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4.59 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews
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Boxset / Compilation · 1993

Filed under Thrash Metal


CD 1
1. The Ecstasy of Gold / Enter Sandman (7:27)
2. Creeping Death (7:28)
3. Harvester of Sorrow (7:18)
4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (6:39)
5. Sad but True (6:07)
6. Of Wolf and Man (6:22)
7. The Unforgiven (6:48)
8. Justice Medley: Eye of the Beholder / Blackened / The Frayed Ends of Sanity / ...and Justice for All / Blackened (9:38)
9. Solos (Bass / Guitar) (18:49)

Total Time: 76:39

CD 2
1. Through the Never (3:48)
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls (5:50)
3. Fade to Black (7:14)
4. Master of Puppets (4:37)
5. Seek & Destroy (18:10)
6. Whiplash (5:34)

Total Time: 45:15

CD 3
1. Nothing Else Matters (6:21)
2. Wherever I May Roam (6:32)
3. Am I Evil? (5:41)
4. Last Caress (1:24)
5. One (10:27)
6. So What / Battery (10:05)
7. The Four Horsemen (6:06)
8. Motorbreath (3:14)
9. Stone Cold Crazy (5:32)

Total Time: 55:26

DVD1 (San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, CA, January 13 and 14, 1992):

1. The Ecstasy of Gold
2. Enter Sandman
3. Creeping Death
4. Harvester of Sorrow
5. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
6. Sad But True
7. Wherever I May Roam
8. Bass Solo
9. Through the Never
10. The Unforgiven
11. Justice Medley (Eye of the Beholder / Blackened / The Frayed Ends of Sanity / ...And Justice for All)
12. Drum Solo
13. Guitar Solo
14. The Four Horsemen
15. For Whom the Bell Tolls
16. Fade to Black
17. Whiplash
18. Master of Puppets
19. Seek & Destroy
20. One
21. Last Caress (The Misfits cover)
22. Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
23. Battery
24. Stone Cold Crazy (Queen cover)

DVD2 (Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, WA, August 29 and 30, 1989):

1. The Ecstasy of Gold / Blackened
2. For Whom the Bell Tolls
3. Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
4. Harvester of Sorrow
5. The Four Horsemen
6. The Thing that Should Not Be
7. Bass Solo / To Live Is To Die jam
8. Master of Puppets
9. Fade to Black
10. Seek & Destroy
11. ...And Justice for All
12. One
13. Creeping Death
14. Guitar Solo / Little Wing jam
15. Battery / The Frayed Ends of Sanity jam
16. Last Caress (The Misfits cover)
17. Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover)
18. Whiplash
19. Breadfan (Budgie cover)


- James Hetfield / vocals, guitar
- Lars Ulrich / drums
- Kirk Hammett / lead guitars, vocals
- Jason Newsted / bass, vocals

About this release

Released in 1993 as a 3CD+3VHS set by the Elektra label.
Re-released in 2003 as a 3CD+2DVD set by Metallica under exclusive licence to Universal Music.

Thanks to Pekka, metalbaswee for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
One word describes this release — HUGE! It comes in a huge box, shaped like a band's footlocker. There's a huge nine hours of music inside the box, including a huge triple CD live album and three video tapes of live footage, along with an old back stage pass, a book full of hundreds of pictures and Metallica related documents, and a scary guy stencil. Forget the videos and the packaging, let's concentrate on the live album.

Anyone who has ever seen Metallica can attest to how tight the band are as a live unit, and it shows. There's hardly a slip to be detected anywhere in the entire album. It's not a one shot demonstration of the band however, as it was gathered from five nights in Mexico in 1993. The breaks are hard to find though.

And how does Metallica rate live? A fan really could not ask for much more in a live album. A faithful journey through Metallica's first five albums, a few covers, reinterpretations of some older songs, an excellent showcase of the talents of the band members, James Hetfield's corny but friendly stage banter, and a big dose of plain old heavy fucking metal.

Highlights: the insane reaction of audience members Hetfield grabs to help with singing Seek And Destroy; the addition of the unlisted So What?; Jason Newsted's vocals and the extra gear of Whiplash; Kirk Hammett hitting the solo to One almost note perfect; the near on religious rapture of the entire audience at hearing Metallica live.

One small criticism: the bass and guitar solos by Jason and Kirk both show their utter mastery of their respective instruments, and hold your attention throughout the almost 19 minute break, but why so long? Perhaps cut it back to 10 minutes and throw in another song, like "Fight Fire With Fire" or "Disposable Heroes" or "Leper Messiah".

The three videos are actually two concerts. The Seattle 1989 concert is far more intense than the San Diego 1992 concert. The difference comes because the Seattle show is shorter, and has none of the excesses of the songs from the mostly plodding Black album. As you’d expect though, the band gives it all in both concerts, doesn’t go in for huge, elaborate stage shows a la Alice Cooper, and their performances are everything Metallica are famous for. There’s really not much more to say about them, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself revisiting the live CDs more than the videos anyway.

Every fan of Metallica needs to hear this. It puts the stodgy, overblown orchestral theatrics of S&M firmly in its place. This is THE definitive Metallica live album.
Metallica fans had to wait 12 years before getting their hands on some high quality live footage. The arrival of the Live Sh*t: Binge & Purge box set in 1993 proved to be well worth the wait.

Director Wayne Isham does an excellent job in editing the video content to make for a truly amazing concert experience. The cameras get up close and on stage with the band, giving the illusion at times of being on stage alongside them. Aside from the occasional mistake by the band, their performance as a whole is great in all three cities. Including the video intro to the San Diego concert, dubbed the “20 Minute Metallimovie”, is a nice touch.

While I really enjoy this box set, I’ll admit that it has some flaws. There are two factors that somewhat diminish the value of this package :

1)Set List Variety

When buying any live compilation, set list variety is an important factor to me. Between the three shows in the box set, 13 songs repeat in all concerts, and that’s not even including the songs that make up the Justice medley. If you compare the San Diego and Mexico City set lists, they are virtually identical. Since the concert footage in total spans nearly four years, this is poor planning, and the overlap is the main reason I give the more old-school Seattle concert more playing time than the others. It would be nice if this box set were split up to let fans pick and choose which concert they want so they don’t have to spent as much money to have some nice Metallica live material, similar to what Rush eventually did with their Replay x 3 DVD set.

2)The solo sections

To clarify, I’m not referring to the solos in the middle of a song. I mean the ones in between. This point has its pros and cons. I like the fact that they are included on the Mexico City CDs as many groups omit these from their live albums, but it gives a better overall idea of what you’d experience at a Metallica show. Also, the drum duel between James and Lars is entertaining. On the other hand, the solo spots tend to go on a bit too long. At a concert, this is where many audience members go for a beer break. At home, this is where the fast forward/next option is often employed. Sometimes I’m into them, and sometimes not.

Putting it all together, Live Sh*t makes for an excellent concert experience. I’d recommend it to most fans of rock or metal in general.
Metallica's career can be divided into two parts: Before the Black Album and after the Black Album. Before 1991 they were a band known by many, loved by many, expanding their fan base to the point where they would pack arenas around the world despite their very uncommercial music. After the release of their self titled album they became the band known by everyone everywhere, loved by even more people but also hated by many. Old fans who thought they had sold out and new people from the MTV and radio audience who couldn't tolerate their heavy sounds unknown in their mediums up to that point. Metallica moved towards the mainstream with their streamlined sound and songs, and mainstream moved towards Metallica, with another noisy phenomenon called Grunge appearing from the underground at the same time. This massive package of live material documents the both sides of that transition, moments before and moments after. Originally packed into a colossal box containing three VHS cassettes, three CD's and a mass of miscellaneous crap for fans, it is now available in a much smaller form of two DVD's and three CD's ready to slip into your DVD shelf. The first of the three shows is compiled from two filmed concerts at the Seattle Coliseum on AUgust 29th and 30th 1989. The band was promoting their most complex work yet, the ...And Justice for All album and on the top of their game. They had already gathered a huge following among the metalheads of the world but despite the big surroundings they hadn't yet fallen to the traps of arena rock extravaganzas. They were tight, hungry and aggressive. They play like they're still in the small clubs of their early days, only with the charisma to fill an arena. Before the Justice album the band had lost an important member, the respected bass monster Cliff Burton in a car accident, and subsequently hired Jason Newkid Newsted to try and fill the gap. Newkid was a tag he could never shake, being a victim of different sorts of hazing and disrespect from his bandmembers, but what the band lost in team spirit and Burton's powerful live sound, they gained in fierce stage presence and backing vocals. Jason Newsted brought a huge new kick to their live show. They perform a devastating string of classics from their first four albums with a couple of cover songs thrown in. Every single song they play here are still staples of their ever-changing setlist now twenty years later, except for the Budgie cover Breadfan which is a rare treat nowadays. Lars plays as tight as he ever would, Kirk nails every solo, Jason is the crazy headbanger he always would be and James's voice is powerful, menacing and plain ruthless. Absolutely fantastic performances by the entire band.

The next show we get is from San Diego Sports Arena, filmed during the supporting tour for the Black Album on January 13th and 14th 1992. The album had been released a few months before this date, so they had had time to adapt to their newfound mass popularity and even bigger venues. Bigger venues mean more people and more people mean more noise, and attraction to crowd noise leads to crowd-pleasing showmanship. That's why Seek & Destroy lasts ten minutes longer than three years previously and that's why there's the seemingly endless drum solo / duet that just makes me yawn. But there's some drama in trying to figure out who is the best drummer of the band, James or Lars. I'll call it undecided. These things aside, the set list is a very good combination of the more thrashy pieces of the earlier years and their lighter new stuff.

The three cd's from the Mexico City concerts from the early 1993 are essentially the same show as San Diego, with slight changes in setlist. Black Album material combined with earlier more fierce stuff. There's a particularly explosive version of Creeping Death and especially the best Whiplash recording ever is a total killer, but there's also the god-awful 20 minute bass and guitar solo show, the worst waste of space ever to appear on any Metallica record, the rare occasion when I press the skip button. Apart from this sad example of stadium show-offiness and the same singalong version of Seek & Destroy than in San Diego, the band is in fine form. They deliver the goods in a tight package to a rapturous audience and just have a lot of fun.

This is an important document of a band at the turning point of their career, and mostly a very very enjoyable one. Recommended for every lover of their early output because of the Seattle show alone, and on top of that you get two other very fine performances.

Seattle '89 ***** San Diego '92 **** Mexico City '93 ***½

(Review imported from, originally written on March 12, 2009)

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