With the recent reissue of (re)Master of Puppets, Metallica has been sharing fun facts about the album. Drummer, Lars Ulrich was speaking to radio host Andy Hall and mentioned how the instrumental track “Orion” was originally at the end of “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” and discussed why they separated the two.
“For Metallica making records is very much a practical undertaking. What we do is we’ll have this riff and another riff and those two will live together. And then over here will be this riff and two other riffs, and then over here something else will live and it’s all these different things that we sort of visit.
“So what becomes ‘Battery’ is the fast song. And then over the course of three months we’ll go and work on ‘Battery’ once a week. And every time we go back to it we hopefully take it to another level or hone it or get it more dialed or whatever.
“At some point you sit there and go, ‘Wait a minute, the middle part in ‘Battery’ doesn’t really sound that great in ‘Battery’ but that would actually maybe fit in song number 4.’
“And then you move the parts around. I think the genesis of ‘Orion’ was Cliff Burton’s kind of middle bass part thing with the harmonies and those melodies. And we felt that probably should be an instrumental piece. And there was, I think, that main riff that’s at the front half of the song. And somehow we married those together and whatever…
“It’s sort of trial and error and just moving things around. And you’re moving all these pieces of music forward until they become songs that you don’t feel you can better them anymore. [Laughs]
“You get to a place where you don’t feel you can better them anymore and then either they’re so good they go on the record or they go in the trash bin.”
For those who are curious and would love to hear the epic combined piece, you’re in luck. There is an unreleased demo titled, “Only Thing” that shows the early stages of the tune. Check it out below:
I’m rather glad they decided to separate the two tracks. Each song is definitely stronger on their own and flow better on the album.
To hear the rest of the interview head on over here.