Offered for sale is an ultra-rare test pressing set of the 5 disc, 45 RPM version of Metallica’s 2008 album Death Magnetic.
About this copy: This copy of Death Magnetic is a test pressing of the 5 disc, 45 RPM set. Test pressings are the initial discs pressed at the factory for the purpose of evaluating a pressing in order to make sure that the album sounds as it should and that the records sound the way they were intended to sound. You can read more about test pressings here (new window.)
These discs were pressed on August 23, 2008, as indicated by the stickers on the cover. This was about a month before the album’s release date. This is the 2008 first issue; this title was remastered in 2010 and some test pressings bear that date. The five discs each have the catalog number and the letters indicating which disc in the set they are on the A side. (A/B, C/D, E/F, G/H, I/J) The B side labels are blank.
We don’t know how many of these were pressed, but it’s likely that they made no more than 10-20 copies.
The discs are packaged in individual plain white covers, each of which has a sticker with the catalog number and the letters to indicate which disc it is in the set.
All discs are M-, though there’s a faint hairline through side J, so we’ll call that side VG++. It appears that this set may have been played no more than once.
An ultra-rare Metallica item and a really good album, too.
Background: 2008’s Death Magnetic was Metallica’s first studio album in five years, the first since St. Anger. Unlike that album, Death Magnetic sold well and received acclaim from the critics, and was seen as a return to form.
Call Death Magnetic Kirk Hammett’s revenge. Famously browbeaten into accepting Lars Ulrich and producers Bob Rock’s dictum that guitar solos were “dated” and thereby verboten for 2003’s St. Anger — a fraught recording chronicled on the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster — Metallica’s lead guitarist dominates this 2008 sequel, playing with an euphoric fury not heard in years, if not decades.
There is no denying that the band is older and settled, no longer fueled by the hunger and testosterone that made their ’80s albums so gripping, but on Death Magnetic older doesn’t mean less potent. Metallica is still vitally violent and on this terrific album — a de facto comeback, even if they never really went away — they’re finally acting like they enjoy being a great rock band.
Death Magnetic was sold in two versions on vinyl – a 2 LP set that played at 33 1/3 RPM, and a 5 disc set that played at 45 RPM for better sound quality. The 45 RPM version was limited in production and sold far fewer copies than the regular 33 1/3 version.
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