When Was Metallica’s ‘…And Justice For All’ Actually Released?


Metallica unleashed …And Justice For All, their third studio album—and first full-length following the dying of Cliff Burton — on Aug. 25, 1988…

…or was it Sept. 7? Possibly it was Sept. 6?

Wait, it was positively Sept. 2, proper?

Imagine it or not, there appears to be no definitive reply to the straightforward query, “When was …And Justice For All truly launched?” Effectively, till we managed to trace down an official response from Metallica’s workforce. However earlier than we get to that, let’s look at how this has performed out over time and why there was such widespread confusion and uncertainty.

Simply What Is Fact? I Can’t Inform

Metallica are identified for a lot of issues, one in every of which is being consultants at archiving their historical past. Whether or not it is cataloging their live shows or reissuing their albums with massive box sets that element each side of that second of their profession, Metallica are nice at inviting their followers to expertise each side of their profession, previous and current.

A launch date for a studio album ought to be a reasonably easy dialog. In spite of everything, no person disputes the July 25, 1983 launch of Kill ‘Em All or the July 27, 1984 launch of Ride the Lightning. Even Aug. 21, 1987, the discharge date of their first EP, The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited, receives no pushback.

However as quickly as you get right into a dialog about …And Justice For All, precisely when the LP hit retailer cabinets stays a thriller.


For years, Loudwire has celebrated the anniversary of …And Justice For All on Aug. 25. In spite of everything, the Recording Industry Association of America says the album was launched on that day. Who’re we to argue with the RIAA, the very group that has declared it to be multi-platinum?

A number of different locations affirm this date, together with Spotify, Deezer and Amazon. However many different shops could have you consider the date lands in September.

Within the Sept. 25, 1988, copy of The New York Instances, Jon Pareles wrote, “Metallica, speed-metal’s prime mover, has bought 1,000,000 copies of its new album, …And Justice For All, in lower than a month.” The language Pareles utilized in his column would lead the reader to consider that the album got here out that very same month, fairly than the month earlier than in August.

Michael Azerrad reviewed the report within the Nov. 3, 1988, challenge of Rolling Stone, calling it “a marvel of exactly channeled aggression.” This may have been the primary challenge of the brand new month following a September launch; it looks as if it might have been a late assessment if the report dropped in August.

Wikipedia states a Sept. 7 launch, as does YouTube Music.

However what does Metallica’s official web site say?

Metallica.com is an unimaginable on-line expertise that captures a lot of the band’s history and it contains a very thorough discography for all of their releases. As one may think, every launch’s web page consists of the official launch date.

In line with Metallica.com, the discharge date for …And Justice For All is Sept. 7, 1988.

Case closed? Not fairly.

Metallica’s official SoundCloud profile lists the discharge as Aug. 25, 1988.

A culling of Metallica’s social media reveals very few anniversary celebrations for the report’s launch, which is unusual given they repeatedly try this on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Even in 2018, the thirtieth anniversary of …And Justice For All, the band appeared to disregard the anniversary.

However in case you had been to go all the way in which again to 2016, you’d discover a correct celebration of the album’s launch…Aug. 25.

(As you do your personal sleuthing, it is value noting that the official “album launch day” did not turn out to be Tuesday till 1989; it looks as if there have been no hard-and-fast guidelines for releases previous to that, and naturally, in 2015 that day modified from Tuesday to Friday.)

Does Anyone Actually Know When …And Justice For All Got here Out?

The easy query we posed at the beginning of this—”When was …And Justice For All truly launched?”—may not be so simple as we thought. Whereas it is reassuring to easily agree with Metallica’s web site, how do you ignore the RIAA and the band’s personal SoundCloud profile?

No matter the place you land on this debate, we are glad to say that we do have a solution to the query—and it is about as official because it will get.

We bought in contact with Metallica’s workforce they usually confirmed, “positively,” that Sept. 7, 1988, is certainly the official launch date of …And Justice For All.

Is it secure to say “case closed” now?

When Was Metallica’s ‘…And Justice For All’ Actually Launched?

It is a query that ought to have a easy, fast reply, however determining when …And Justice For All was truly launched is a sophisticated dialog. Although Metallica’s workforce has advised us, definitively, that Sept. 7, 1988, is the day that …And Justice For All hit the streets, we nonetheless discover it fascinating and form of perplexing what number of totally different launch date theories are on the market. Although the beneath gallery is not complete, it begins to seize simply how sophisticated this dialog actually is.

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