After getting the “Kate Bush bump” from the last episode of Stranger Things this season, Metallica have decided to give “Master of Puppets” some extra recognition with a new lyric video. The clip uses eerie lighting similar to Stranger Things’ Upside Down, where (spoiler alert) Eddie Munson jammed out on the thrash epic to distract a legion of bats from the series’ heroes as they approached a battle with the evil Vecna. The new lyric video contains imagery of a man entering a labyrinth, lighting, hands pulling strings like marionettes, rows of crosses like the Master of Puppets album cover, and a sword-wielding duelist ready to begin a battle of his own.
At the heart of the clip, though, are frontman James Hetfield’s lyrics, which don’t have anything to do with sci-fi or war. Verses like “Taste me and you will see/More is all you need/Dedicated to/How I’m killing you” are written from the perspective of narcotics controlling an addict, and the rest of the lyrics reference needle drugs and cocaine (“chop your breakfast on a mirror.”)
“I just went to this party in S.F., and there was a bunch of sick freaks shooting up, and it made me sick,” Hetfield explained in 1986, according to Rolling Stone’s in-depth article on the making of the album. “It’s not about any drug in general but people being controlled by drugs and not the other way around.”
The song became an instant classic upon Master of Puppets’ release and has since become the group’s most popular 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,” drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. “It’s crazy.”
The tune has become even more popular since Stranger Things featured it, which was a recent topic of discussion on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast. The band has reacted accordingly, saying they were “blown away” by the popularity boost and releasing a TikTok of themselves duetting with Munson. And its popularity continues to grow. Last month, the tune made its debut on Billboard’s Hot 100 – the pop chart – and it continues to do well on the magazine’s Hot Hard Rock Songs, Hot Rock Songs, and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts.
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