Metallica's third album 'Master of Puppets' is 36 years old. The band started writing the songs in the middle of 1985. On 3rd March 1986 they released 'Master Of Puppets'.
'Master of Puppets' artwork was designed by Metallica and Peter Mensch and painted by Don Brautigam. The artwork depicts a cemetery field of white crosses tethered to strings, controlled by a pair of hands in a blood-red sky. Lars Ulrich says the artwork shows the lyrical content of the album - people being subconsciously manipulated.
Additionally, the album received critical acclaim and adoration from fans. Master of Puppets peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, sold over six million copies in the USA alone. It's widely considered the greatest heavy metal album of all time.
The band didn't release a single or video prior to the release of the album. Instead they embarked on a five-month American tour supporting Ozzy Osbourne. On touring with Ozzy Ulrich said "It was a huge break for us,â€ He adds. â€œA the time, Ozzy was perceived as one of the most controversial metal stars in the US . He drew a really extreme type of crowdâ€¦ Here we were as this even more extreme up-and-coming metal band that Ozzy was giving his seal of approval to by taking [us] out on tour with him.â€ However, when on tour in Europe the tour was cancelled after the death of Cliff Burton in September 1986. After that, Metallica returned to the USA to audition a new bass player.
James Hetfield speaks to Back to the Front about Master Of Puppets "I think the Puppets era was our best offering. The way the band was looking, and feeling. There was a lot more direction; there was a lot more insight into what we could do, what we needed to do, where we werenâ€™t supposed to go, and where it felt right to go. We were exploring and getting more comfortable at our craft, and things came together naturally and quickly, with everyone's help and with everyone's contribution, and we all felt really good about it." Above all, Lars Ulrich agreed with James he added, "We were living in the moment. And there was just a real sense of excitement in the air."
Kirk Hammett recalls â€œI remember holding the album in my hands and thinking, â€˜Wow, this is a fucking great album, even if it doesnâ€™t sell anything,â€ He adds â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter because it is such a great musical statement that weâ€™ve just created. I really felt that it would pass the test of time. Which it has.â€