Word came out in the last day finally from Steve Thompson, the man responsible for mixing Metallica’s classic 1988 masterpiece “And Justice for All”. Finally addressing the elephant in the room- the fact that the album has no bass in it’s final mix! For years us Metallica fans were downright perplexed as to why it sounded as if Jason Newsted was absent from the record.
Was it a hazing he got for replacing legendary bassmaster Cliff Burton? Or was it just a bad decision by the mixer himself? Well the man had this to say about Lars Ulrich:
“We had to get the drum sound up the way he(Lars) had it,” Thompson says. “I wasn’t a fan of it. So now he goes, ‘See the bass guitar?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, great part, man. He killed it.’ He said, ‘I want you to bring down the bass where you can barely, audibly hear it in the mix.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding. Right?’ He said, ‘No. Bring it down.’ I bring it down to that level and he says, ‘Now drop it down another 5 dB.’ I turned around and looked at [Metallica guitarist James] Hetfield and said, ‘He’s serious?’ It just blew me away.”
“My only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to at least mix it the way we heard it,” he says. “I wanted to take Master Of Puppets and blow that away. That was my sonic direction for … And Justice For All. It was all there but I think they were looking for more garagey-type sound without bass. And the bass was great; it was perfect.”
Damn that Lars, always fucking some shit up, My question is why not re-release the album today with a new mix and remastering? They must have all the tracks still, it’s one of the most legendary metal album of all time. They’d make a ton of money and the fans would eat it up. Officially remix this shit! In the meantime there’s an awesome video on youtube where Newsted’s bass IS actually enhanced check this shit out, it give the album a whole new vibe!