Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, Master of Puppets
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. The band's fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding "big four" of thrash metal alongside Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Metallica was formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features founders Hetfield (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Ulrich (drums), longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo, who joined the band in 2003. Previous members of the band are lead guitarist Dave Mustaine, who went on to found Megadeth, bassists Ron McGovney (demos only), Cliff Burton (the first three records, died in 1986), and Jason Newsted. The band also had a long collaboration with producer Bob Rock, who produced all of its albums from 1990 to 2003 and served as a temporary bassist between the departure of Newsted and the hiring of Trujillo.
On This Day, in 1986, Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton who was killed when the group's tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.
Elektra Records A&R director Michael Alago, and co-founder of Q-Prime Management Cliff Burnstein, attended a September 1984 Metallica concert. Impressed with what they saw, they signed Metallica to Elektra Records and made the band a client of Q-Prime Management. Metallica's burgeoning success was such that the band's British label Music for Nations released a limited edition "Creeping Death" single, which sold 40,000 copies as an import in the United States. Two of the three songs on the record (cover versions of Diamond Head's "Am I Evil?", and Blitzkrieg's "Blitzkrieg") appeared on the 1989 Elektra reissue of Kill 'Em All. Metallica embarked on its first major European tour with Tank to an average crowd of 1,300. Returning to the U.S. marked a tour co-headlining with W.A.S.P. and Armored Saint supporting. Metallica played its largest show at the Monsters of Rock festival on August 17, 1985, with Bon Jovi and Ratt at Donington Park in England, playing in front of 70,000 people. A show in Oakland, California, at the Day on the Green festival saw the band play in front of a crowd of 60,000.
Metallica's third studio album, Master of Puppets, was recorded at Sweet Silence Studios and was released in March 1986. The album reached number 29 on the Billboard 200, and spent 72 weeks on the chart. The album was the band's first to be certified gold on November 4, 1986, and was certified six times platinum in 2003. Steve Huey of Allmusic considered the album "the band's greatest achievement". Following the release of the album, Metallica supported Ozzy Osbourne for a United States tour. Hetfield broke his wrist skateboarding down a hill and continued the tour performing vocals, with guitar technician John Marshall playing rhythm guitar.