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Classic Albums - Metallica: Metallica

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  • The “Classic Albums” release about Metallica’s so-called Black Album has a wealth of good information and interesting tidbits on it; it’s just a shame we’ve seen so much of it before. Much of the footage is recycled from the “A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica” VHS/DVD release, and I suppose that was to be expected. What the disc does provide, however, are plenty of new interviews with the band that better tell the story of how this record was made.The bits that are especially interesting are those in which the guys sit at the mixing board with Bob Rock and Randy Staub, isolating different parts of each song and letting us hear things we’ve never heard before, like a particularly good solo from Kirk Hammett that was muffled as “Wherever I May Roam” faded out. These parts of the documentary are too few; I for one want to get a shot to get in that room and play with that mixing board for hours, dissecting each song.Then there’s also some really strange moments where the guys talk about having drinks after recording, including one where James comments that he didn’t remember the story Lars and Bob Rock are talking about because he was drinking, as illustrated by the usual hand-to-mouth invisible beer can gesture. This was recorded not too long before James checked himself into rehab, so it’s really interesting to see this side of him.Even better than the main 45-minute documentary are the outtake interview segments, which run almost a full 50 minutes. This lets us hear more detail about certain aspects of the production than the rest of the show. Particularly interesting here is Jason’s revelation that “My Friend of Misery” was originally intended as that album’s instrumental track — and his snide comment that it was his second full writing credit in his five years in the band, reminding us that this was also recorded not too long before Jason left the band.All in all, an essential addition to the collection of a die-hard Metallica fan, even if some of the material is recycled.

    Posted on December 11, 2009