Japanese-only double SHM-CD (Super High Material CD) paper sleeve pressing of this album from the Bay-Area Metal legends, originally released in 1999. SHM-CDs can be played on any audio player and delivers unbelievably high-quality sound. You won''t believe it''s the same CD! Universal. 2008.
At a point in their career when most bands would rest their laurels upon a greatest-hits package or live album, Metallica has done both, but with a decidedly loopy twist. They''ve recorded a double-live greatest-hits package with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra "sitting in." Rock history and cutout bins are littered with previous attempts at a rock-symphonic fusion, from Emerson, Lake & Palmer to Deep Purple to the Moody Blues and the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band. But while previous efforts at mixing the low-brow with the high-brow have mostly ended up browbeating the intended audience, S&M plays like a precarious joy ride. Set against the shrewd efforts of a team of orchestrators and arrangers (who employ enough taste to keep proceedings from sounding like one long "Live and Let Die" outtake), Metallica plays for their lives, undercutting their general somber tone by ratcheting up their musicianship several notches. The most underrated player here is SFO guest conductor and soundtrack vet Michael Kamen, whose attention to detail and nuance--and intuitive grasp of the Metallica canon--keeps this unlikely meeting of the minds focused and on track. -Jerry McCulley