Metallica – Master of Puppets 2017 Box Set Review

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Recently, Metallica released a larger than life box set to celebrate their album, Master of Puppets from 1986.  As you see from the close-up picture of the sticker on the front, there’s a lot of stuff to get through.

I’ll be running through everything quickly in this feature – it’s just to show what’s included with the box set.  For specific track listings and even more information, check out the page on Discogs.  I also have a run-down of everything in a video embedded from my YouTube page at the end of this feature.  If you missed my looks back at the last two box sets of Kill Em All and Ride The Lightning, click those links!

Before I get through what’s inside, I have to say that, once again, the band has made a very attractive box to house everything in.  It’s sturdy, doesn’t feel cheap, and holds everything in well.

 

Record #1 – Master of Puppets

Phenominal sounding.  I have no issues with surface noise, spikes in volume, or anything.  This is probably the best I’ve heard this album.  I’ve read that some have had issues with their sets, but I didn’t with this or the live album below. Those who just want to pick up the album on vinyl without all the extras will be happy with this.

 

Record #2 – Live At The Aragon Ballroom (Chicago IL, May 25th, 1986)

This album sounds awesome.  It may not be for everyone, but I think the band should release this separately for those who can’t afford this set.  I know I’m lucky to be able to afford this set, so I get the benefits, but I think there are so many fans that would love to have this (and other live stuff in this set) available to them.

 

CD #1 – Master of Puppets

Although this sounds great, I’m one of those old-asses that will always put in my first pressing CD of this album.  It’s basically hypocritical that I’ll spin this newest version on vinyl but then go back to my first pressing CD, but that’s my fun of CDs vs. vinyl spinning.

 

CD #2 & 3 – Interviews

While many may skip these, including myself because there is so much more in this set, and the world, to listen to, I can see how including this disc of interviews is an invaluable aspect of the box set to show the band’s state of mind at the time.

 

CD #4 –  Rough Mixes From The Vault

It’s quite interesting to hear how the songs took shape and the different levels of the instruments on these songs.

CD #5 & 6 – Riffs, Demos & Outtakes From Lars’ & James’ Vault

This is another unbelievable collection of how the album came to be.

CD #7 – Live at the Meadowlands
CD #8 – Live at the Hampton Coliseum (August, 1986)

 

CD #9 – Live at Grugahalle (West Germany, 1987)

All these live CDs sound great and really reflect how on-point the band is at this stage of their career.  It may seem like overkill, but you’re buying a box set for that whole purpose, right?

 

CD #10 – Jason’s Audition & Live at the Country Club

This piece of the box set is quite surprising.  It signals the tough transition of the band adding a new member after the sudden death of Cliff.  I would have thought that this would have been a part of the …And Justice For All box set that will hopefully be out next year, but here we are! I suppose it does make sense with the band still touring to support the album.

DVDs  – Interviews and Live in Detroit, Denmark, & Japan

A great collection of live performances from the band.  There’s a lot to soak in here and fans of this era of the band will eat this up.

 

Live Cassette Tape (September, 1986)

I just don’t understand the fashion of cassettes coming back.  This will stay sealed because I think I have one device to play it but I’m sure it doesn’t work well.  Cassettes suck ass.

Pins

You get six different pins for your collection with this set.  I’m still searching for a good denim vest to put all my pins and patches on.  Then again, I’m so super anal with my collectibles that I keep everything pristine – hell, look at my toys on this site!

Damage Inc. Print

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I cool bonus for some, I suppose.  This will stay in the box.  I guess people may want to frame this.  I have absolutely no room in my house or man-cave to do so.

Lyric Book

This is an interesting addition to the box set.  It features the lyrics to all the songs on the album hand written and presented in a “live set list” package.

Overall, this set is totally worth the $180 price tag.  There is a lot of value here and for those fans that hold this era of the band close to their hearts.  For me, when I was a kid, this was the first album I heard from the band.  I think I was in grade 4 or 5, so the nostalgia is huge for me.  Some may not like hearing this, though, but ...And Justice For All is my favourite Metallica album, so this box set just wets my appetite for what will hopefully be available next year – especially if we get a mix with Jason’s bass up.

Enjoy the video!

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