Originally released in 1987, The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited found the quartet in a reflective mood, covering some of their favorite hard rock and punk groups like Diamond Head, Budgie, Killing Joke and the Misfits. The band was also looking forward: Garage Days Re-Revisited featured vocalist/rhythm guitarist James Hetfield, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and drummer Lars Ulrich joined by 24-year-old bassist Jason Newsted (cheekily credited on the sleeve as “Master J. Newkid”) in the studio for the first time; Newsted had been hired in the fall of 1986 after the sudden death of bassist Cliff Burton.
True to its name (a pair of B-side covers in 1984 had been labeled “Garage Days Revisited”), the tracks were rehearsed in Ulrich’s garage (equipped with heavy soundproofing!) and recorded over a week in the summer of 1987. Released in conjunction with the band’s appearance at the Monsters of Rock Festival in England, the EP did exceptionally well, reaching the Top 30 of the Billboard 200 and earning a platinum certification for more than a million units moved.
The $5.98 EP (which was priced higher and appropriately named The $9.98 EP for the CD format – original stickered copies encouraged fans to steal it if it was charged higher than titled) has not been available on its own in nearly 30 years. The group released an entire covers album, 1998’s Garage Inc., which offered the EP’s contents alongside other B-side covers on a bonus disc. For the collector, it’s back in print (if not the same price as before), newly remastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering – and in a number of formats! All retailers will offer CD and 180-gram LP versions along with several limited edition variants: a CD in throwback lenticular “longbox” packaging, a cassette, and red-orange vinyl and picture disc variants. (The longbox and cassette will be available to general retail, while the specialty vinyl will be exclusive to indie retailers and the band’s web store, respectively.)
The garage is open for business April 13, just a bit ahead of Record Store Day – and the band promises the reissue series will pick up later this year. Multiple pre-order links are below!
The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited (originally released as Elektra 60757, 1987 – reissued Blackened Recordings, 2018)
- Helpless (Diamond Head cover)
- The Small Hours (Holocaust cover)
- The Wait (Killing Joke cover)
- Crash Course In Brain Surgery (Budgie cover)
- Last Caress/Green Hell (Misfits cover)