30 things you might not know about Master Of Puppets (2022)

By Malcolm Dome

( Metal Hammer )

published

Some essential facts to impress your mates at the next Metallica pub quiz

30 things you might not know about Master Of Puppets (1)

On March 3, 1986 everything changed for Metallica. This was the day Master Of Puppets was released, the record that transformed the band from being cult thrash heroes into a major metal force – easily the most important band of their generation in the genre.

The third Metallica album, not only is it rightly regarded as an all time metal classic, but some still believe this to be the finest album the band have ever created. It was the first album Metallica put out in America on a major label, Elektra (they were still signed to Music For Nations in the UK and Europe), and was to the be last to feature Cliff Burton, the bassist tragically dying during the band’s subsequent tour.

It’s hard to overestimate how important this album was not just for Metallica, but for metal in general. Now as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Master Of Puppets, here are 30 facts about it, to amaze, delight and perhaps confound you.

(Video) 30 Facts About METALLICA's 'Black Album' You May Not Know | Metal Injection

1) The laughter at the end of the song Master Of Puppets is actually the band themselves chuckling, with an added echo effect.

2) The album cover was painted by Don Brautigam, based on a concept developed by the band with manager Peter Mensch. He was also responsible for the cover of the Stephen King novel The Stand in 1980.

3) Dave Mustaine has claimed Leper Messiah is based on a song of his called The Hills Ran Red. This has been denied by Metallica.

4) The album was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios in Denmark from September 3 to December 27, 1985. Some sources claim the recording started on September 2, bit most agree it was the next day.

5) Welcome Home (Sanitarium) was inspired by the Ken Kesey novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

6) The album was mixed in two weeks by Michael Wagener at Amigo Studios in Los Angeles, with both Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield present throughout. Wagener recalls Ulrich complained how loud the guitar was in the mix, while Hetfield felt the drums were too dominant. Cliff Burton was only there once at this stage, when the intro to Orion was done.

7) While Rush’s Geddy Lee was never actually asked to produce Master Of Puppets, he has said that there were talks between him and Ulrich about the possibility. But circumstances conspired against this.

8) The album’s highest chart position was in Finland, where it got to number seven, the only country in which it made the top 10.

9) Anthrax sampled the title track on I’m The Man. And Master Of Puppets was included in the movie The Big Short.

(Video) The 11 Details of MASTER OF PUPPETS (that many guitarists miss)

10) The Thing That Should Not Be was inspired by the 1936 H.P. Lovecraft tale The Shadow Over Innsmouth. This was the only Lovecraft story to be published in book form during the horror master’s lifetime.

11) Battery was the first song performed by the band with Robert Trujillo during his audition. This was at his request.

12) Hetfield had the notes for the bass part played by Burton in the middle or Orion tattooed onto his left arm.

13) The bridge section the band recorded on the demo version of Disposable Heroes was eventually taken out and used on Battery.

14) Leper Messiah provides a direct connection between Metallica and David Bowie. The latter mentions a leper messiah in the lyrics for Ziggy Stardust.

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15) While recording Master Of Puppets, the band took time out to play one gig. This was the Metal Hammer festival on September 14 at Frielichtbune Lorely, where they played Disposable Heroes live for the first time.

16) The band recorded a song called Only Thing in demo form for the album. But this was eventually split into two songs: Welcome Home (Sanitarium) and Orion.

(Video) Metallica - Master of puppets (1 HOUR/Lyrics) [from Stranger Things Season 4] Netflix

17) Master Of Puppets debuted in the US charts at number 128 on March 29, 1986. It had an unbroken run of 72 weeks in the Top 200, peaking at number 29.

18) Among many accolades, Master Of Puppets went platinum in Argentina, selling over 60,000 copies.

19) Copies of the second pressing of the album carried a sticker mocking the PMRC, who were demanding stickers on all albums warning of explicit lyrics. Metallica’s sticker said: ‘The only track you probably won’t want to play is Damage Inc., due to multiple use of the infamous ‘F’ word. Otherwise there aren’t any ‘shits’, ‘fucks’, ‘pisses’, ‘c**ts’, mutherfuckers’ or ‘cocksuckers’ anywhere on this record’.

20) On November 24, 2008, the original artwork for Master Of Puppets was sold at auction for $28,000, at Christie’s in Rockefeller Plaza, New York.

30 things you might not know about Master Of Puppets (2)

21) Hetfield and Hammett flew back to America on December 23, 1985 from Denmark, leaving Ulrich on his own with producer Rasmussen to finish inserting the final overdubs ready for the mixing stage. Burton had gone home earlier, after recording his parts for the album.

22) At the time of writing, Master Of Puppets is the song Metallica have played most often in their career. The band have done it live 1474 times.

23) Lars Ulrich actually had drum lessons at the time the album was recorded. These came from Flemming Runsdorf of Danish band Artillery.

24) Metallica didn’t play Orion live until their Escape From The Studio tour in 2006. On that tour they played the whole of Master Of Puppets to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release.

25) DJ Shadow sampled Orion for his track The Number Song in 1996.

26) The bass part played by Burton during the intro to Damage Inc. was inspired by the classical piece Come, Sweet Death by Bach.

(Video) Metallica - Master of Puppets - Cole Rolland (Guitar Cover)

27) While recording the album, the band stayed at the Scandinavia Hotel in Copenhagen. Hetfield and Ulrich shared one room, while Burton and Hammett were in another one.

28) Although fluent in English, Rasmussen would talk to Ulrich only on his native Danish during the recording sessions. This was to ensure nobody else from the band knew what they were talking about!

29) Master Of Puppets was released on March 3, 1986. On this date, the Australia Act came into force, changing the relationship between Australia and Britain.

30) The subsequent Damage Inc. Tour began on March 27, 1986 at the Kansas Coliseum and ended on February 13, 1987 in Gothenburg. In all, the band played 142 shows, only taking a break when Cliff Burton died on September 27, 1986.

Metallica Quiz

30 things you might not know about Master Of Puppets (3)

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working forRecord Mirrormagazine in the late 70s andMetal Furyin the early 80s before joiningKerrang!at its launch in 1981.His first book,Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about theAnthraxsongMetal Thrashing Madin 1984. With the launch ofClassic Rockmagazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazineMetal Hammer, and was a contributor toProgmagazine since its inception in 2009.

(Video) Metallica - Master of puppets (Lyrics) [from Stranger Things Season 4] Netflix

FAQs

Why is Master of Puppets so important? ›

Master of Puppets peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its music and political lyrics. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential metal albums of all time, and is credited with consolidating the American thrash metal scene.

How many guitars are in Master of Puppets? ›

The rhythm at no point was less than four guitars, and at some points it's eight guitars,” says Rasmussen, who prefers double-tracking to applying tricks later on. “We'd do James' sound on his guitar with his amp, and he would double that performance on Kirk's guitar.

What does Mustaine think of Master of Puppets? ›

Mustaine recently told Radio.com that he "didn't even notice" "Master Of Puppets" being played as he walked toward the stage to give his acceptance speech. "It just sounded like some music in the background," he said.

How many sales did Master of Puppets get? ›

The album has sold 6 million copies and was certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA. In 2015, Master of Puppets became the first ever metal album in history to be selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

What does it mean to chop your breakfast on a mirror? ›

The line "chop your breakfast on a mirror" refers to setting up lines of cocaine. So Lars Ulrich takes one of his fingers to hold down one nostril and pretend to snort with the other, as if he would snort cocaine.

How difficult is Master of Puppets? ›

Master Of Puppets is hard to play. That's because of its fast tempo (212 BPM) and downstrokes. It's all downstrokes, for which you have to have very strong wrist and advanced sense of rhythm. There ain't a metal guitarist that didn't even attempt to play it.

What's the longest Metallica song? ›

Mercyful Fate is the Disc 1 seventh track from 1998's album Garage, Inc. It was written by King Diamond and Hank Shermann, and has a length of 11:10. It's the longest Metallica song featuring in a studio album.

What pedal is used for Master of Puppets? ›

The essence of simplicity, the JCM800 is a one-channel, all-valve amp with no reverb or effects. For Master of Puppets, both James and Kirk started using Mesa Boogie amps. They were both playing through Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ slaved into modded 100W Marshall JCM800s used on the previous album.

Is the doom theme inspired by Master of Puppets? ›

Below, we've got Metallica's influence. In the very first level of DOOM, a reworked version of “No Remorse” hits gamers right in the mouth. Some feel like it's closer to a part in “Master of Puppets,” but we found an ever closer similarity deeper into the game.

Is Master of Puppets about war? ›

Just listen to Disposable Heroes, another awesome song of the album that is most definently about war. "Master of Puppets" is about drugs. "Chop your breakfast on a mirror," how could you take that as war?

When was Master of Puppets first played live? ›

Live performances

"Master of Puppets" is the band's most played song, first played on December 31, 1985, at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a crowd of 7,000.

When did Metallica first play Master of Puppets? ›

Live. "Master of Puppets" was played live for the first time on December 31, 1985, in San Francisco, CA.

What is Metallica's most sold album? ›

The Black Album” is the first best-selling Metallica album with more than 30 million copies. Among Metallica's studio albums, we have also researched sales of other releases such as Garage Inc., Garage Days, LULU, and S&M.

What is Metallica's most famous song? ›

The 20 greatest Metallica songs – ranked
  • 7Whiplash (Kill 'Em All, 1983) ...
  • 6Nothing Else Matters (Metallica, 1991) ...
  • 5Battery (Master Of Puppets, 1986) ...
  • 4For Whom The Bell Tolls (Ride The Lightning, 1984) ...
  • 3One (… ...
  • 2Master Of Puppets (Master Of Puppets, 1986) ...
  • 1Creeping Death (Ride The Lightning, 1984)
7 May 2021

What is Metallica's best selling song? ›

Top Hits. The album Metallica registers the 2 biggest hits of the band with both Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman netting well over 400,000 EAS.

Why was Master of Puppets written? ›

“Master of Puppets” was written by all members of Metallica and is a song about the eventual side effects drugs will have on an individual's life. In an 1988 interview with Thrasher magazine, lead singer James Hetfield explained the meaning behind the track: ““Master of Puppets” deals pretty much with drugs.

Who originally wrote Master of Puppets? ›

Master Of Puppets

What does chopping breakfast mean? ›

Chop breakfast meaning

Chop breakfast means to have breakfast. In Nigeria, it means to have your heart broken.

Can you alternate pick Master of Puppets? ›

You alternate pick, but if you switch strings, you may have a few downstrokes or upstrokes in a row if that way there is less movement.

How long does it take to learn Master of Puppets? ›

I say at least 3 - 5 years.

What is the longest song in history? ›

As of 2019, Guinness World Records states that the longest officially released song was The Rise and Fall of Bossanova,” by PC III, which lasts 13 hours, 23 minutes, and 32 seconds. The longest recorded pop song is “Apparente Libertà,” by Giancarlo Ferrari, which is 76 minutes, 44 seconds long.

What is the longest recorded rock song? ›

Thick as a Brick” is the longest popular rock song ever recorded. It is so long that it's actually the only track on the album, with each part taking up an entire side!

What are the top 5 longest songs? ›

To date, Luchese's performance is the longest individual performance of the piece, gathering 14 hours and a 56-minute performance.
  • Empire of the Clouds. ...
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. ...
  • Voodoo Chile. ...
  • Achilles Last Stand. ...
  • Coma. ...
  • All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) Song Length: 10:13. ...
  • Free Bird. Song Length: 10:07. ...
  • American Pie. Song Length: 8:42.
21 Jun 2022

What gauge strings do Metallica use? ›

“ James Hetfield plays Ernie Ball RPS Slinky 10s and 11s as well his own custom gauge 'Hardwired' 11-50 set.

What tuning is Master of Puppets? ›

D Standard – Master of Puppets Tuning

There are some theories flying around that it's actually drop D. However, it's D standard. On the so-called Black Album, they came back to this tuning. It was Sad but True that featured D standard.

How do I make my guitar sound like Metallica? ›

Here's a good starting spot for the heavy, distorted sound:
  1. Amplifier. GAIN: 10 / BASS: 8 / MID: 6 / TREBLE: 4 / REVERB: 0.
  2. Guitar. VOLUME KNOB: 10 / TONE KNOB: 10 / PICKUP POSITION: Middle or Bridge.
  3. Distortion Pedal (if needed) VOLUME: 5 percent above amp's clean volume / GAIN: 8 / BASS: 7 / MIDS: 6 / TREBLE: 3.
28 Jun 2022

Is Doom music heavy metal? ›

Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom.

What is E1M1 based on? ›

E1M1. I'm still convinced that E1M1 is based off of Painkiller by Judas Priest. It immediately reminded me of the opening guitar riff after the drum solo. Matches way more than Master of Puppets.

What song is at Dooms Gate based off of? ›

Exactly which song "At Doom's Gate" is based on has been disputed, because this style of riff was hugely popular in 1980s heavy metal. It is mostly agreed that the chorus riff of Metallica's "No Remorse" was the song Prince was trying to emulate.

Did Eddie learn Master of Puppets? ›

Now, thanks to this new footage, it's clear that Quinn did at least learn Master Of Puppets for the scene, as the video shows him, out of character, jamming and finding his way around the thrash metal classic.

Is Master of Puppets the best metal album? ›

METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets' Named 'Best Heavy Metal Album Of All Time' METALLICA's 1986 LP "Master of Puppets" has been named the "best heavy metal album of all time" in a poll for musicians' web site MusicRadar.com.

What Hz is Master of Puppets? ›

Metallica - Master of Puppets - 440Hz Retuned.

Was Master of Puppets recorded slower? ›

Flemming Rasmussen admits James DID have his guitar de-tuned and recorded at a much slower BPM for the guitar tracks to Master of Puppets!

When did the final countdown come out? ›

What number is running up that hill? ›

Upon its original release, "Running Up That Hill" reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was Bush's first US Top 40 hit.
...
2012 remix.
"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) (2012 Remix)"
Producer(s)Kate Bush
Kate Bush singles chronology
8 more rows

How many songs did Dave Mustaine write for Metallica? ›

Metallica songs credited to Mustaine. Mustaine is credited on six Metallica songs, two of which he wrote mostly himself and four of which he contributed.

What date did Eddie play Master of Puppets? ›

The Metallica/Stranger Things love story continues. At their Thursday night (July 28) headlining performance at this year's Lollapalooza festival, the heavy metal band paid tribute to the sci-fi show's beloved season four character Eddie Munson while playing their 1986 classic “Master of Puppets.”

Who is bigger Metallica or Iron Maiden? ›

A new report shows that Metallica have sold more tickets than any other heavy metal band, ever.

Who has sold the most albums in history? ›

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales.

Has Metallica ever had a number one hit? ›

1 song in four different decades — the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. Metallica's No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs are: Until it Sleeps (1996); Hero of the Day (1996); Turn the Page (1998); No Leaf Clover (2000); I Disappear (2000); The Day That Never Comes (2008); Cyanide (2009); Hardwired (2016); Atlas, Rise!

What song has been number 1 for the longest? ›

Most weeks at number one
Number of weeksArtist(s)Song
16Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber"Despacito"
15Harry Styles"As It Was"
14Whitney Houston"I Will Always Love You"
Boyz II Men"I'll Make Love to You"
7 more rows

Is Metallica the best band ever? ›

Metallica are the third-best selling music act since 1991, and are one of the most influential bands in the genre. They have also surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify. James Hetfield & co must, therefore, be considered the greatest metal act of all time.

What is James Hetfield's favorite Metallica song? ›

A few years ago, James Hetfield was asked which Metallica song made him proud the most. And while he was answering, the talented musician named his favorite song 'The Unforgiven II' from the band's 1997 album Reload.

What is Metallica worth? ›

Their net worth of approximately $900 million. According to Forbes 2019 “World's Most High-Paid Celebrities List” included Metallica. The band has nine Grammy Awards and is one of the richest and most successful music bands. (But the total net worth is changed to approximately: $950 million in 2022.)

How much is the lead singer of Metallica worth? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, James Hetfield's net worth in 2022 is $300 million.

What are some bands like Metallica? ›

Metallica

Is Master of Puppets a masterpiece? ›

The unrelenting 'Master Of Puppets' is Metallica's Thrash Metal masterpiece. On their third record, the already veterans of the Metal scene were all but 23-24 years old each.

Is Master of Puppets the best metal song? ›

METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and BLACK SABBATH are among the artists who have made Gibson.com's list of "Top 50 Metal Songs Of All Time".

Why was Master of Puppets written? ›

“Master of Puppets” was written by all members of Metallica and is a song about the eventual side effects drugs will have on an individual's life. In an 1988 interview with Thrasher magazine, lead singer James Hetfield explained the meaning behind the track: ““Master of Puppets” deals pretty much with drugs.

Is Master of Puppets about war? ›

Just listen to Disposable Heroes, another awesome song of the album that is most definently about war. "Master of Puppets" is about drugs. "Chop your breakfast on a mirror," how could you take that as war?

What's the longest Metallica song? ›

Mercyful Fate is the Disc 1 seventh track from 1998's album Garage, Inc. It was written by King Diamond and Hank Shermann, and has a length of 11:10. It's the longest Metallica song featuring in a studio album.

Was Master of Puppets recorded slower? ›

Flemming Rasmussen admits James DID have his guitar de-tuned and recorded at a much slower BPM for the guitar tracks to Master of Puppets!

What guitars were used on Master of Puppets? ›

James Hetfield Guitar

The Jackson King V Custom named “Kill Bon Jovi” was used by James Hetfield throughout Master of Puppets in 1985. Manufactured on May 24th, 1985, it featured a white body finish, a Tune-o-Matic bridge, a set of Grover tuners, and two Seymour Duncan Invader pickups.

Is Master of Puppets speed metal? ›

The song was bassist Cliff Burton's favorite song on the album, as he said when the album was released.
...
Master of Puppets (song)
"Master of Puppets"
GenreThrash metal
Length8:36
LabelNew Electric Way Music for Nations Elektra
Songwriter(s)Cliff Burton Kirk Hammett James Hetfield Lars Ulrich
12 more rows

What songs are like Master of Puppets? ›

Master Of Puppets

How long did it take Metallica to write Master of Puppets? ›

"There's a spark or spontaneity or impulsiveness that happens when you're in your twenties," Ulrich told Rolling Stone. "We wrote Master of Puppets in probably eight weeks over that summer.

Did Eddie learn Master of Puppets? ›

Now, thanks to this new footage, it's clear that Quinn did at least learn Master Of Puppets for the scene, as the video shows him, out of character, jamming and finding his way around the thrash metal classic.

Why is Master of Puppets in the Library of Congress? ›

Library of Congress Selects Metallica's "Master of Puppets" for Historical Preservation. Each year the Library of Congress selects twenty-five artistic pieces considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" for historical preservation.

When did the final countdown come out? ›

Is Master of Puppets the best metal album? ›

METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets' Named 'Best Heavy Metal Album Of All Time' METALLICA's 1986 LP "Master of Puppets" has been named the "best heavy metal album of all time" in a poll for musicians' web site MusicRadar.com.

What Hz is Master of Puppets? ›

Metallica - Master of Puppets - 440Hz Retuned.

What tuning is Master of Puppets? ›

D Standard – Master of Puppets Tuning

There are some theories flying around that it's actually drop D. However, it's D standard. On the so-called Black Album, they came back to this tuning. It was Sad but True that featured D standard.

Videos

1. Metallica Master Of Puppets Lyrics 1 hour
(1 HOUR clips)
2. Master of Puppets (Remastered)
(Metallica)
3. 40 EPIC Easter Eggs You Missed in STRANGER THINGS Season 4 Vol.2!
(Flicks And The City)
4. James Hetfield On If His Kids Listen To "Metallica"
(Clip 'Em All)
5. Metallica: Master of Puppets (Chicago, IL - July 28, 2022)
(Metallica)
6. Eddie Munson's Upside Down Guitar GOD Scene - Master of Puppets | Stranger Things | Netflix
(Still Watching Netflix)

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