In an interview with Rolling Stone, METALLICA‘s producer on … And Justice for All, Flemming Rasmussen, album says that he was there for Jason Newsted‘s tracking and there was nothing wrong of note that he noticed.
“Jason is one hell of a bass player,” the producer says. “I’m probably one of the only people in the world, including Jason and Toby Wright, the assistant engineer, who heard the bass tracks on …And Justice for All, and they are f*cking brilliant.”
Rasmussen went on to say he still doesn’t know why the tracks were “nixed in the mix,” as the mixing duo Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero had been attached to the project prior to his arrival. “It’s not on them, that’s for sure,” the producer says. “It was Lars and James who said to turn the bass down. I know that for a fact because I asked them.”
Rasmussen says he felt that Newsted didn’t get the respect he deserved at the time. He explained to Rolling Stone, “He always more or less was the new kid. I actually had him practice bass when me and Lars would be doing drums. And I’d ask Toby to do some bass sounds with Jason to run it through a few times, and we’d go, ‘This is great. This is not great. Do this, do that.’ And we’d let them bang it out after we’d left for the night. While we went to sleep, he was actually doing some of his bass tracks. We’d listen to them the next day. … I feel and I think the general feeling in the band is that he was never treated with the respect that he deserved.”
METALLICA‘s first studio album since Cliff Burton‘s death, …And Justice for All, was released in 1988. The album was a commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard 200, and was the band’s first album to enter the top 10. The album was certified platinum nine weeks after its release. Newsted’s bass on the album was purposely attenuated as part of the continuous “hazing” he received, and his musical ideas were ignored—though he received writing credit for the track “Blackened”.