First official re-release of the first EP by legendary American Thrash Metal band.
EP of cover songs to "break-in" new member Jason Newsted, the "Garage Days Re-Revisited" (sub)title is a reference to side B of the "Creeping Death" single. The Extended Play album consists entirely of covers of late-70's and early 80's New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands and Hardcore / Punk music, rehearsed in Lars Ulrich's soundproofed garage and then recorded in Los Angeles over the course of six days. It is the band's first recording to feature its new bassist Jason Newsted, and also the band's first release following the death of second bassist Cliff Burton.
With Metallica scheduled to play the 1987 Monsters Of Rock Festival at Castle Donington, the band's UK label Vertigo Records suggested them to release an Extended Play album for the situation. Songwriting attempts with new bassist Jason Newsted only resulted in a demo for "Blackened", and frontman James Hetfield broke his arm skateboarding, so the band resorted to recording covers. This is reminiscent to how the European "Creeping Death" single had led to two B-sides that were cover songs, labeled "Garage Days Revisited". Newsted used his construction experience to install soundproofing on Lars Ulrich's garage in El Cerrito, California, where the band would rehearse.
Five-tracks covers EP seemed to confirm that not only was everything back on track after the death of Cliff Burton, but that despite their impending fame, they were still very much in tune with the grubby Metal and Punk scenes that spawned them. You might reasonably argue that the entire NWOBHM nostalgia industry grew from this one record, as these spiky, loose-limbed assaults on songs by Diamond Head, Holocaust and Budgie were most fans’ introduction to those bands’ oeuvres. Of the three, Diamond Head’s "Helpless" remains the highlight, while Newsted’s thunderous intro to Budgie’s "Crash Course In Brain Surgery" is still amongst the most joyous noises you will ever hear. No wonder the fans took to him so readily. Meanwhile, Metallica’s ferocious take on Killing Joke’s "The Wait" (not included on the EP’s originally UK release) is an eerie joy and, most famously, their gleeful decimation of the Misfits’ "Last Caress/Green Hell" proudly muddied the waters between Punk and Metal and, ultimately, must have bought Glenn Danzig at least one new house. After "Last Caress/Green Hell" has ended, there are a few seconds of Metallica covering, deliberately out of key, the intro to Iron Maiden's "Run to the Hills", then it's faded out (Iron Maiden responded to this in 1992 on the B-Side to "Be Quick Or Be Dead").
Yes, the whole thing has been remastered and sounds great, but this was never an exercise in sonic perfection: instead, crank it up and enjoy the sound of one of Metal’s greatest ever bands saluting their heroes and kicking out the jams!!
Limited Edition remastered Orange Translucent 180g vinyl.
Blackened Recordings/Universal Music BV., 1987/2018 (BLCKND036R-1C). Made in Germany. Still sealed, but the envelope burst on the upper edge.
1. Helpless (Diamond Head cover) 6:38
2. The Small Hours (Holocaust cover) 6:39
1. The Wait (Killing Joke cover) 4:52
2. Crash Course In Brain Surgery (Budgie cover) 3:08
3. Last Caress/Green Hell (Misfits cover) 3:30
Hidden track: "Run To The Hills" (Opening section / Iron Maiden cover)
Total playing time: 24:48 min.