Cliff Burton remembered, 25 years after his death

Categories: Music

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While Metallica fans were either super pumped or totally confused and über-pissed off about the new single released, "The View," from the upcoming Lou Reed collaboration, Lulu, there was another element of bittersweetness in the hearts and mind of fans this week, as Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the death of original bassist Cliff Burton.

Joining the then-new band-in-progress in the very beginning, Burton had a profound influence on the group and was well known then and now for his bass solos, which combined his classical background with the spirit of progressive music, noise, and metal.

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Ultimately Burton had a whirlwind four-year career with Metallica, having performed and recorded on the band's first three full-length records (often cited as their best) and traveled the world long before they became a mainstream arena act. His life, however, came to an end at the very young age of 24 in a bus accident after a gig in Stockholm, Sweden, after it slipped on the ice and caused the driver to lose control.

This week Metallica has been performing one of Cliff's signature compositions with the band, "Orion," while on tour in Brazil as a tribute. Cliff's father, Ray Burton, who's 86, continues to carry the torch for his son, fielding fan mail and appearing with Metallica when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Ray released this tribute to Cliff and his fans this week in honor of the anniversary of his unfortunate passing.


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Burton performed with Metallica twice in the Twin Cities, at First Avenue on February 6, 1985 and May 28, 1986 at the Orpheum Theater. Here's a collection of some of Cliff's most famous bass solos and classic songs he contributed to the group during his short life.

Cliff Burton performing with his group, Trauma in 1982

Metallica "(Anesthesia) - Pulling Teeth" Live 1983

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Metallica "For Whom the Bells Toll" 1985


Metallica "(Anesthesia) - Pulling Teeth" Live 1986
Metallica "Seek and Destroy" Live at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis 1986

Cliff's last performance with Metallica Stockholm, Sweden 9.27.86

Metallica "Orion" from Master of Puppets 1986


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