Metallica recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the release of . . . And Justice For All, the band's fourth studio album and first to reach both the Top 10 on the Billboard album chart and the one million mark in sales. Frontman James Hetfield spoke with Artist Direct about the record, saying, "Touring that thing, I think of it as our fancy, showing-off album, 'We're crazy progressive musicians. We really know how to play here!' (laughs) Making that work into this is a challenge, and I love that part of it."
The disc was also the first full-length studio effort to feature bassist Jason Newsted, with Hetfield recalling, "It wasn't the first time with Jason Newsted, but it was the first real studio record he showed up and kind of was heard on the album (laughs). That's another whole therapy session right there!"
Newsted joined the band in late 1986 after the death of Cliff Burton and made his recording debut with them on 1987's The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited.
Justice eventually sold more than eight million copies. The single "One" was the basis of the group's first official music video.
Just like the band's 2003 album, St. Anger, and to a lesser extent 2008's Death Magnetic, Justice was criticized upon its release for its production. Drummer Lars Ulrich told us that fans back then were equally vocal: "I mean it was unbelievable, you know, ...And Justice For All. People were saying, 'That's the worst-sounding record, where's the bass, and it sounds like it was recorded in a garage, and...' But, you know, listen, you do the best you can in the moment and then you move on.“
Several tracks from Justice, including the title song, "Blackened," "Harvester Of Sorrow" and of course "One" still find their way into Metallica's set lists to this day.
A new version of the famous Lady Justice statue from the cover, which first appeared in the band's live show on the original Justice tour, recently surfaced as part of the stage production in the movie Metallica Through The Never.
In other Metallica news:
Ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted says he has a lot of admiration for his former bandmates and the risks they've taken lately, including financing the movie Metallica Through The Never on their own to the tune of $18 million. Newsted said, " I'm very impressed by that. I'm a big fan of them. They keep taking these chances. They keep investing in themselves and that's a big f***ing deal, man . . . they work very hard and I'm proud of them for it. " (Blabbermouth)