KIRK HAMMETT Says He Still Wonders What ‘…And Justice For All’ Would Have Sounded Like If CLIFF BURTON Had Lived

Kirk Hammett Cliff Burton

During a recent discussion with producer and YouTuber Rick Beato, METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett was asked about whether there was a specific album that completely embodied his envisioned songs and production quality.

He responded: “Master Of Puppets, for a number of reasons. I really felt that [album was] that lineup’s peak, and I mean that we were peaking with [late METALLICA bassist] Cliff Burton… Arrangement-wise, songwriting-wise, sonically, playing-wise, we coalesced in a way that we had not coalesced at that point.

“And it just makes me wonder what …And Justice For All would’ve been like with Cliff. That’s a thought that I still contemplate. But Master Of Puppets, for me, it’s a very sentimental album. We knew we were on to something, and we knew it was provocative and we knew that it might not be accepted by anyone, but we were fully, a thousand percent committed to it — every single note. And we had to be, really — we had to be. And I think it shows. When I revisit it now, I get flooded by a bunch of memories.”

Released on 3 March 1986, Master Of Puppets was the band’s third album – recorded in Denmark with producer Flemming Rasmussen – and it went on to sell over six million copies in the US alone.

Master Of Puppets proved to be Cliff Burton’s swansong with METALLICA. The bassist sadly died on 27 September 1986 in a coach accident while on tour promoting the album.

More than 35 years after it was first released, Master Of Puppets is an acknowledged classic of the thrash genre and proudly sits in the US Library Of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry on account of being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”