“Master of Puppets” is a song by Metallica, released in France only on July 2, 1986 as the only single from the band’s 1986 studio album of the same name. It was also issued as a promo single in the US by Elektra Records.
The song was recorded during October–December 1985 at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark.
It is the second and title track of the album, preceded by a shorter, high-speed typical thrash metal track, “Battery”, a similar sequencing heard on Metallica’s second (Ride the Lightning) and fourth (…And Justice for All) albums. “Master of Puppets” is also notable for its extensive use of downpicking and long instrumental section, beginning at 3:34.
The song, as lead singer James Hetfield explained, “deals pretty much with drugs. How things get switched around, instead of you controlling what you’re taking and doing, it’s drugs controlling you.” The song was bassist Cliff Burton’s favorite song on the album, as quoted when the album was released. The song is one of the band’s most famous and popular songs, frequently played at concerts.
“Master of Puppets” is the band’s most played song of all time, first played on December 31, 1985 at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a crowd of 7,000. As of July 2, 2018, the song has been performed 1,602 times (the most recent being May 11, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, at Hartwall Arena). During the band’s World Magnetic Tour, additional live performances were filmed in Mexico City; Nîmes, France and Sofia, Bulgaria. These performances were released on video in November 2009 (Mexico and Nîmes) and October 2010 (Sofia).
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG