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S & M (3LP)
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Performer Notes
  • /San Francisco Symphony.
  • Metallica: James Hetfield (vocals, guitar); Kirk Hammett (guitar); Jason Newsted (bass); Lars Ulrich (drums).
  • Additional personnel: Michael Kamen (conductor); The San Francisco Symphony.
  • Engineers: Bob Rock, Randy Staub, Stephen P. McLaughlin.
  • Recorded live at the Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California on April 21 and 22, 1999. Includes liner notes by Michael Kamen.
  • "The Call Of Ktulu" won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
  • As the strains of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstacy of Gold" filled the Berkeley Community Theater, metal heads and classical music enthusiasts were both in for a special evening--where many previous rock/classical collaborations had failed, Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony delivered the goods.
  • "The Call of Ktulu," a track that had never before been performed live, was fated for a debut such as this. The epic instrumental, given added depth by the charts of Michael Kamen (who succeeds in putting a new spin on the band's material as he did on Metallica's self-titled 1991 release), is nothing short of bombastic. The same applies to the speed-metal classic "Master of Puppets." "Hero of the Day" works very well, with its melodic tone enhanced by the symphony. Two new songs are debuted on S&M, "No Leaf Clover" and "Human," tracks that will make for an interesting comparison to their studio versions. The anti-war anthem "One" seems as if it had been made for the classical treatment it receives here. The balance among guitar, drums, strings, and brass makes for a winning sound. Chalk up one more for the band that continues to go against the grain.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (1/20/00, pp.57-9) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...creates the most crowded, ceiling-rattling basement rec room in rock....[in its] sheer awesomeness...the performance succeeds....the monster numbers benefit from supersizing. The effect is...one of timelessness..."

Spin (2/00, pp.114-5) - 8 out of 10 - "...makes their tempo and texture dynamics...into a topic in and off of itself, a deep evocation of bad-voodoo creeping willies culminating in 'One' and 'Enter Sandman'....Freed from ritualized superhuman extremism, it builds a soundtrack to everyday life..."

Entertainment Weekly (12/3/99, p.102) - "...Buttressed by grim strings, creaky horns, and thundering timpani, staples...creep with fearful new dimension, like an old Posada print come to life..." - Rating: B

Q (2/00, p.86) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...another just about forgivable flirtation with [Spinal] Tap-esque lunacy....a fine hit-heavy live LP with bolted-on bombast fromthe S.F. Symphony....Michael Kamen's scores swoop and soar with impressive portent throughout..."

Q (Summer/01, p.127) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...A creditable experiment with the San Francisco Symphony..."

CMJ (12/20/99, p.24) - "...stunning....orchestral renditions of hits from the bands '90s output..."
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