Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician and songwriter who was the bassist for American heavy metal band Metallica from 1982 until his death in 1986. He performed on Kill ‘Em All (1983), Ride the Lightning (1984), and Master of Puppets (1986), the band’s first three studio albums. Burton also received posthumous writing credit on …And Justice for All (1988) for the song “To Live Is to Die”.
Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician and songwriter who was the bassist for American heavy metal band Metallica from 1982 until his death in 1986. He performed on Kill ‘Em All (1983), Ride the Lightning (1984), and Master of Puppets (1986), the band’s first three studio albums. Burton also conventional posthumous writing savings account on …And Justice for All (1988) for the song “To Live Is to Die”.
While touring in 1986 to support Master of Puppets, Burton died considering a bus smash in Sweden. A prominent musical influence, Burton placed ninth in a 2011 reader poll from Rolling Stone recognizing the greatest bassists of whatever time. He was posthumously inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a supporter of Metallica in 2009.
Clifford Lee Burton was born in Castro Valley, California, to Ray and Jan Burton. He had two elder siblings, Scott and Connie. Burton’s immersion in music began subsequent to his dad introduced him to classical music and he began taking piano lessons.
In his youthful years, Burton had an inclusion in rock, classical, country and eventually stuffy metal. He began playing the bass at age 13, after the death of his brother. His parents quoted him as saying, “I’m going to be the best bassist for my brother.” He adroit up to six hours per day (even after he joined Metallica). Along following classical and jazz, Burton’s further early influences varied from Southern rock and country to the blues.
Burton cited Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler, Stanley Clarke, Lemmy Kilmister, and Phil Lynott as major influences upon his style of bass playing.
While yet a student at Castro Valley High School, Burton formed his first band called EZ-Street. The band took its say from a Bay Area topless bar. Other members of EZ-Street included well along Faith No More guitarist “Big” Jim Martin as capably as Faith No More and Ozzy Osbourne drummer Mike Bordin. Burton and Martin continued their musical collaboration after becoming students at Chabot College in Hayward, California. Their second band, Agents of Misfortune, entered the Hayward Area Recreation Department’s Battle of the Bands contest in 1981. Their audition was recorded on video and features some of the dated footage of Burton’s playing style. The video next shows Burton playing parts of what would soon be two Metallica songs: his signature bass solo, “(Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth”, and the chromatic intro to “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Burton joined his first major band, Trauma, in 1982. Burton recorded the track “Such a Shame” with the band on the second Metal Massacre compilation.
In 1982, Trauma traveled to Los Angeles to perform at the Whisky a Go Go. Among those in attendance were James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, both members of Metallica, which had formed the previous year. Upon hearing, as Hetfield described it, “this amazing shredding” (which difficult became “(Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth”), the two went in search of what they thought was an amazing guitar player. When they theoretical that what they had heard was a bass solo by Burton, they fixed to recruit him for their own band. They asked him to replace departed bassist Ron McGovney, and before Burton thought that Trauma was “starting to get a little commercial”, he agreed. The idea of having to shape to Los Angeles did not sit skillfully with him, and said he would associate only if the band would relocate from Los Angeles to his indigenous San Francisco Bay Area. Metallica, eager to have Burton in the band, left their pedigree of Los Angeles to make a house in El Cerrito, a town located across the bay from San Francisco.
Burton’s first recording similar to Metallica was the Megaforce demo. A demo book the band had made prior to Burton’s joining, No Life ’til Leather, managed further on into the hands of Jon Zazula, owner of Megaforce Records. The band relocated to Old Bridge, New Jersey, and quickly secured a recording contract next Zazula’s label. Their debut album, Kill ‘Em All, features Burton’s famous solo piece, “(Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth”, which showcased his use of effects, such as a wah-wah pedal, not commonly used by bass guitarists.
Metallica’s debut album, Kill ‘Em All, was originally intended to consent the post of one of their earlier demo releases (predating Burton’s participation), which was Metal Up Your Ass, but the folder company did not following the title and insisted upon changing it. After the band literary of the change, Burton said “We should just kill ’em all, man,” which gave the band members an idea for the further title. The album was released on July 25, 1983, through Megaforce Records.
The band’s second studio album, Ride the Lightning, showcased the band’s increasing musical growth. Burton’s songwriting abilities were growing, and he established credit upon six of the album’s eight songs. Burton’s playing style and use of effects is showcased upon two tracks: the chromatic intro to “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, and the “lead bass” on “The Call of Ktulu”.
The accrual of musicianship on Ride the Lightning caught the attention of major wedding album labels. Metallica was signed to Elektra Records, and began working on its third album, Master of Puppets, which is considered by most critics to be a landmark album in unventilated metal. Among the tracks featured in the album are the instrumental “Orion” (which features a prominent benefit bass section) and the title track, which was Burton’s favorite Metallica song. Master of Puppets is the band’s want ad breakthrough release, and Burton’s unmovable album once Metallica.
Burton’s unadulterated performance was in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Solnahallen Arena on September 26, 1986, one daylight before his death. The complete song he performed was “Fight Fire With Fire”.