Great Metal Albums of 1987: Metallica- The $5.98 EP/$9.998 CD- The Garage Days Revisited

To mark the occasion of their appearance at the 1987 Donnington Festival, Metallica’s UK label, Vertigo, suggested they release new material. However, initial songwriting attempts with new bassist, Jason Newstead, resulted in one demo and then James Hetfield broke his arm in a skateboarding accident. (I forgot about that incident but I remember while on tour, a roadie played rhythm guitar so the tour could carry on.) Anyway, the band decided that instead of trying to write new material, they recorded covers of some of their favourites. Thus, “The $5.98 EP/$9.98 CD- The Garage Days Revisited” was born.

Up first is a cover of Diamond Head’s “Helpless.” Listening to this, if I hadn’t heard of Diamond Head before, I would have thought that this was a Metallica original. Basically what Metallica do here is increase the song to Metallica level and it’s true to what Metallica were doing at the time. Next comes “The Small Hours” which is a cover of a Holocaust tune. Admittedly, I have no experience of Holocaust, that will be rectified, but there is that Metallica “Thing That Should Not Be” aura to it. It’s just slow crunching guitar at the start before speeding up in the middle and a cool guitar solo from Kirk.

In the middle of the order is the cover of the Killing Joke tune, “The Wait,” which was left off the British pressing in order to comply with UK laws regarding the length of EPs. When I hear this song, I definitely think that it would have been a perfect fit if put on the “Master of Puppets” album as I definitely get that vibe on it. I can bang my head along with it much longer than its four minute and fifty-five second length. That’s a minute and fifteen seconds longer than the Killing Joke’s version!

Jason Newstead gets to show off his bass skills on the penultimate track, “Crash Course in Brain Surgery,” a cover of a Budgie classic. I remember when I saw Metallica and Donnington 87, James introduced Jason as ‘the new mother fucker.’ Was there animosity already? I won’t venture a guess but Jason does lay down a solid bass line here, which compliments Kirk’s guitar solo very well. Metallica took a 70s hippy song and brought it into the late 80s.

Ending this five song Metallica party is my favourite song, “Last Caress/Green Hell,” two Misfits tunes combined together. The reason I like it is that any lyrics which stuck it to the anti- rock establishment was cool in my book and “I killed your baby today” and “I raped your mother today” definitely qualifies. I’m surprised there wasn’t any outcry from the religious zealots in the US over it. Still, the fast thrash pace adds to the fun. At the end, there is some riffs to the Iron Maiden classic, “Run to the Hills,” which I also remember them doing at Donnington. Maybe not necessary but it brought back good memories.

Track Listing:

  1. Helpless
  2. The Small Hours
  3. The Wait
  4. Crash Course in Brain Surgery
  5. Last Caress/Green Hell

James Hetfield- lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Kirk Hammett- lead guitar

Jason Newstead- bass, backing vocals

Lars Ulrich- drums

What I didn’t know was that “The $5.98 EP/$9.98 CD- The Garage Days Revisited” was out of print from 1989- 2018 and was considered a collector’s item. Those who had this should consider themselves lucky. While this wasn’t a Metallica album in the proper sense, it was a great bridge between “Master of Puppets” and their next album “And Justice for All.”

Next post: WASP- Inside the Electric Circus

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23 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1987: Metallica- The $5.98 EP/$9.998 CD- The Garage Days Revisited”

  1. Brilliant EP and one of the best covers releases out there in any genre.

    I have a copy on CD, and I paid a lot of money for it!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This one is a great shot of adrenalin. It just slams start to finish. love that sloppy Run To The Hills as well lol

    Liked by 3 people

  3. UK laws about length of EPs?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m a massive fan of Metallica covers. They have a unique way of making any cover they attempt sound like Metallica originals.

    My cousin owns the original pressing of this EP on vinyl and of course, I copied it to cassette, the pirate I am. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think their current bassist, Robert, is cool, but I always preferred Jason Newsted. I found him to be a good replacement for Cliff. Jason had the toughness and playing ability.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yup this one’s a great one. I even bought the re-release of this on CD in the longbox because, ‘cmon, who releases longbox CD packaging anymore that’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Had this EP on vinyl and no idea where it is now as I still have the first 3 albums safe in a record case 🙂
    Lol that was true about the roadie covering in 86 for a skateboard-injury Hetfield – we saw them in Brum and it was cool watching Hetfield just as a frontman with his arm in plaster. The roadie is John Marshall, a former guitarist of Metal Church. He also covered for Hetfield around 92, again for an injury.
    Loved Newstead when he joined, especially as we had recently seen Flotsam & Jetsam live. I remember reading in Kerrang! at the time Metallica jokingly calling them the ‘Flintstones and the Jetsons’, and calling Newstead ‘Jason Newkid’ 🙂 Was cool seeing them later on the Justice tour with Newstead.

    Liked by 1 person

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