Metallica's 1988 record "...And Justice for All" has long been considered one of the best albums Metallica ever released and is even considered one of the greatest metal albums of all-time.
Despite the many accolades the albums received, it has long been criticized for its lack of bass guitar from Jason Newstead in the final mix.
Regarding the final stages of the sessions for "...And Justice for All,"
At the instruction of [James] Hetfield and [Lars] Ulrich, [Jason] Newsted's bass guitar was made almost inaudible. According to [producer Flemming] Rasmussen: "After Lars and James heard their initial mixes the first thing they said was, 'Take the bass down so you can just hear it, and then once you've done that take it down a further three dBs.' I have no idea why they wanted that, but it was totally out of my hands."
But now, thanks to the availability of stems from some of the recordings on the album, Newstead's original bass recordings can be heard isolated and they sound incredible. It makes you wonder what a re-mixed version of the album with the bass at a higher level could sound like.
But it seems like that might never happen, at least in any sort of official capacity, based on these statements from Hetfield when the band released the reissued version in 2019 with the same inaudible bass:
There are things I would like to change on some of the records. But it gives them so much character that you can’t change them. I find it a little frustrating when bands re-record classic albums with pretty much the same songs and have it replace the original. It erases that piece of history.
These records are a product of a certain time in life; they’re snapshots of history and they’re part of our story.
OK, so …And Justice for All could use a little more low end and St. Anger could use a little less tin snare drum, but those things are what make those records part of our history.