Today is also the day that the mighty Metallica is celebrating a bit of an anniversary as their extended play “The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited” is thirty years old today. Do you own this one? I must admit that I do not have this on LP but clearly remember seeing it in the bins at numerous record shops back in the day when it had come out. However, since I didn’t recognize any of the songs that they were doing I just didn’t want to take a chance on spending money that could be used on something else KISS or Iron Maiden related at the time. You see back in 1987, I wasn’t really the biggest of Metallica fans but I did purchase their “Master Of Puppets” at Tower Records at the moment that it was uncrated with my friends. I discussed that Music Milestone HERE if you’d like to refresh your memory. Now as usual this is mostly personal recall instead of deep liner notes since you can read all of that stuff down on the Wikipedia link below. There is no sense in repeating what their editorials have already accomplished.
So I mentioned my not “knowing” any of these tracks on the album way back then and yeah I must admit to being on the lame and clueless side at the time. I loved my KISS stuff, some Sabbath, Maiden, Priest and Van Halen but I was not really experimenting a lot in terms of music. My Punk music knowledge began and ended with Ramones and The Damned and though I would come to love their seminal work later, the stuff by Misfits was a mystery to me. The likes of old Diamond Head, Budgie and Killing Joke were complete mysteries to me and looking back on it I have to applaud Metallica for being one of those bands that wanted to help promote the music that made them become Metallica in the first place. When I eventually got around to listening to and enjoying this recording, it was impossible to find an LP of and as you might expect an original copy of this release is quite a collector’s item. It would eventually be pressed onto a CD which had a slightly changed title to “$8.98 EP” to reflect the at the time higher prices of the CD medium. There were only five covers done, well, six if you divide the Misfits offering which is actually two songs placed together. Take a look at the listing once more.
1. Helpless (Diamond Head)
2. The Small Hours (Holocaust)
3. The Wait (Killing Joke)
4. Crash Course In Brain Surgery (Budgie)
5. Last Caress/Green Hell (Misfits)
Since the EP’s release I’ve come to appreciate most of the bands that they were paying homage too on the recording and it must have been fun for the band to work on these together in a small garage like the old days of band life. They were still working out the knots of having a new bassist in Jason Newsted after the tragic death of Cliff Burton. Listening to it today I’ll maintain that my favorites fall to the Misfits, Diamond Head and Holocaust offerings the most. The fact that the EP closes with painful strains of Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” still makes me laugh. Considering that Metallica has been re-issuing a lot of their works on their Blackened Recordings label nowadays, I am surprised that we didn’t find this re-issued as a CD of its own. Folks that wish to listen to it today must purchase or legally stream a copy of “Garage Inc.” which takes all of the bands cover efforts and places them together along with some new material. That is the link I embedded for you down below. As a recording, this sure is a fun listen and one that makes me wish to have just taken a chance on it and keep in the collection. Oh well, you cannot always think ahead. The band sounds tight on the covers and to the listener seem to be working well together. It would be another full year until James, Lars, Kirk and Jason would give us “And Justice For All” which would be their first full studio album together with the new configuration. As always, reader input on this classic anniversary are welcome down in the comments below. Congrats on this milestone Metallica. One had to wonder if you ever thought you would be where you are now way back then. Kudos. Now its time to see if I can safely view this solar eclipse that be happening at around 2:30pm.
Official Website: http://www.metallica.com
Official Album Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_$5.98_E.P.:_Garage_Days_Re-Revisited