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List: 5 Inspirations Behind Metallica's 'Master of Puppets'

List: 5 Inspirations Behind Metallica's 'Master of Puppets'

Today, March 3, Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ turns 31 years old! The album has an enormous history, most infamously that it was the last album to feature original Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, who died in a bus accident while on tour in support of the album. In honor of the landmark album’s anniversary, we’ve compiled a list of five people who served as the inspiration behind some of the album’s tracks.

1. David Bowie

The title for “Leper Messiah” was derived from David Bowie’s lyrics to “Ziggy Stardust” which say, “making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind, like a leper messiah.”

2. Johann Sebastian Bach
When writing the bassline for “Damage, Inc.,” bassist Cliff Burton drew inspiration from classical musician Johann Sebastian Bach’s song, “Come, Sweet Death.”

3. H.P. Lovecraft

“The Thing That Should Not Be” is about H.P. Lovecraft’s most well-known book, ‘Cthulhu,’ in which the narrator learns of a mythical sea monster through letters from his uncle.

4. Jack Nicholson

Metallica were inspired by the film ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ which starred Jack Nicholson as a criminal in a mental institution. The film itself was based on the celebrated novel of the same name by Ken Kesey.

5. The Military
The lyrical basis of “Disposable Heroes” is based upon the U.S. military’s drafting system and the mortality of those who serve.

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