Metallica has reached the point where up next is the controversially mixed 1988 album …And Justice For All in the band's reissue series. In 2017 vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield said the album could use some bass, ex-producer Flemming Rasmussen apologized to the world for how bad it sounds, and the album's engineer Toby Wright said he'd remix it.
Now Steve Thompson, one of the two guys who originally mixed the album, says Metallica "have no desire to re-mix the record. They want to keep it the way it is," which if that's true is pretty disappointing. I'd wager if they gave that album a mix that wasn't completely devoid of anything on the left half of the EQ spectrum and didn't generally sound like tinny garbage, the reissue would absolutely crush it in sales.
"I just contributed to the anniversary album of …And Justice [For All]. I just sent them a bunch of pictures and some outtakes, but they have no desire to re-mix the record. They want to keep it the way it is.
They might remaster it or something like that, but there is only so much mastering you can do. And I'll tell you the truth, I don't even know if those original multitracks could be saved. Because there are like 5 million edits in them from Lars' drums alone. So if you have the box and open it up there probably be about 50 million pieces of tape all over the place."
Thompson adds that the band has lived with it this long and that he's "lived with most of the criticism, 'cause everybody assumes it's my fault." Which isn't totally fair considering drummer Lars Ulrich came forward last year and straight up admitted that the reason that album sounds so bad is a good deal his own fault.
So now we wait and see. Here's hoping Metallica give some much-needed justice to …And Justice For All.