Records that Shaped Me

...And Justice For All
Metallica …And Justice for All, 1988

Probably the most influential record in my life, Metallica’s …And Justice for All leads off this (hopefully) recurring new segment on Retrotigo.

I don’t remember much about how my love and interest in Metallica initially began, but I can remember an intense desire to want to hear them. The Eye Of The Beholder cassette single was my first introduction to the band.

Growing up, we would always go to a mall near Christmas as a family to do shopping for each other. I always looked forward to it. In 1988, my sister and I went off together and wound up in a record store. The cassette singles were close to the door and I remember seeing the iconic Metallica logo on the wall. I ponied up for it without reservation.

Eye of the Beholder
Metallica Eye Of The Beholder – Cassette Single, 1988

My thoughts after first listen? I didn’t like it very much. Eye Of The Beholder didn’t sound like what I thought Metallica would sound like in my head. The B-side, Breadfan, was a cover, which I didn’t realize until many years later.

Though it didn’t initially grab me, I kept listening to that single until I could get a copy of the full record on cassette. This is where things gets blurry, as my cousin was feeding me their other releases around the same time. …And Justice for All ruled them all, however.

So how did …And Justice for All shape my life? Well, it was the gateway to my metal life, which would consume me throughout middle and high school. It has a production quality to it that remains unique to this day, which helps take me back to those days every time I hear a song from it. It was the record I air drummed to every night, and was the initial inspiration for my desire to play drums.

I don’t listen to …And Justice for All much these days, but I don’t really need to. I’m pretty sure it’s ingrained in every fiber of my being at this point. It’s a record I can recite almost by heart at any time. It’s helped me through high school angst, and has been a way of release when I just need to hammer out some beats.