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Cliff Burton

Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10, 1962 September 27, 1986) was an American musician, best known as the bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica. He is widely considered to have been one of the most influential metal bassists of all time. As a bassist he made heavy use of distortion and effects (several of which are usually associated with non-bass guitars), best exemplified on his signature piece, "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth".

Burton's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which Metallica became famous. Burton joined the band in 1982 and performed on their debut album, Kill 'Em All. Burton performed on two more Metallica albums, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, both of which met with major commercial and critical success. Burton was known for his "lead bass" approach, in which the bass played a melodic and soloist role, in addition to holding down the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of the band.

On September 27, 1986, Burton died when the band's tour bus skidded and crashed in rural southern Sweden. Burton was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Metallica on April 4, 2009. His father, Ray Burton, gave a speech on Cliff's behalf.

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