This past week marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Metallica‘s seminal third album Master of Puppets. It is considered by many to be the apex of the band’s career. I personally feel that that honor goes to their second album Ride The Lightning, but to each his own.
However, there is no disputing that Master of Puppets is the most critically acclaimed entry in the Metallica discography. It would be the final album to feature the man who many felt was the heart and soul of the band, bassist and songwriter Cliff Burton.
Today’s Thrashback Thursday is a two-for-one deal. Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich and King Diamond (aka Kim Bendix Peterson) are Danish countrymen. The two have been close friends for some time. Metallica even recorded their breakthrough second album, 1984’s Ride The Lightning in the studio owned by King Diamond and his band Mercyful Fate.
So strong is Metallica’s reverence for Mercyful Fate that they have, for many years, been performing a medley consisting of several of the band’s songs (“Satan’s Fall,” “Curse of the Pharaohs,” “A Corpse Without Soul,” “Into the Coven,” and “Evil”) which they simply call “Mercyful Fate.” A recorded version of the tribute appeared on Metallica’s Garage Inc.
When Metallica made a stop in King Diamond’s adopted hometown of Dallas Texas in 2008, they invited the King himself to join them onstage to lend his iconic lead vocals to the medley. Check out the footage of that performance here below.
For my first Thrashback Thursday post on Geeks Of Doom, I am going back to where it all started for me. My friend Tony had told me “There is this new band called Metallica that you have to hear… they’re amazing!” So off I trekked on my bicycle to my local record store and bought 1984’s Ride the Lightning on vinyl.
When I got home and dropped the needle on the first song, I was met by this beautiful little acoustic guitar part. I remember thinking “Well, this is nice and all, but…” and then it happened. When “Fight Fire with Fire” kicked into full swing, my life was very literally changed forever. Say what you will about their later output, those first four Metallica albums will always be the pillars of thrash to me. So here with the opening track of Ride the Lightning is Metallica live in Canada in 1986 on the Master of Puppets tour. You can check it out below.
The title character of Hesher, in the upcoming movie produced by Natalie Portman and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was inspired by the late Metallica bass guitarist, Cliff Burton. Gordon-Levitt revealed the inspiration during a recent interview, in which he discussed how he based his performance of the iconic metal god’s behavior.
Apparently, according to Gordon-Levitt, the current members of Metallica weren’t informed of the basis of the character before seeing the film, and were surprisingly reminded of the much-loved but long lost band member from years gone by. Burton is highly respected and lovingly remembered by the fans as well, so it will be interesting to see fan reaction to the performance as well.