Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ Gets Library of Congress Honors

2016-03-28

Story by Charles Ken

‘Master of Puppets’ from Metallica is now in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry

Metallica’s famed 1986 studio album “Master of Puppets” is now in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. The seminal release is one of 25 recordings that have been selected to become part of the registry this year, picked by the National Recording Registry because the album is “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

“Master of Puppets” just turned 30, so it’s an appropriate time to give the album some recognition. It’s often acknowledged for popularizing thrash metal.

“Thrash, a reaction against the pop metal of the early 1980s, aimed to renew metal by emphasizing speed and aggression,” the Library of Congress stated in regards to “Master of Puppets.” “For example, the song ‘Battery’ on this album — with rhythm guitarist James Hetfield’s galloping power chords, Lars Ulrich’s machine-gun drumming, and lead guitarist Kirk Hammet’s blinding tapped leads — is as rousing an example of the sub-genre as one could find and the technical proficiency is astonishing.”

The Library of Congress continues, “However, other songs on the record break free of thrash orthodoxy. Cliff Burton’s clean bass lines, volume swells, and careful harmonies, for example, on ‘Orion,’ set that song apart from the standard metal song.”

Photo credit: Anne Erickson

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