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Metallica’s “Master Of Puppets”; Still Pulling Our Strings After 30 Years (1986-2016)

After a very mellow opening that led us to a building crescendo, the “Master Of Puppets” album started smashing our skulls with its opening track “Battery”. It was an assault from the beginning with the words “Lashing out the action, returning the reaction Weak are ripped and torn away, Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower, Battery is here to stay”. As I listened to it once more while I penned these reflections I still found my head banging and the blood pumping through me with the same excitement as it did when I first heard the tune and the rest of this classic album thirty years ago. Yes my friends, the third album by the mighty Metallica, the long admired and often venerated masterpiece “Master Of Puppets” reached its thirtieth anniversary of release on this very day. Happy 30th Master. The Metal faithful still bow humbly to you.

I’m happy to report that I was one of the first in my circle of friends from way back in the day to own a copy of this album and remembered how I pretty much picked up a copy only minutes after the clerks at the long shuttered Tower Records in downtown Manhattan had placed them on the shelves. Now I should also share with you that around this time I was not really the biggest Metallica fan and had only truly enjoyed bits and pieces of their first two albums. Now despite this I was getting into heavier stuff as the release date for the brand spanking new Metallica album drew near and when one of the girls in our number said how she wanted to get this on the night it was released at Tower, a small group of us jumped in the car and headed to the city. I didn’t mind getting home way late since I was between jobs at the time so it didn’t matter if I slept in. I even listened to it once when I got home but did it through headphones as I didn’t want the folks to kill me. I’d become a full on Heavy Metal drummer at this point so was more accustomed to the nighttime anyway. The next day a decent group of friends all came over to hear the new works since their school was right nearby my house. No headphones were used at that point so most of my block heard the album and I was fine with that. True story. Thirty years later I can tell you that I actually still have that original vinyl and sometimes still talk to the girl who convinced us all to head into the city for a midnight shopping spree. Come to think of it, I can add that even some of the dudes that came over for that first listening in my folks basement are still in my circle. Go figure. Now to talk more about the actual release.
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