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An in Depth Review and Analysis of the First Disk of the Album Garage Inc. By Metallica

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This article was originally planned so that there would be a review of the first disk of the compilation album of cover songs called Garage Inc. And that is what the focus of this article will be going forward.

Metallica Band Members Back in 1985

From left to right: Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Cliff Burton. Burton would unfortunately pass away the year after this photo was taken.

From left to right: Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Cliff Burton. Burton would unfortunately pass away the year after this photo was taken.

A Deeper Analysis of the First Disk of Garage Inc.

Garage Inc. is a two disk album of cover songs performed by American heavy metal band Metallica. I will only be reviewing the first disk which has songs that were written and performed by artists such as Discharge, Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, Bob Seger, Misfits, Blue Oyster Cult, and Thin Lizzy. This was a good idea by Metallica to do this because they had to do something different that was like a break from their traditional recording and writing process. Lars Ulrich mentioned that the band needed to do something different after three albums which were called serious by the band. These albums were 1991’s Black album, Load and Re-Load. This would make sense because these guys toured the world at a hectic pace to promote their 1991 album, the album which took them to superstar status. They had to deal with James Hetfield’s pyrotechnics accident in Montreal and I guess they were just really worn out after all that touring. This album shows the diversity of Metallica’s musical approach and it is also a way that the band “saved” my life though not in the literal sense. Their hard work and no-nonsense approach to writing GOOD quality heavy metal since 1982 has gotten them to superstar status.


A List of Metallica's Full Length Albums Since 1983

Note: this list does not include Garage Inc.

Year ReleasedAlbum TitleProducer

1983

Kill Em' All

Flemming Rasmussen

1984

Ride the Lightning

Flemming Rasmussen

1986

Master of Puppets

Flemming Rasmussen

1988

...And Justice for All

Flemming Rasmussen

1991

"Metallica" the black album

Bob Rock

1996

Load

Bob Rock

1997

Re-Load

Bob Rock

2003

St. Anger

Bob Rock

2008

Death Magnetic

Rick Rubin

2016

Hardwired...To Self-Destruct

Rick Rubin

"It's Electric"

Initial Analysis of the First Two Songs

The first song called "Free Speech for the Dumb" is just two and a half minutes of repeating the song’s title. "It’s Electric" is a song about someone that is convinced that he will become a rock star making millions of dollars even if he has to encounter dangers along the way.

"Whiskey In the Jar"

Some of the Strong Songs on the First Disk of Garage Inc.

This first disk has a few of my favorites that are great cover performances by Metallica. These favorites are Die, Die My Darling, Whiskey in the Jar, Astronomy, and Loverman which was originally performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Die, Die My Darling is performed in a really aggressive way by Metallica and the vocals of James Hetfield are just perfect. "Loverman" is also very well performed as the song is about doing what we can to avoid the influence of the devil that may be lurking nearby. Loverman is spelled out in individual letters creating one of the most interesting songs in recent memory. True love will exist even if empires fall and the world somehow ends. As I write this, I recall reading about the fact that James Hetfield’s mother Cynthia died of cancer when he was just 16. If she had lived long enough to see him reach the level of success that he has gotten to, she would have been very proud of him. Astronomy is a song written by Blue Oyster Cult and James Hetfield delivers his best ballad like performance that I have heard. Yes, James Hetfield does not have a high falsetto style of singing but he is a decent vocalist and in this song, he does VERY well! Next comes the Thin Lizzy song called "Whiskey in the Jar" which is my favorite cover song done by Metallica in this first disk or set of songs. The song has a groovy sort of riff that most of you may remember. Even in 2021, this cover performance of "Whiskey in the Jar" sounds just as good as when many of us heard it back in 1998. This is one of those songs that you can listen to while partying with your friends. There are some men that like fishing, some of them like sleeping, and there are many men that love rock and metal music.

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"Loverman"

How Does This First Disk Feel When We Listen to It in 2021?

As we revisit what is essentially the first full part of the Garage Inc. musical compilation, it feels like it is fresh and aggressive like a piece of fresh bread that has just been taken out of the oven. What Metallica recording would be complete without a cover of a Black Sabbath song? The band covers the song “Sabbra Cadabra.” Metallica provides their own heavier version of the song and I feel that the blues feel is still present.

Also contributing on this first disk is Pepper Keenan whose claim to fame is being a part of the band Corrosion of Conformity. He provides vocals on the song “Tuesday’s Gone.” Ending this first disk is the heavy song with a dominant bass line called “The More I See.” For what it’s worth, this whole compilation gave the Metallica band members another way to experiment musically when they probably wouldn’t have done at most other times.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

Comments

Ara Vahanian (author) from LOS ANGELES on August 27, 2018:

Torrey B:

Thanks a lot for commenting to say that you love Metallica. Are they your favorite band? I really thought especially at the time that I wrote this that they are the best US heavy metal band of all time.

Torrey B on August 27, 2018:

LOOOOOVE METALICA!!!

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