The book cover offers a slight nod to the original album art, depicting a man dangling from marionette strings, standing in a field of wheat watching a fire rage in the distance.
Back to the Front was written by Matt Taylor and covers both the making of Master of Puppets and the extensive Damage Inc. tour that followed. Taylor, who pitched Metallica the book, had the full cooperation of the band, and also scored interviews with key players involved in the band’s mid-Eighties run.
Master of Puppets producer Flemming Rasmussen and mixer Michael Wagener, managers Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch and members of both the band’s road crew and support acts, Anthrax and Armored Saint, will be featured in the book. Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin and drummer Mike Bordin, as well as Diamond Head’s Brian Tatler also spoke for the book.
Back to the Front will also include an extensive interview with Ray Burton, father of late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, who tragically died in a September 1986 bus accident during the European leg of the Damage Inc. trek.
Back to the Front will also feature a slew of fan contributions, including recollections and photographs solicited by the band after the book was announced in 2014. Metallica also dug through their own collections and promised “hundreds of never-before-seen images pulled from our personal archives.”
An official release date for Back to the Front has yet to be announced. Master of Puppets will celebrate its 30th anniversary in March.