...And Justice for All (album)

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Template:Album infobox ...And Justice for All is Metallica's fourth album, released August 8, 1988, by Elektra Records.



The third album in an unofficial trilogy of Metallica albums that includes Ride the Lightning (1984) and Master of Puppets (1986), ...And Justice For All, is the harshest and most musically complex of the band's classic thrash metal in the 1980s. For many fans and rock critics, the album is the end product of the evolution of thrash metal. Like those of previous albums, the lyrics ...And Justice For All discuss politics and social issues and avoid mysticism and the occult, but lyricist James Hetfield is more direct than ever before in his views. At the same time, and despite Hetfield's aggressive singing style, the lyrics are not overtly confrontational or ringing calls for revolutionary change. Rather, as drummer Lars Ulrich has explained it, the ideas expressed in the lyrics merely represented "interests"1 of the band, and were meant largely to be "documentary"2 in nature.

...And Justice For All continues the development of the modular song structure so characteristic of thrash metal. Like those on Master of Puppets, the songs on this album are long and have many riffs, particularly during the middle (or bridge) sections. Furthermore, the actual production of the album marks an important development in the recorded history of metal for its clean and crisp atmosphere. Ulrich's kick drums don't "thud" so much as "click", while Hetfield's guitar timbre dials out almost any sense of mid-range frequencies. And, in one of the more famous of Hetfield and Ulrich's controversies with bassist Jason Newsted, the album almost completely lacks bass guitar. The standard explanation for this combines Newsted's absence from the mixing sessions (in order that he might assert his opinion) and the lingering issue of his "newness" within the band following the tragic death of Cliff Burton in September 1986.

Unusual production aside, ...And Justice For All was Metallica's breakout album and reached No. 6 in the Billboard charts. While not as commercially successful as the band's following album (1991's Metallica), this album nevertheless turned Metallica into a large-scale arena metal band.

Song Notes

"One" was Metallica's first music video and incited much controversy among Metallica fans, who had valued the band's apparent opposition to MTV and other forms of obvious commercial metal. Importantly, Metallica chose a slower, more introspective song for their first video (rather than a generically consistent thrash song). The video, in the course of presenting the storyline of the song (based on Dalton Trumbo's 1939 anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun), nevertheless works to present the members of Metallica as a close-knit group of highly skilled musicians.

"To Live Is To Die" is a tribute to their former bassist Cliff Burton. Though the track is considered an instrumental track, it contains very few lyrics near the end of the song written by Burton which are spoken by Hetfield.

Track listing

  1. "Blackened" (Hetfield, Newsted, Ulrich) - 6:40
  2. "...And Justice for All" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 9:44
  3. "Eye of the Beholder" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6:25
  4. "One" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 7:24
  5. "The Shortest Straw" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 6:35
  6. "Harvester of Sorrow" (Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5:42
  7. "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 7:40
  8. "To Live Is to Die" (Burton, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 9:48
  9. "Dyers Eve" (Hammett, Hetfield, Ulrich) - 5:12

Chart Information

1988  ...And Justice For All (album)  The Billboard 200            No. 6
1989  One (single)                    The Billboard Hot 100        No. 35


  1. Richard Harrington, "Metallica’s Platinum Overdrive: The Band and Its High-Decibel Departure From the Heavy Metal Mind-Set," The Washington Post, Thursday, 9 March 1989, Style section, p. C1.
  2. Phil Nicholls, "The Terminator Race," Melody Maker, Vol. 64 no. 35 (27 July 1988), pp. 36.bg:...And Justice For All

da:...And Justice for All de:...And Justice for All fr:...And Justice For All he:...And Justice for All pl:...And Justice for All sv:...And Justice for All (album)


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