Record producer Flemming Rasmussen — the man who produced Metallica’s Master of Puppets album — has given an interview to alternative weekly the Phoenix New Times on the 25th anniversary of the album’s release.
Rasmussen said that he knew, even from the demos, that “this was gonna be a killer album. I think we all felt that this was gonna be the best Metallica album yet, as we had a bunch of really strong songs. Even the instrumentals were awesome.”
It was also the last Metallica disc to feature the extremely gifted bassist Cliff Burton. “I wouldn’t say I was close to Cliff, as he was spending the least amount of time in the studio, but it affected me greatly when he died,” said Rasmussen. “He was surely one of a kind, and even though Jason is a great bass player, it was impossible to fill out Cliff’s shoes. Jason is a bass player in his own right, and never got the recognition he deserved.”
Rasmussen produced three consecutive albums for the band; he also produced Ride the Lightning and …And Justice For All. Fans know those records are distinct in their own way.
“The difference between Ride and Master is evolution, as Master is a perfection of the sound we started to evolve on Ride. And in my opinion, we did really master it on Master. That album sounds so good. When I got onto the Justice album, they were a month into the session, and it was a new studio, etc., so we decided on a more up-front and dry sound. As for the mix, they had already hired someone else to do this, so I had no say in that. But it’s still a classic metal album, and the sound has inspired a whole new generation of metal bands.”
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