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Hear Jason Newsted’s Demo for Metallica’s ‘My Friend of Misery’

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Metallica aren’t willing to let a week pass in the lead-up to Sept. 10’s emergence of both their Black Album reissue and the artist tribute Metallica Blacklist without releasing a new track from each to whet listeners’ appetites for when the whole shebang finally arrives.

On Tuesday (Aug. 31), that led to Metallica fans being privy to former bassist Jason Newsted’s original instrumental demo of The Black Album‘s “My Friend of Misery” — what would end up being his only co-write on the 1991 effort. Simultaneously, Saxophonist Kamasi Washington unveiled his jazzy Blacklist take on the same song.

Listen to both near the bottom of this post.

The “My Friend of Misery” demo, sourced from Newsted’s riff tapes, exhibits embryonic versions of the tune’s sullen guitar figures. Washington’s antithetical rendition livens things up with bright brass and bouncy piano. Both show Metallica’s ’90s songwriting prowess.

Newsted unboxed the deluxe Black Album reissue in a video earlier this month. But while the 58-year-old rocker has admitted he no longer has the “physicality” to play Metallica songs, he still remembers being “fuckin’ livid” at the lack of bass on 1989’s …And Justice for All.

Past weeks have found Metallica sharing rare versions of Black Album tunes such as “The Unforgiven,” “Sad But True,” “Of Wolf and Man,” “Nothing Else Matters,” “Through the Never” and “Wherever I May Roam” from the reissue’s bonus material. Weezer, Phoebe Bridgers, Volbeat, Biffy Clyro, St. Vincent, Royal Blood, Miley Cyrus and others have also previewed their respective Metallica Blacklist covers.

Pre-order the reissue here; The Metallica Blacklist here.

Metallica, “My Friend of Misery” Demo (From Jason Newsted’s Riff Tapes)

Kamasi Washington, “My Friend of Misery” (Metallica Cover)

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