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3.43 | 107 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1998

Filed under Heavy Metal


Disc 1: New Recordings '98
1. Free Speech for the Dumb (Discharge cover)(2:35)
2. It's Electric (Diamond Head cover) (3:33)
3. Sabbra Cadabra (Black Sabbath cover)(6:20)
4. Turn the Page (Bob Seger cover) (6:06)
5. Die, Die My Darling (Misfits cover) (2:29)
6. Loverman (Nick Cave cover)(7:52)
7. Mercyful Fate: Satan's Fall / Curse of the Pharaohs / A Corpse Without Soul / Into the Coven / Evil (Mercyful Fate medley) (11:11)
8. Astronomy (Blue Öyster Cult cover)(6:37)
9. Whiskey in the Jar (Traditional, Thin Lizzy cover) (5:04)
10. Tuesday's Gone (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover) (9:05)
11. The More I See (Discharge cover) (4:48)

Disc time: 65:46

Disc 2: Old cover versions
1. Helpless (Diamond Head cover) (6:38)
2. The Small Hours (Holocaust cover) (6:43)
3. The Wait (Killing Joke cover) (4:55)
4. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (Budgie cover)(3:10)
5. Last Caress / Green Hell (Misfits covers) (3:29)
6. Am I Evil? (Diamond Head cover) (7:50)
7. Blitzkrieg (Blitzkrieg cover) (3:36)
8. Breadfan (Budgie cover) (5:41)
9. The Prince (Diamond Head cover) (4:25)
10. Stone Cold Crazy (Queen cover)(2:17)
11. So What (Anti-Nowhere League cover) (3:08)
12. Killing Time (Sweet Savage cover) (3:03)
13. Overkill (live) (Motörhead cover) (4:04)
14. Damage Case (live) (Motörhead cover) (3:40)
15. Stone Dead Forever (live) (Motörhead cover) (4:51)
16. Too Late Too Late (live) (Motörhead cover) (3:12)

Disc time: 70:50

Total time 131:36


- James Hetfield / lead vocals, rhythm guitar (lead guitar on Whiskey In the Jar)
- Kirk Hammett / lead guitar
- Jason Newsted / bass, backing vocals
- Cliff Burton / bass, backing vocals (on Am I Evil? and Blitzkrieg)
- Lars Ulrich / drums, percussion

Guest musicians on Tuesday's Gone:
- Pepper Keenan / Vocals
- Jerry Cantrell / Guitars
- Sean Kinney / Percussion
- Jim Martin / Guitars
- John Popper / Harmonica
- Gary Rossington / Guitars
- Les Claypool / Banjo

About this release

Elektra / Sony / Vertigo, November 24th, 1998

A release combining a new studio album of cover recordings, and another disc collecting all previously released cover recordings.

Disc 2:
Tracks 1-5: Garage Days Re-Revisited, 1987
Tracks 6-7: from Garage Days Revisited (B-sides to Creeping Death) 1984
Tracks 8-9: originally released as B-sides to Harvester of Sorrow 1988
Track 10: Recorded for the Electra Records 40th anniversary compilation Rubaiyat 1990
Tracks 11-12: originally released as B-sides to The Unforgiven November 1991
Tracks 13-16: Motörheadache recorded live direct to two-track at the Plant Studios in Sausalito on December 13, 1995 during rehearsal for Lemmy's 50th Birthday Party at the Whiskey A Go-Go, Los Angeles. Released as B-sides to Hero of the Day 1996.

Thanks to metalbaswee, CCVP, Pekka, adg211288, diamondblack, Vim Fuego for the updates


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Vim Fuego
The 1990s saw Metallica start the decade as thrash metal’s biggest band. The band and genre was somewhat niche, and not particularly well known outside metal and alternative music scenes. By the turn of the millennium, Metallica had become the biggest band in metal bar none, and was surpassed in popular music by only a handful of artists, but in creating new music thrash metal had been left far behind. “Garage Inc.” as a covers and B-sides compilation album lays bare the influences mixed in to Metallica’s thrash metal roots which made “Metallica”, “Load”, and “Re-Load” the albums which led the band to world domination.

Disc 1 of this double album is freshly recorded covers. These run the full gamut of Metallica’s musical tastes, and some work better than others. Metallica can do punk, and do it well. We know this because of their covers excellent of The Misfits, and Anti-Nowhere League’s utterly filthy “So What”. However, Metallica aren’t too good at Discharge, with “Free Speech For The Dumb” and “The More I See” bookending this disc. These versions are too… clean. Discharge’s originals are scuzzy and discordant, from a band on the verge of starvation. Metallica just can’t reproduce the same feel. It’s hard to sound desperate when you’re a multi-millionaire living comfortably. Bob Rock does big, fat, and comfortable as a producer, with the latest in studio technology at his fingertips, while Discharge would have been recorded as quickly as possible on zero budget. The guitars are too warm, and too big. The bass doesn’t have enough distortion. And Lars just can’t play D-beat drums. Still, without Discharge, thrash metal wouldn’t have been thrash metal.

Metallica’s love of NWOBHM band Diamond Head is well known, so a Diamond Head song was inevitable here, and while “It’s Electric” is no “Am I Evil?”, in the same vein as that famous cover, it’s not far removed from Metallica’s own style.

Covering Black Sabbath isn’t always as easy as it seems. Slayer stumbled with their version of “Hand of Doom”, and Megadeth’s “Paranoid” is almost an unintentional parody. Metallica don’t fuck it up as badly as those covers, but “Sabbra Cadabra” isn’t particularly impressive. They just can’t reproduce Sabbath’s whacked-out stoner groove.

The first really impressive track here is “Turn The Page”, originally by Bob Seger. It’s a brooding tale of life on the road. James Hetfield’s vocals and the ruminating main riff seem to be an indicator of where “The Memory Remains” came from.

“Die, Die My Darling” is a welcome addition to the existing collection of Misfits covers. It’s not near as rough as “Last Caress/Green Hell” recorded a decade earlier, but it retains the boisterous energy and wicked dark humour of the original.

The inclusion of Nick Cave and The Bad Seed’s “Loverman” is the biggest what-the-fuck on the whole album. The original switches between minimalist restraint and raucous post-punk anarchy, and Metallica doesn’t attempt to pull it off, but instead smooths out the rough edges and makes it their own. Cave’s introspective oblique lyrics are somewhat different to the Metallica norm, but like “Turn The Page”, the song illustrates James Hetfield’s varied vocal abilities.

The five song Mercyful Fate medley is more traditional fare. The songs don’t exactly merge seamlessly, and of course there’s no King Diamond helium vocals, but it’s 11 minutes of 80s satanic metal goodness.

Blue Öyster Cult don’t often get the love they deserve, even though they are the band who wrote monster rockers like “Godzilla”, “Burnin’ For You”, and “Don’t Fear The Reaper”. “Astronomy” isn’t one of those monster rockers, but Metallica turn it into one.

“Whiskey In The Jar” is the best song on the first disc. It’s a boisterous, catchy party anthem, and a new take on Thin Lizzy’s take of the traditional Irish folk song.

“Tuesday’s Gone” was recorded during a radio broadcast in 1997 with a number of guest musicians, including members of Alice in Chains, Corrosion of Conformity, Lynyrd Skynrd, and even Les Claypool on banjo, and… it’s fucking tedious. Yep, it’s an all-star acoustic jam that’s an all-star acoustic bore. It also indicates where Metallica found the Southern rock and country influences which popped up on the Load albums.

Disc 2 is older stuff which already existed, but was sometimes hard to come by until this release. The first five tracks come from “The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited”, which had been out of print for the best part of a decade, and dedicated collectors had been paying exorbitant prices for copies of it. The E.P. also featured the first recordings of Jason Newsted with Metallica. This sloppy spontaneous recording is a little rough around the edges, but that’s a big part of it’s charm.

The next pair of NWOBHM covers were initially recorded as B-sides for the 12” vinyl version of “Creeping Death”, released as a single in 1984. The epic “Am I Evil?” is Metallica’s most famous cover, and is so well known it may as well be their own song. Diamond Head have done very well from it over the years, with Metallica’s cover helping revive their career and earning the band a decent sum from royalties over the years too. The other song is “Blitzkrieg”, originally by Blitzkrieg, is an up-tempo blitzkrieg of a song (is that too many blitzkriegs?), and it’s choppy riffing shows how influential the NWOBHM was on thrash metal.

“Breadfan” (originally by Budgie) and “The Prince” (originally by Diamond Head) were B-sides to the 1988 single “Harvester of Sorrow” may have been another couple of Metallica’s favourites, but these are two of the lesser tracks here, and aren’t particularly exciting.

In 1990 Elektra Records marked the label’s 40th anniversary by releasing a compilation of covers by their current roster of artists from their historic catalogue of artists. Metallica’s contribution was a version of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy”, which didn’t need much tarting up to make it a thrash metal song. It was later used as the B-side for the “Enter Sandman” single, and it also won Metallica the consolation Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1991.

“So What” is Metallica’s most notorious cover. The filthy song by Anti-Nowhere League was originally a B-side for their own single “Streets of London”, and had at one stage been seized as an obscene publication in the U.K. The simplistic structure of the song and it’s exaggerated profane lyrics make it a lot of fun, and it remained a live staple for many years.

“Killing Time” by Sweet Savage is another NWOBHM cover, another B-side, and another not particularly remarkable song.

There are four Motörhead songs that aren’t exactly live, but were recorded during a rehearsal for a live performance in 1995. The performance was to celebrate the legendary Lemmy’s 50th birthday, where all the members of Metallica dressed as Lemmy and banged out some Motörhead tunes. A recording of the live performance would have been better, even if it was technically worse, because these four songs are flat and lifeless, especially “Too Late, Too Late”. Even a really rough recording of a live performance would have had more energy, and maybe a bit of spirit which is missing here.

Overall, the entire album is something of a mixed bag. The new tracks on disc one show a surprising breadth of musical likes and influences, and despite a couple of missteps is about as good as cover albums ever get. The second disc gathered together in one place all the covers recorded for various different releases, which was something of a relief for fans of the band struggling to collect them all.

That it followed the relatively poorly received Load albums (relatively – "Load" and "ReLoad" have both sold more than five million copies, as has this album) may contribute to how "Garage Inc." is perceived, but it is still a strong release in Metallica’s catalogue.
Released in 1998 during the heyday of their alternative rock phase, ‘Garage Inc.’ is a two-disc compilation of covers by heavy metal legends Metallica. Regardless of your thoughts on the band cutting their hair, Napster, Lars’ drumming, selling out, Kirk’s wah pedal, James being a table, or the countless other things the band have had thrown at them over their careers, one statement that holds up true is that Metallica have always done an incredible job at covering other artists songs.

Of course, part of that is probably the fact that about 95% of these bands would be absolutely unheard of if it weren’t for Metallica in the first place. But regardless, Metallica have an incredible talent of doing covers in their own way to truly make the songs their own. With beefier guitars, production and Hetfield’s trademark vocal style, pretty much all of these tracks are better than the original.

The first disc consists of covers recorded for this album in 1998, and while the song list is a little hit or miss, for the most part it’s a solid effort. Well produced, well performed, and special mention to Hetfield’s strong vocals here. The likes of ‘Die, Die My Darling’, ‘Turn the Page’, ‘Astronomy’, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘It’s Electric’ make this an interesting listen.

The second disc is a compilation of any covers the band had recorded in the past, either for various EPs or as singles b-sides. Some are better produced than others, but overall they’re a solid bunch too. ‘Am I Evil’, ‘So What’, ‘Blitzkrieg’, ‘Helpless’, ‘Breadfan’, ‘Last Caress’ and ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ are more-or-less Metallica songs now. Such is the quality of these covers when compared to their original counterparts.

‘Garage Inc.’ came out at a weird point in Metallica’s history. After going alt rock with ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’, but prior to working with an orchestra and all the drama that would follow with Napster and ‘St. Anger’, this album just kind of sits there, a small, subtle reminder that despite everything, Metallica were still metal fans at heart, who’ve never been afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve. At an excessive two and a quarter hours in duration, this can be a pretty enduring listen, but there’s enough decent material here to make ‘Garage Inc.’ as vital a part of Metallica’s discography as any of their studio releases.
Here is an album that really is a lot of fun to listen to as it features Metallica paying homage to their influences leading to metal stardom. Most metalheads will instantly recognise thes songs, most are classics, and Metallica give each track a sincere bash, somtimes even improving on the original . Highlights include Sabbra Cadabra - (Black Sabbath 1973), Mercyful Fate - (Mercyful Fate 1982), Astronomy - (Blue Öyster Cult 1974) and Helpless - (Diamond Head 1980). Actually the various Diamond Head tributes on offer are all excellent. Other standouts are Crash Course in Brain Surgery - (Budgie 1971), Breadfan - (Budgie 1973), Stone Cold Crazy - (Queen 1974), and Overkill - (Motörhead 1979). The album epitomises the roots of what became Metallica. The loving tributes are deftly played and Hetfield is in fine voice throughout. Not everything suits my tastes but there is enough here that makes it a worthwhile album to indulge in.
"Garage Inc." is a compilation cover tunes album (yes I do not regard this as a regular full-length studio album) by US heavy metal/ thrash metal act Metallica. The album was released in 1998 by Vertigo Records between the studio album releases of "Reload (1997)" and "St. Anger (2003)". "Garage Inc." is a double CD release compiled from various recording sessions between 1984 and 1998. The eleven tracks on Disc 1 are all exclusively recorded for and released on "Garage Inc." while most songs on Disc 2 (excluding the Mötorhead songs which I don´t believe have been released elsewhere) have been released before. Disc 2 features all songs from the out of print "The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited (1987)" EP, the B-side songs from the "Creeping Death (1984)" EP and some B-sides from the years 1988 - 1991.

This is Metallica letting it all hang out just having fun with songs they really enjoy playing by artists that have inspired them to make their own music the way they do. The thick booklet is actually quite informative and filled with funny anekdotes about the songs and the artists that Metallica have chosen to cover. I especially enjoy the anekdote where bassist Jason Newsted talks about Lemmy from Motörhead rubbing his warts against his cheek during a Metallica live performance at Lemmy´s 50 years birthday. That story is just great fun. When the king of bastardized rock´n´roll decides to rub his warts against your cheek you better be prepared to take it. Metallica´s regular studio albums usually takes years to prepare and record but many of these songs are rehearsed and recorded within a very short time span mostly to have fun and not neccessarily to make great everlasting art.

Disc 1 contains some really great material recorded in September to Oktober 1998. It´s not very long ago that I reviewed "Reload" which was Metallica´s latest studio album at the time and that album sounds pretty tired and uninspired to my ears and therefore it´s such a great pleasure to lay ears to the songs on Disc 1 which are so full of energy and the joy of playing. Metallica may have had their most uninspired period of their career in those years but they sure do play with lots of energy and conviction on these cover tunes. Along with the usual Diamond Head cover ("It's Electric") we´re also treated to songs such as "Free Speech for the Dumb" and "The More I See" by hardcore/punk act Discharge, "Sabbra Cadabra" by UK heavy metal/ doom metal legends Black Sabbath, "Die, Die My Darling" by Amercian punk act Misfits, an 11 minute long Mercyful Fate medley, "Tuesday's Gone" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Loverman" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and "Whiskey in the Jar" by Thin Lizzy. The Bob Seger song "Turn the Page" which has appeared many times on the set list at Metallica concerts is also worth a mention. "Astronomy" by Blue Öyster Cult also gets the Metallica treatment. All songs are enjoyable and played with conviction. Being a great Mercyful Fate fan the medley is a favorite on Disc 1 but I also greatly enjoy "Loverman" and "Turn the Page" which both shows a different side of Metallica than we´re used to.

As mentioned above Disc 2 features all songs from the out of print "The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited (1987)" EP, the B-side songs from the "Creeping Death (1984)" EP, some B-sides from the years 1988 - 1991 and a Motörhead jam session called "Motörheadache" which includes the songs "Overkill", "Damage Case", "Stone Dead Forever" and "Too Late Too Late". All songs appear in their original form on some of the early Motörhead releases like "Bomber (1979)" and "Overkill (1979)". "The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited (1987)" EP is of course a classic Metallica release from the eighties. It´s the first release by the band to feature the then new bassist Jason Newsted after the death of original bassist Cliff Burton in a tragic tour bus accident on the 27th of September 1986 near Dörarp, Sweden. The five (well actually six) songs from that EP brings back so many memories for me. Pure nostalgia. Metallica was such a powerful force back then and the covers of "Helpless"/i> by Diamond Head, "The Small Hours" by Holocaust, "The Wait" by Killing Joke, "Crash Course in Brain Surgery" by Budgie and "Last Caress / Green Hell" by Misfits are all given just the right treatment to come off convincing and powerful. Metallica made these songs their own. The next two songs on Disc 2 are the two B-side tracks from the "Creeping Death" EP. "Am I Evil?" by Diamond Head and "Blitzkrieg" by Blitzkrieg. The first has been played at numerous occasions at Metallica live shows. A real crowd pleaser and one of the most famous Metallica cover songs. The two tracs were recorded in 1984 which of course means that it´s Cliff Burton playing the bass. The next five tracks are B-sides to single and EP releases from the years 1988 - 1991. The first two, "Breadfan" by Budgie and "The Prince" by Diamond Head, were recorded during the "...And Justice for All" sessions and feature about the same production as the rest of that album. Both songs were initially featured on the B-side to the "Harvester of Sorrow (1998)" single/ EP release. "Breadfan" is also featured as the B-side to the "Eye of the Beholder (1988)" single/ EP release. Both songs are fast-paced an aggressive. Some of the highlights on "Garage Inc.", "Stone Cold Crazy" by Queen, "So What?" by Anti-Nowhere League and "Killing Time" by Sweet Savage were all recorded during the sessions for "Metallica (1991)". "Stone Cold Crazy" appeared as the B-side to the "Enter Sandman (1991)" single, "So What?" and "Killing Time" both appeared on the B-side to the "Unforgiven (1991)" single. "So What?" also appeared on the B-side to the "Sad but True (1992)" single. I like the punk attiude, the explicit lyrics and the wild energy of "So What?". "Stone Cold Crazy" is also a powerful and enjoyable song and "Killing Time" is a great retro heavy metal track. The "Motörheadache" jam session comes off as some of the weakest material on "Garage Inc." IMO. The songs are raw one-takes as far as I can hear and they simply lack some polish. That´s an aquired taste though and some will probably enjoy the Motörhead covers a bit more than I do. To be honest they left me a bit indifferent.

The idea to release "Garage Inc." is an excellent one. This is your chance to get a lot of rare tracks and B-sides in addition to the new cover songs on Disc 1 which was recorded with this release in mind. Maybe it´s wrong to call the tracks rare when the EPs and singles they are taken from have probably sold thousands of copies but "Garage Inc." is a great way to get those non-album tracks in a compiled package. The quality varies slightly but there are nothing below average (well... maybe those Motörhead covers are a bit below average) on this compilation and a 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved. I´m ready to call it extremely entertaining and a great purchase.

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