This Day in 1985: Metallica Wraps Up Recording on MASTER OF PUPPETS

Friday, December 27, 2019
This Day in Music

39 years ago today, Metallica officially completed the recording of an album which would go on to become not only one of the most important albums of their career but, indeed, one of the most influential albums in the history of thrash metal.

Co-produced by the band with Flemming Rasmussen, MASTER OF PUPPETS was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, but its origins can be traced back to El Cerrito, California, where James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich forged the initial ideas for the album’s songs, after which they brought in Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett to rehearse. It was a slightly different dynamic for the band this time around, owing to the departure of former lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, but they managed to rise to any challenges which came up during the songwriting process.

As for recording the songs, however, Metallica wasn’t happy with any of the studios in their general area, so they instead opted to head to Denmark and see what Ulrich’s homeland had to offer. Although Ulrich had originally tried to secure the services of Geddy Lee to produce the album, the scheduling failed to pan out, but given how well Rasmussen did with the material, it’s hard to bemoan what might’ve been.

After completing the recording process, Metallica passed the tapes to engineer Michael Wagener, who mixed things to perfection, and when MASTER OF PUPPETS emerged on March 3, 1986, minds were blown and many, many heads were banged.


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