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Friday, March 4, 2011

Master Of Puppets: Interview With Producer Flemming Rasmussen

What is left to say about "Master of Puppets" that hasn't already been said? Widely considered to be one of the greatest metal albums of all time, "Puppets" was Metallica's major label debut and thrust the band into the public consciousness, despite their steadfast refusal to release a music video or radio-ready hit single.

Before 1986, Metallica was relatively unknown to the general public, still honing their chops in the Bay Area's underground thrash metal scene that also included Exodus, Possessed, Death Angel and Testament. Their two previous albums - 1983's "Kill 'Em All" and 1984's "Ride the Lightning" - had earned them attention from metalheads in the know, but "Puppets" was the album that brought Metallica, and thrash metal as a whole, out of the underground. From the lush acoustic intro to "Battery" to the hyperspeed closer, "Damage, Inc.," the album became a template for numerous thrash metal releases to follow.

Sadly, while "Puppets" marked the beginning of Metallica's mainstream popularity, it also started a downward spiral for the band that started with bassist Cliff Burton's death later that year and ultimately resulted in such lamentable releases as "Load", "ReLoad" and "St. Anger", to say nothing of the band's controversial 1991 self-titled album (a.k.a. "the Black Album") which, to purists like myself, took the term "sellout" to a whole new level.

Read the entire interview with producer Flemming Rasmussen on this location.

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