Sunday, July 04, 2010
THEY DID IT ON PURPOSE—AND I'M GLAD THEY DID
Every Metallica fan knows that the band's fourth album, ...And Justice for All, sounds extremely thin and crunchy, with almost no bass. The story's always been that then-bassist Jason Newsted's parts were turned down because they were hazing him. And that would have been one of the most horrifying examples of self-sabotage in the history of music...except that the album fucking rules.
That's why I don't like stuff like the YouTube clip above, or the bootleg ...And Justice for Jason, where some douche overdubbed his own bass parts onto the songs. See, I think the long, intricate, prog-thrash songs on AJFA work better without bass. I think the thin sound is a big part of what makes the album great—what makes it my favorite Metallica disc.
Those songs don't work as well live (as listening to Live Shit: Binge & Purge proves) because they need that edge. I think when they play Justice songs live, the bassist (whoever it happens to be at the time) should unplug, or walk offstage, for the duration. Thin and fierce—that's how it's supposed to sound.