There could probably be an anniversary celebration every year for every Metallica album ever made and few would complain, but …And Justice For All is different. For the metal icons, this album turned in many firsts for the band.
This was the first album featuring new bassist Jason Newsted, after the death of Cliff Burton. Metallica’s first music video for “One” also came from …And Justice For All.
And, of course, there was the whole Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Grammy debacle.
The 1988 Grammy Nomination and then snub made headlines as Jethro Tull, who decided not to attend the award show thinking they wouldn’t win best hard rock/metal album, won over the favored Metallica. Entertainment Weekly called it one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history.
Four years later, Metallica didn’t quite forget about the oversight when they won the Grammy for “Best Metal Performance.”
As it turns out, the length of the songs on …And Justice For All might be more about ego than anything. In 2008, James Hetfield told MTV, “That album, songwriting-wise, it was just us really showing off and trying to show what we could do. ‘We’ve jammed six riffs into one song? Let’s make it eight. Let’s go crazy with it.’
Above all, this album was Metallica’s first taste of mainstream success. Little did they know three years later, they would become one of the biggest bands in the world.