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Master Of Puppets

205 customer reviews

Price: £5.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Amazon's Metallica Store


Image of album by Metallica


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Since their inception in 1981, Metallica have gone from an underground heavy-metal band to one of the most successful acts in the world, with an intensely loyal if not rabid fanbase. Their relevance is undeniable as evidenced by their ability to sell out stadiums and arenas worldwide while continuing to sell millions of albums with each release -- a feat no other band in history has sustained ... Read more in Amazon's Metallica Store

Visit Amazon's Metallica Store
for 121 albums, 31 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 May 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B000025ZVE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 554 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Battery
2. Master Of Puppets
3. The Thing That Should Not Be
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
5. Disposable Heroes
6. Leper Messiah
7. Orion
8. Damage Inc.

Product Description

One of the defining albums of thrash metal, Master of Puppets is arguably Metallica's best album (as well as their last with bassist Cliff Burton). Focusing on the concept of power and abuses thereof, this is a collection of complex, intelligent music, played at about a hundred miles an hour. Not that these are short songs; this eight-song album clocks in at over an hour, which makes it all the more impressive that not one moment on this recording is boring. In tackling various approaches to their subject, Metallica is insightful lyrically as well as musically: "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is from the point of view of an institutionalised inmate and "Disposable Heroes" is the perspective of a soldier. --Genevieve Williams

BBC Review

Metallica were formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich. They were inspired partly by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (aka NWOBHM) - they've sold over 90 million albums globally and have been instrumental in bringing ‘Thrash’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ music genres into the mainstream.

Master Of Puppets, was their third album, released after their move to major label Elektra Records in 1986, in spite of not containing any singles it was the breakthrough to US rock radio airplay that they'd been looking for.

It’s hard, fast, rock with substance that doesn’t require the listener to wear eye-liner or big fire-hazard hair to enjoy. It also features more serious themes (albeit expressed in a particularly aggressive and direct way) and more complex arrangements than similar acts of the same era.

And, praise the Lord, they’re not singing about hotels, or lost summers, or convertibles, or goblins or lipstick and eye-liner and especially, absolutely, definitely not GIRLS.

The lazy, “thrash” the tag doesn’t do the album justice. This is probably among the slowest thrash you'll ever hear, what it is is a very heavy, joyously aggressive record, packed with melody, that feels genuinely inclusive, and is superbly written and performed. Hetfield’s a master of establishing; maintaining and manipulating musical tension and mood, creating songs that really suck you in. This is hard rock as high drama (without the opera).

At this stage in their careers Metallica weren't even doing songs (unless they were covers). They were telling stories; every song is an event, parables of almost biblical proportions that you ignore at your peril. They also happen to rock really hard. Manipulation, deadly sea-monsters, mental breakdown, teenage conscription and subsequent transformation into cannon fodder, corrupt authority, scientology and, err, being a puppet (well there has to be some light relief) – all fine subjects for this band.

After listening to "The Thing That Should Not Be" you'll be sure that you’ve just survived a shark attack and convinced you smell a bit salty. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” will make you question your sanity, “Disposable Heroes” will convince you to quit the army (even if you're not a member)...that's the power of the stories on this album.

Roll up and enjoy Metallica, before they became slightly introverted and then went soft altogether. --Eamonn Stack

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "storm_17" on 27 Oct. 2001
Format: Vinyl Bound
Metallica are without doubt one of the greatest heavy metal bands ever.Despite the line-ups changing slightly over the years,they remain as good as ever.Master of puppets displays the core essence of the band at the time many consider to be their peak.Also it was the final album with their incredibly talented bassist Cliff Burton who sadly died soon after in a coach crash.
The album explores some very interesting and insightful content into various topics.The songs are heavier than may initially be expected (especially if the listener was introduced to the band by the more recent albums) but all show a great deal of talent and thought.
Hetfield's rythmn guitar is perfect to sustain the music at all times and forms a solid bedrock during the exceptional solo performances by Hammett.The aforementioned lead guitarist certainly lives up to the claim by some that he is the one of the greatest metal guitarists ever (alongside Diamond Darrell of Pantera).Cliff's performance on the bass is extremely good, noticeable especially during the lead into the second half of the instrumental track Orion.Lars displays controlled and inventive drumming throughout the album, keeping the music well in time and joining the different parts.
The songs themselves are nothing short of spectacular, both musically and lyrically.The furious and frantic pace of Battery leads into the album as well as can be done.The title track that follows has been dubbed by many to be one of the finest songs by the band and this claim is hard to dispute.Despite being more han eight minutes long it does not become repetetive or dull.The lyrical content is very meaningful showing the power of drug addiction and its hold on people.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By James Penkethman on 16 Jun. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Released in 1986 Master Of Puppets is one of (if not the) best Metallica albums ever. It reached a chart position of 29 but that would have been much higher if the band were as well known then as they are today. Although Metallica had a ever growing fan base at that time it was this record which really got them on the world wide scale that they are today.
The album has only eights songs but still clocks up nearly an hour. The songs on the album are long but seem to go really quicky. If I ever need to pass ten minutes I'll just listen to Orion and thats eight minutes gone in what feels like three or four.
This album was Cliff Burton's last album due to his unfortunate premature death whilst on tour in 1986. By this time Metallica had tried to move away from being knowing purely as a speed thrash band but many of the songs on this album still have that feel.
On many albums you have your favourite songs and you have the songs that you skip. On this record there is not one song that you don't want to listen to and so many times you find yourself just putting on the album to listen to one song but then listening to the whole album through.
If you are a metal fan this is a must have album!
Track By Track
1. Battery (Hetfield/Ulrich); Before the release of the black "Metallica" album it was the opener to Metallica's concerts and was the first hit out of three more off of the "Master of Puppets" album. It is still a fixed part of Metallica's live show. The song "Battery" is an indirect tribute to the "Old Waldorf Club" in San Francisco on Battery street.
2. Master Of Puppets (Hetfield/Ulrich/Burton/Hammett); The solo of "Master of Puppets" reached the 51st place in the "100 Best Solos Ever Reader's Choice" in the september 1998 issue of Guitar World.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Oct. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Metallica are, in my opinion, the single best band in the whole universe. Master of Puppets is by far their best album. People have said this before me but i'd like to say it again: Anyone that listens to so called "nu-metal" bands and goes around thinking they listen to heavy metal need to go out and buy Master of Puppets so they can see what heavy music actually is.
The album opens with the incredible "Battery" which starts with a beautiful spanish guitar part which fits seamlessly with the thrash that follows. The title track is probably the best song on the album, with an amazing sensitive slow part in the middle which shows that Metallica can do more than play guitar at 300mph... "The thing that should not be" has a great evil feel to it and Kirks solo is just amazing. "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" is the slowest song on the album but still doesn't lack thrashy parts and is a great song. "Disposable Heroes" and "Leper Messiah" are both pure thrash metal and great songs to play very loud and just go mad. "Orion" is a very skillful instrumental which shows how musical Metallica are. The second part of the song has a bassline playing and then 3 guitars all playing different harmonys, it sounds amazing.
The last song "Damage inc." is the fastest song on the album but is still amazingly skillful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mark burniston on 14 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is undoubtedly not only the greatest Metallica album, but also one of the greatest heavy metal albums of all time, from the raw brutality of Damage Inc to the slowly building Welcome Home (Sanitarium), which provided the template for their breakthrough single One, this album just oozes class. There are no standout tracks on this album because they all standout, everyone is an instant classic. Powerful lyrics sung with passion and screaming guitars all underpinned by the sadly missed Cliff Burtons solid basslines. This album has it all and any self respecting metal fan should have this album in their collection.

Unfortunately this was the peak of Metallica's rise to the top, musically at least, and apart from a small handful of decent songs (One, Enter Sandman) it went downhill from here, culminating in the embarrassment of the Napster debacle and the absolute dross that was St Anger. Buy this album and revel in a band at the top of their game.
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