[Post #543 | Daybook #13]
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to METALLICA’S 3-disc live set Live S**t: Binge and Purge, recorded and released in 1993 (the Mexico City portion of the box set). Tonight I was bopping around Spotify looking to cue up Metallica’s instrumental songs (“Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”, “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, “To Live is to Die” and “Suicide and Redemption”) to use as a soundtrack for a brief stint of writing when I scrolled to this particular live concert recording I’d been shunning for so many years. I jumped right to “Creeping Death” in the track listing and what I immediately noticed was how much better the live songs sounded twenty-five years ago compared to modern times. Not because of the band’s performance or anything like that. No, it’s because back then their guitars were tuned to E-Standard tuning (A440) rather than the E-Flat tuning they’ve been using the last fifteen years or so (I believe since the St. Anger “Madly in Anger” tour in 2003, at least). These days when I hear modern live versions of their songs it’s a bit of a bummer because the majority of the songs sound off — because they are off, by a half-step, or semitone in musicology terms. I’ve been listening to Metallica for thirty-plus years, so it seems only natural that when a fella puts on the music of the soundtrack of his formative years that he’d want it to sound like it’s supposed to sound at least in terms of the original tuning, even when it’s via a concert, live or otherwise. [End old man rant].