Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' Is 30 Years Old Today

And it still sounds as awesome as ever.
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Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett shredding in Tokyo, 1986. (Photo: Getty)

Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett shredding in Tokyo, 1986. (Photo: Getty)

On March 3, 1986, Metallica unleashed a stone-cold metal masterpiece with Master of Puppets. The album's chugging riffs and breakneck pace proved to be an instant classic of the thrash metal genre, fully delivering on the promise of the young Bay Area band's previous albums, Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning. 

Metallica's epic major label debut came armed with heavy classics like opener "Battery", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" and "Leper Messiah", but the eight-and-a-half minute title track remains the most beloved Metallica anthem of all time, as well as the band's most-played live song. 

"A couple of years ago, we did a tour in Europe where we let fans pick the set lists, and, out of 20 or 30 shows, 'Master of Puppets' was the Number One most requested song at every show," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich tells Rolling Stone. "It's crazy."

Crazy, but not insane. Celebrate the 30th birthday of Master of Puppets by cranking this up — loud.