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Even James Hetfield thinks the bass on ‘…Justice’ sucks

Posted by on February 21, 2017

You’ve gotta hand it to Metallica. By starting their own label and buying back their masters, they’re not really beholden to anyone. They can do whatever they want, which might be why it took so long for Hardwired… To Self Destruct to come out. And since they can do what the hell they want with their catalog, they’ve started releasing new versions of it, with Kill ’em All and Ride the Lightning reissues coming out so far. When asked in a recent interview with The Red Bulletin about of there were any periods where they now think “what the hell were you thinking?” Hetfield gets into some specifics with two of theri albums: 

There are things I would like to change on some of the records, but it gives them so much character that you can’t change them. I find it a little frustrating when bands re-record classic albums with pretty much the same songs and have it replace the original. It erases that piece of history. These records are a product of a certain time in life; they’re snapshots of history and they’re part of our story. OK, so … And Justice for All [1988] could use a little more low end and St. Anger [2003] could use a little less tin snare drum, but those things are what make those records part of our history. 

Of course, the follow up question should have been “When you do remasters of …And Justice For All and St. Anger, will you fix the lack of bass and tinny snare sound in any way,” but they didn’t do that. And Hetfield’s answer makes sense, as it would sound notably strange if an album you’ve grown up with was remixed so drastically. That being said, if they were to make a bonus disc where the album was remixed and remastered with less of a muddy sound for Justice, we’d certainly want to hear it. 

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