Today, February 10, would have been the 52nd birthday of bass player Cliff Burton, whose “lead passages” on his instrument helped propel Metallica into a hard-crunching, heavy metal ensemble, and started them on the road to the mammoth success they would eventually have as the 1980s wore on and beyond. Burton, who had made a huge impact and looming presence on the band’s first three albums, died on September 27, 1986, in Sweden, when Metallica’s tour bus flipped over in an accident, killing him at the young age of 24.
The legacy of Cliff Burton still remains more than just a footnote in the Metallica history, it also remains a firm notch in the formative years of the band. Like Duane Allman, the ill-fated guitarist from The Allman Brothers, who also died tragically at the age of 24 and who also left a huge indelible mark on music history, Cliff Burton’s short time on this planet will always be remembered for helping Metallica steer their ship in the right direction, setting sail in the heavy metal/thrash metal genre and then in his death, casting them off to chart areas of success which elevated them into becoming one of the biggest bands of all time, transcending the genre while doing so.
Today, February 10, 2012, would have been Cliff Burton‘s 50th birthday.
The revered Metallica bassist played on the band’s first three albums — Kill Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets. His charging, finger-picking basslines added much to the early Metallica and thrash metal music sound.
Burton was tragically killed almost 26 years ago when Metallica was on a European tour to support the Master Of Puppets album. The tour bus skidded off the road and crashed in southern Sweden killing Burton aged just 24.
Today commemorates 25 years since the death of Metallica bass player, Cliff Burton.
We all know Metallica as the metal behemoth it is today: headlining Big 4 concerts and selling countless albums across the world. All of this is built on the foundation of the band’s early days and the three albums that in the same amount of years turned them from exciting new band to greatest band in the world.
The title character of Hesher, in the upcoming movie produced by Natalie Portman and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was inspired by the late Metallica bass guitarist, Cliff Burton. Gordon-Levitt revealed the inspiration during a recent interview, in which he discussed how he based his performance of the iconic metal god’s behavior.
Apparently, according to Gordon-Levitt, the current members of Metallica weren’t informed of the basis of the character before seeing the film, and were surprisingly reminded of the much-loved but long lost band member from years gone by. Burton is highly respected and lovingly remembered by the fans as well, so it will be interesting to see fan reaction to the performance as well.
Metallica Master Of Puppets UK
U.S.: CD | MP3
Recorded September – December 1985
Released March 3, 1986
Metallica pierced the ears of metalheads in with their 1983 debut album Kill “˜Em All; a shocking statement of intent with its aggressive, fast onslaught of sonic terror. They hurdled the “˜difficult second album’ phase with ease on the mighty Ride The Lightning, signaling a grander scope of songwriting. These were good albums, full of promising talent that metal listeners hoped would turn into greatness.
When it comes to bands, every so often everything falls perfectly into place. The best of them experience this perfect moment maybe once in their career. That one album where every song is perfectly written, each vocal perfectly pitched with lyrics encompassing and evoking an issue or time. Master Of Puppets was Metallica’s moment.
Released on March 3, 1986, Master of Puppets has never been a “˜grower’ demanding repeated listens nor has it ever been considered a misunderstood work of genius. It is an immediate album. Right from its release it was considered a great metal album and in the proceeding 25 years since its release its reputation has only grown. The songs still hold up as iconic metal tracks, with the title song still being one of the defining anthems of the genre.