What was the immediate impact of ...And Justice for All?

theroan

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5,964
Hi everyone,

I have a question for the older crowd. I was born in 1982, so I was 5 when this album came out. Oddly enough it was the first record I ever owned, but in the mid 90's I couldn't appreciate it for what it was. Recently I've started to listen to this record constantly. Even watched Live in Seattle 1989.

I wanted to ask those who were around when this album came out what the general reactions were? How was it received in general? How was it received relative to previous Metallica releases? and it's impact on metal in general.

If I had a time machine what was going on?

Thanks in advance!
 

Exodus5

Silver Supporting Member
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261
I loved Metallica but access to information wasn't what it was today. I was maybe 12-13 when Cliff died and I only knew about it from Mtv or maybe a magazine. I think Jason Newsted might have been on the garage days '87 release, but I didn't hear him until "And Justice" and immediately thought that he must suck because they buried him in the mix. I liked the songs and it fit their progression (to me) from the previous albums, so nothing "earth shaking" but great album. I guess overall that album assuaged my fears that the band would crumble without Cliff.
 

minimal fretwear

Silver Supporting Member
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357
For me, this is where acquaintances I had that weren't really into metal first seemed to be aware of them, due to One being played a lot on MTV. I saw them on this tour - but I guess I have never liked it as much as RTL or MOP. Obviously this was after Cliff's death, and for whatever reason this album has virtually no audible bass guitar. I'd have to listen to it again, but when it came out there was something about the overall sound of it I didn't like as much as albums before (and after too).
 

Bankston

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16,009
I was 18 and in my first month of college. Metallica already started drawing the male audience away from Glam Metal with Master of Puppets. They were breaking through to the mainstream thanks to the Monsters of Rock tour that summer. So there was a huge buildup of anticipation for that album.

The video for One debuted on MTV in January 1989 and that was huge. It catapulted Metallica to the forefront of the metal scene and their appearance on the Grammy's scared the crap out of the non-metal recording industry establishment.

Nirvana gets all the credit for killing Glam Metal, but it was Metallica's rise as Glam Metal became increasingly boring and homogeneous that destroyed that scene.

For those reasons, And For Justice for All is a landmark album.

 

Misterbulbous

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7,277
I remember not having a CD player, but buying the CD and taking it to my dads house, since he had been bragging about how much better CD’s sound.
When I removed his Dire Straits disc and put Metallica in, I recall being disappointed in the sound. Sounded like a blanket was over the speaker. Liked the songs but felt they really screwed up the recording. Or...I just happened to get a bad CD.
 

TubeStack

Silver Supporting Member
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10,382
I was in Gr 9 and I remember the video for "One" being huge, as @A-Bone mentions. It got a ton of airplay on MuchMusic (Canada's version of MTV) and was talked about a lot among my friends. That video was also played a lot at MuchMusic dances, which were somewhat of a big deal in our little town, where a MuchMusic crew would come and set up a sound system and big screen in the gym of our local community centre and VJ/DJ the dance.

I remember it was funny because couples would start slow dancing at the beginning of "One" and then not know what to do when the heavy part kicked in, holding each other and looking around awkwardly... :D

It seems to me that song and video was the first time Metallica broke into the mainstream a bit. Prior to that, it was only me and a few other guitar players and metalheads who were into them.
 

Tomo El Gato

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1,798
I was in my early teens, and absolutely loved it. I was already a Metallica fan at that point, and this album surprised, but did not in any way disappoint.
The production some people complain about actually seemed to fit the music, and give it a cold, but very modern feel. In my opinion it was an interesting esthetic, the influence of which I heard for example, in Pantera and perhaps even more so in Meshuggah - I certainly remember the comparison's being drawn back then.
 

stimpson

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1,736
i was in middle school when this came out. most kids were into Motley Crue. lots of hairspray, mullets, bad teenage mustaches, denim, and bandanas lol

everyone could agree on Metallica though. i remember the video on MTV was a big deal because up until then they didnt make any videos
 

dsw67

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1,720
was disappointed. loved the first 3 albums and had been a fan since the demo tape. the album just seemed to lack punch
I was going to say the exact same thing. The first 3 albums were just killer. I realized it wouldn't be the same without Cliff and I really dug the Garage Days Re-Revisited EP. I bought 'Justice' and saw them when they came around, but for me the magic was gone.
 

ZeyerGTR

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3,811
My friends and I were already Metallica fans (I was 15 or 16 when it came out), and I don't know that it had any impact other than being a great record. We all loved it. It didn't really change anyone's mind whether they liked the band or not, as far as I know, just continued success. I don't recall anyone talking about the mix back then, but to be honest I don't think the mixes on Lightning and Puppets are all that great, either.
 

B Money

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5,880
I was 19 and a devoted metalhead. At that time I was deep into progressive and thrash metal bands like Fates Warning, Helloween, Queensryche, Testament, Anthrax, etc...anyway, I loved "And Justice for All".

Metallica was on another level compared to their peers. There really wasn't any other band like them. Personally I loved the more progressive songs and arrangements, they seemed to be growing beyond being just a thrash band.
 

whatizitman

Member
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995
It made no blip on my own radar. But I observed it as being the first "mainstream" Metallica album. By that mean, it was still very Metallica-ish in terms of production, and well known enough to no longer be "underground". The Black album was something entirely different, IMO. I'm not a Metallica fan. But it does still seem like there was a pre-Black Metallica, and a post-Black Metallica. And Justice For All was decidedly pre-Black album Metallica, in my impression and observations.

In other words, I remember thinking, at least for metalheads, I guess it was still cool to like And Justice For All :rolleyes:, despite it having an MTV hit and Metallica becoming a household name (at least in SoCal at the time).
 




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