heavy metal holocaust

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Metallica: The $5.98 E.P. - Garage Days Re-Revisited (1987)

Remember when Metallica could do no wrong?

When they weren’t revolutionizing metal, they were turning on their fans to bands we didn’t know about, or whose albums we simply couldn’t find.

Maybe it was because they started playing and then recording their own material so quickly that Metallica had to be a covers band later on in their career; only now they had the luxury of covering, not “Run to the Hills” or “Breaking the Law,” but more obscure fare like Diamond Head’s “Helpless” and Budgie’s “Crash Course in Brain Surgery,” to the enlightenment of their fans.

Oh, and punk bands too, at a time when mohawks and longhairs still didn’t often mix in broad day light, via Killing Joke’s “The Wait” (possibly my favorite remake here) and the Misfits’ face-ripping “Last Caress/Green Hell” combo. 

Jaz Coleman and Glenn Danzig, you’re fucking welcome.

But the biggest lesson to be learned from Garage Days is that the greatest musical artists LISTEN as well as they play; and while I ultimately prefer the original versions of most of these songs (that’s more on me, than on them), it’s revealing to see how much more powerful Holocaust’s “The Small Hours” and Blitzkrieg’s “Blitzkrieg” (from the first Garage Days E.P.) sounded in Metallica’s world-beating hands.

What’s more, The $5.98 E.P. helped to reassure all of us Metallikatz after Cliff Burton’s heartbreaking demise, and don’t even get me started on the healing balm supplied by the Cliff ‘em All home video, which was like YouTube 15 years before there was a YouTube!