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Metallica ‘And Justice for All’ Producer Calls Jason Newsted’s Bass Tracks ‘F–king Brilliant’

Jason Newsted (Metallica / Newsted)
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

In the storied history of Metallica, one of the bigger questions that fans have had is what happened to the bass on 1988’s … And Justice for All album. During a recent discussion with producer Flemming Rasmussen, he revealed that he was there for Jason Newsted‘s tracking and there was nothing wrong of note that he noticed.

“Jason is one hell of a bass player,” the producer told Rolling Stone. “I’m probably one of the only people in the world, including Jason and Toby Wright, the assistant engineer, who heard the bass tracks on …And Justice for All, and they are f–king brilliant.”

Though he produced the album, Rasmussen says he’s not sure why Newsted’s tracks were “nixed in the mix,” adding that the mixers Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero were brought in prior to his arrival. “It’s not on them, that’s for sure,” said Rasmussen. “It was Lars [Ulrich] and James [Hetfield] who said to turn the bass down. I know that for a fact because I asked them.”

Rasmussen says he felt that Newsted didn’t get the respect he deserved at the time. He explained to Rolling Stone, “He always more or less was the new kid. I actually had him practice bass when me and Lars would be doing drums. And I’d ask Toby to do some bass sounds with Jason to run it through a few times, and we’d go, ‘This is great. This is not great. Do this, do that.’ And we’d let them bang it out after we’d left for the night. While we went to sleep, he was actually doing some of his bass tracks. We’d listen to them the next day. … I feel and I think the general feeling in the band is that he was never treated with the respect that he deserved.”

In our own 2013 interview with Jason Newsted, he told us, “Historically, it stands up over time. Maybe not the mix, but the songs do … The other day … a kid comes up and gives me ‘…And Jason for All.’ So he’s remixed the bass tracks back into ‘Justice.’ … He was like, ‘Dude, this is for you, how it was supposed to be.’ I think how it was supposed to be is how it came out and how it made the mark on the world, but cool, bass in it? Great dude, thank you.” Check out more of Newsted’s comments below.

Jason Newsted Reflects on Metallica’s … And Justice for All

10 Best Metallica Songs

See Where Metallica’s … And Justice for All Ranks Among the Top 80 Hard Rock + Metal Album of the ’80s

Sound Mixer Blames Lars Ulrich for Thin 'And Justice For All' Bass Sound

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