Heroes Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett 8:15
6. “Leper Messiah” Hetfield, Ulrich 5:42
7. Orion” (Instrumental) Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton 8:25
8. “Damage, Inc.” Hetfield, Ulrich, Burton, Hammett 5:31
Total length:
54:40

Lyrics

1. Battery

Lashing out the action, returning the reaction
Weak are ripped and torn away
Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower
Battery is here to stay

Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the Battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the Battery

Cannot kill the family
Battery is found in me

Battery

Crushing all deceivers, mashing non-believers
Never ending potency
Hungry violence seeker, feeding off the weaker
Breeding on insanity

Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the Battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the Battery

Cannot kill the family
Battery is found in me

Battery

Circle of Destruction, Hammer comes crushing
Powerhouse of energy
Whipping up a fury, Dominating flurry
We create the Battery

Smashing through the boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the Battery
Pounding out aggression
Turns into obsession
Cannot kill the Battery

Cannot kill the family
Battery is found in me

Battery

2. Master Of Puppets

End of passion play, crumbling away
I’m your source of self-destruction
Veins that pump with fear, sucking dark is clear
Leading on your deaths construction

Taste me you will see
More is all you need
Dedicated to
How I’m killing you

Come crawling faster
Obey your Master
Your life burns faster
Obey your Master
Master

Master of Puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master

Needlework the way, never you betray
Life of death becoming clearer
Pain monopoly, ritual misery
Chop your breakfast on a mirror

Taste me you will see
More is all you need
Dedicated to
How I’m killing you

Come crawling faster
Obey your Master
Your life burns faster
Obey your Master
Master

Master of Puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master

Master, Master, where’s the dreams that I’ve been after?
Master, Master, you promised only lies
Laughter, Laughter, all I hear or see is laughter
Laughter, Laughter, laughing at my cries
Hell is worth all that, natural habitat
Just a rhyme without a reason
Neverending maze, drift on numbered days
now your life is out of season
I will occupy
I will help you die
I will run through you
Now I rule you too

Come crawling faster
Obey your Master
Your life burns faster
Obey your Master
Master

Master of Puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master
Just call my name, ’cause I’ll hear you scream
Master
Master

3. The Thing That Should Not Be

Messenger of Fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light

Hybrid children watch the sea
Pray for Father, roaming free

Fearless Wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great Old One
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the Shadows is rising

Immortal
In madness You dwell

Crawling Chaos, underground
Cult has summoned, twisted sound

Out from ruins once possessed
Fallen city, living death

Fearless Wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Timeless sleep
Has been upset
He awakens
Hunter of the Shadows is rising

Immortal
In madness You dwell

Not dead which eternal lie
Stranger eons Death may die
Drain you of your sanity
Face The Thing That Should Not Be

Fearless Wretch
Insanity
He watches
Lurking beneath the sea
Great Old One
Forbidden site
He searches
Hunter of the Shadows is rising

4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Welcome to where time stands still
No one leaves and no one will
Moon is full, never seems to change
Just labeled mentally deranged
Dream the same thing every night
I see our freedom in my sight
No locked doors, No windows barred
No things to make my brain seem scarred

Sleep my friend and you will see
That dream is my reality
They keep me locked up in this cage
Can’t they see it’s why my brain says Rage

Sanitarium, leave me be
Sanitarium, just leave me alone

Build my fear of what’s out there
And cannot breathe the open air
Whisper things into my brain
Assuring me that I’m insane
They think our heads are in their hands
But violent use brings violent plans
Keep him tied, it makes him well
He’s getting better, can’t you tell?

No more can they keep us in
Listen, damn it, we will win
They see it right, they see it well
But they think this saves us from our hell

Sanitarium, leave me be
Sanitarium, just leave me alone
Sanitarium, just leave me alone

Fear of living on
Natives getting restless now
Mutiny in the air
Got some death to do
Mirror stares back hard
Kill, it’s such a friendly word
Seems the only way
For reaching out again.

5. Disposable Heroes

Bodies fill the fields I see, hungry heroes end
No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
Victim of what said should be
A servant `til I fall

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Just do as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Barking of machinegun fire, does nothing to me now
Sounding of the clock that ticks, get used to it somehow
More a man, more stripes you wear, glory seeker trends
Bodies fill the fields I see
The slaughter never ends

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Just do as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Why, Am I dying?
Kill, have no fear
Lie, live off lying
Hell, Hell is here

I was born for dying

Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say
Had no chance to see myself, molded day by day
Looking back I realize, nothing have I done
Left to die with only friend
Alone I clench my gun

Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty shell
Twenty one, only son
But he served us well
Bred to kill, not to care
Just do as we say
Finished here, Greeting Death
He’s yours to take away

Back to the front
You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front
You coward
You servant
You blindman

Back to the front.

6. Leper Messiah

Spineless from the start, sucked into the part
Circus comes to town, you play the lead clown
Please, please
Spreading his disease, living by his story
Knees, knees
Falling to your knees, suffer for his glory
You will

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to kiss your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet
Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

Marvel at his tricks, need your Sunday fix
Blind devotion came, rotting your brain
Chain, chain
Join the endless chain
Taken by his glamour
Fame, Fame
Infection is the game, stinking drunk with power
We see

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to kiss your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet
Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

Bow to Leper Messiah
Witchery, weakening
Sees the sheep are gathering
Set the trap, hypnotize
Now you follow

Time for lust, time for lie
Time to kiss your life goodbye
Send me money, send me green
Heaven you will meet
Make a contribution
And you’ll get a better seat
Bow to Leper Messiah

Lie.

7. Orion

[Instrumental]

8. Damage, Inc.

Dealing out the agony within
Charging hard and no one’s gonna give in
Living on your knees, conformity
Or dying on your feet for honesty
Inbred, our bodies work as one
Bloody, but never cry submission
Following our instinct not a trend
Go against the grain until the end

Blood will follow blood
Dying time is here
Damage Incorporated

Slamming through, don’t fuck with razorback
Stepping out? You’ll feel our hell on your back
Blood follows blood and we make sure
Life ain’t for you and we’re the cure
Honesty is my only excuse
Try to rob us of it, but it’s no use
Steamroller action crushing all
Victim is your name and you shall fall

Blood will follow blood
Dying time is here
Damage Incorporated

We chew and spit you out
We laugh, you scream and shout
All flee, with fear you run
You’ll know just where we come from

Damage Incorporated

Damage jackals ripping right through you
Sight and smell of this, it gets me goin’
Know just how to get just what we want
Tear it from your soul in nightly hunt
Fuck it all and fucking no regrets
Never happy ending on these dark sets
All’s fair for Damage Inc. you see
Step a little closer if you please

Blood will follow blood
Dying time is here
Damage Incorporated

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s