Metallica’s groundbreaking 1986 album Master Of Puppets has been selected for induction into the US Library Of Congress National Recording Registry – making it the first metal title to be given the honour.
The scheme aims to preserve recordings for posterity that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Only 475 albums have been inducted since the programme began in 2000.
Spokesman David Mao says: “The collection of blues, jazz, rock, country and classical recordings, interspersed with important recordings of sporting events, speeches, radio shows and comedy, helps safeguard the record of what we’ve done and who we are.”
The Library Of Congress say of Master Of Puppets: “Thrash, a reaction against the pop metal of the early 1980s, aimed to renew metal by emphasising speed and aggression. The song Battery – with James Hetfield’s galloping power chords, Lars Ulrich’s machine-gun drumming and Kirk Hammett’s blinding tapped leads – is as rousing an example of the sub-genre as one could find, and the technical proficiency is astonishing.
“However, other songs on the record break free of thrash orthodoxy. Cliff Burton’s clean bass lines, volume swells, and careful harmonies on Orion set that song apart from the standard metal song.”
Ulrich recently said of the 30-year-old album: “We wrote Master Of Puppets in probably eight weeks over that summer. Nowadays it takes me eight weeks just to drive to the studio. It’s like, what the fuck did we do, where we could give birth to that from the first note to the last in eight weeks?”
Also inducted this year are recordings by Santana, John Coltrane, Billy Joel, Louis Armstrong, Blind Willie McTell and others.
Metallica are gearing up for the release of several Record Store Day specials on April 15, including remastered deluxe versions of their first two albums and a live recording from the Bataclan venue in Paris in 2003.