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Massive Metal Monday: Metallica’s Cliff Burton “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Cliff Burton of Metallica

Thirty years ago tomorrow, September 27, 1986, the metal world lost one of its brightest stars. While on tour in support of their magnum opus Master of Puppets, Metallica were involved in a tragic bus accident that claimed the life of their 24-year-old bass prodigy Cliff Burton.

Burton was asleep in a top bunk near the open escape hatch when the drive of the tour bus lost control on an icy road, causing the bus to flip over. The bassist was ejected through the hatch and crushed by the rolling vehicle. It was a tragic end to a brief but stellar career for a man that many consider to be the greatest metal bassist of all time and the unquestionable heart and soul of one of metal’s most beloved bands.

So, to commemorate this somber anniversary, this week’s Massive Metal Monday is dedicated to the memory and legacy of the immortal Cliff Burton. Here is the master performing his signature song live in 1983. This is “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth).”

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Book Review: Metallica: Back To The Front: A Visual History Of The ‘Master Of Puppets’ Era
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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Metallica: Back to the Front book banner

Metallica: Back to the Front
A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour
Hardcover
By Matt Taylor
Foreword by James Hetfield
Afterword by Ray Burton
Publisher: Insight Editions with Moonrise Media
Released date: September 13, 2016

In 1986, Metallica went from local San Francisco Bay Area garage band to support act for part of the U.S. leg of Ozzy Osbourne’s Ultimate Sin tour, as well as headliner of their own European tour. The four very young men — singer/guitarist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Cliff Burton — had only been playing together for three short years, but in that time, they released their first three albums, all of which eventually went on to be regarded as some of the greatest in all hard rock and heavy metal. It was their third album, though, Master Of Puppets, which put them on the map and skyrocketed them to fame. But, with success and popularity also came a devastating blow when they lost Burton when he was killed in an accident after the band’s tour bus skidded off the road in Sweden. The respected bassist, who had been like a big brother to his younger bandmates, was only 24 years old.

Another band might have fallen apart and never gotten past such a heartbreak, especially if they were that young and just starting out. But the unyielding musicians in Metallica knew no other life but the road and no other destiny than with music, so with the blessing of Burton’s parents, they persevered. They continued to create. They went on pounding out aggression all across the land on every stage they hit, until they became not only the kings of thrash metal, but one of the top rock acts of all time… and they’re still on top today. Although a lot has been written and documented about the band over the last 30-plus years, including those early days, there’s never been any personal memoirs. And while the members of Metallica have always spoke highly of Burton throughout the years and have tearfully relayed the events that occurred on the early morning of September 27, 1986 when they saw their brother killed in front of them as they and their devoted crew stood injured and freezing on a Swedish highway, they’ve managed to keep some details about that time private. Now, the surviving members have joined with Insight Editions, in association with Moonrise Media, for Metallica: Back To The Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History Of The Master Of Puppets Album and Tour, written and compiled by Matt Taylor.

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Massive Metal Monday: Metallica “Battery”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

This past week marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Metallica‘s seminal third album Master of Puppets. It is considered by many to be the apex of the band’s career. I personally feel that that honor goes to their second album Ride The Lightning, but to each his own.

However, there is no disputing that Master of Puppets is the most critically acclaimed entry in the Metallica discography. It would be the final album to feature the man who many felt was the heart and soul of the band, bassist and songwriter Cliff Burton.

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Thrashback Thursday: “Hit The Lights” By Metallica
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

I found myself the other day trying to explain to my kids the immense impact that Metallica had on the metal underground when they first burst onto the scene in 1982. That’s right kids; Metallica was an underground (and cutting edge) band once upon a time. Their debut album
Kill ‘Em All did exactly as it’s title promised. It was a manifesto… a declaration… Metallica were about to take over the world and indeed kill ’em all.

For the next eight years, through endless touring, tragedy and triumph, and four albums that would become the very pillars upon which modern metal is built, Metallica would rule at the forefront of the metal underground. There is no way to describe to someone who wasn’t there the amount of reverence that we metalheads held for this band during those years. And then came the black album and Metallica was no longer the metal world’s underground darlings. But that’s a story for another Thursday.

Here is the shot heard ’round the world, “Hit The Lights” the opening track of Metallica’s landmark debut album Kill ‘Em All.

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Thrashback Thursday: Metallica: “Fight Fire With Fire” Live In Canada 1986
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

For my first Thrashback Thursday post on Geeks Of Doom, I am going back to where it all started for me. My friend Tony had told me “There is this new band called Metallica that you have to hear… they’re amazing!” So off I trekked on my bicycle to my local record store and bought 1984’s Ride the Lightning on vinyl.

When I got home and dropped the needle on the first song, I was met by this beautiful little acoustic guitar part. I remember thinking “Well, this is nice and all, but…” and then it happened. When “Fight Fire with Fire” kicked into full swing, my life was very literally changed forever. Say what you will about their later output, those first four Metallica albums will always be the pillars of thrash to me. So here with the opening track of Ride the Lightning is Metallica live in Canada in 1986 on the Master of Puppets tour. You can check it out below.

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Remembering Metallica’s Original Bassist Cliff Burton
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Metallica's Cliff Burton

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.

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Cliff Burton: Celebrate What Would Have Been Metallica Bassist’s 50th Birthday
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Obi-Dan   |  
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Metallica's Cliff Burton

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.

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Metallica’s Cliff Burton: 25th Anniversary Of Bassist’s Death
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Obi-Dan   |  
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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.

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Title Character In New Film ‘Hesher’ Inspired By Cliff Burton From Metallica
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cGt2099   |  
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MetallicaThe 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.

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Metallica: 25th Anniversary of ‘Master Of Puppets’
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Obi-Dan   |  
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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.

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