Why I think Cliff Burton is Overrated

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by RustyNails, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Pmc bass

    Pmc bass

    Jul 21, 2015
    Not going to comment either way, I remember first hearing it and thinking it was the greatest solo ever back in the 80's. And I learnt it up to where the drums come in.
    I do wonder how much better he would had he not passed at the young age of 24.
    Kawai2g4b likes this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Cliff only after Lemmy!
  3. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Well, he was only 24 when he died which would have made him 19 or 20 when he recorded Kill 'Em All. He played on three albums which are considered classics of the genre when he was in his late teens/early 20s.

    Who knows what his style would have evolved into if he had turned 34 or 44.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    BillMason likes this.
  4. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Well i did not think like that when i was writing. Technically, i agree with you but in our society but i must defend the "bass" wich is for me really different from guitar.
  5. Pier_


    Dec 22, 2013
    Roma, Italia
    he's the best if you are 12 years old metalhead with limited knowledge in music.

    here in Italy we have a close example, Roberta Sammarelli from the band Verdena. she is an average bass player in a typical post-punk-but-from-the-late-90's which uses a lot of distorsion and plays simple and not particular basslines.
    but if you are a teenager with grunge attitude (for what it means today) you HAVE to love her and her sound...

    so the italian forums are full of those teenagers (and unfortunately many adult...) asking how to get her sound, buying her same pedals and instruments (she changes often all her rig) and loving her until they don't grow up :p

    IMHO with Burton is exactly the same story: he catches teenager metalheads that didn't know that the bass was an instrument before hearing him playing with distorsion and doing "solos", and due to the fact that he died early, BANG! a myth in musical history, and his Aria bass is now reissued, the Morley Power Wah from the 70's is a must-have for fans and if you don't own a big muff you can't live...
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    To each their own, but I won't agree with you.
    Of course dying always helps. Even though we was doing some amazing work that was being noticed while he was alive, dying suddenly in such a tragic way made him legendary. If you're dead you don't have the stink of Metallica's later work on you; although some would debate that the post-And Justice for All stuff would have never happened if he was still alive. Who knows.
    I find that Burton's tone on Anesthesia is surprisingly clear given the time it was recorded. The notes are articulate and he uses the wah perfectly to accentuate the notes that need it. The composition follows classical/baroque modes and I feel flows very well. In the live performances I've seen of him his solos and fills are well controlled and add emphasis were it is needed (with the understanding that most are the "choice cuts" people wanted to use.) Even his work with Trauma was pretty good.
    Cliff's body of work is sadly short and his tone get's largely smothered on Ride the Lightening and Master of Puppets. Metallica has done more to silence great bass players than any band I can think of. Like Randy Rhodes, he was full of potential that was never realized so we imprint greatness on them. All I know is that I wish I had half the dexterity chops in the upper register that he had.
    blue4 likes this.
  7. I am Soma

    I am Soma Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    i cant beleive they ditched him.
  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Says the one with the 6 string in his profile picture.

    At least Cliff played a real bass.
    AaronVonRock likes this.
  9. Canadian APII

    Canadian APII Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ottawa Ontario
    Two words

    "Royal Blood"
  10. Miker27607


    Jan 3, 2015
    Raleigh NC
    For old timers like me, who were teenagers when Metallica arrived on the scene, we will always love Cliff. I think he was very talented, and it must be said that all of Metallica's great songs were made with him. Seriously, there's not a single song with Jason or Robert that is as great as the old stuff. That's no reflection on Jason or Robert, both of whom bring a mighty noise for sure. It's just that the songs aren't as good any more.
  11. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    This post reminded me of an old John Lennon interview. When asked,"Is Ringo the best drummer in rock?" To which John replied, "Ringo isn't even the best drummer in the Beatles." I have to say the same about Cliff, sorry. Originator, force of nature, and the only man to successfully stand up to Lars' and James' B S. But sadly he was taken before his prime, leaving us to wonder what may have been. Best ever? He's not even the best bassist from Metalica.
    RustyNails likes this.
  12. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    I really like Royal Blood. I think the bass is cleverly used.

    Yes and i'm using it like a bass.
    A bass guitar is only 4 strings?

    I'm just trying to say that most people are preferring Burton/Metallica period because there is a "Bass Shred/Hero" in it. And because he's dead.

    I think Newsted and Trujillo are way more suited for Metallica. But i'm not a fan and my favorite albums are Load/Reload so i'm an heretic i think :-D
    Dr Gero likes this.
  13. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    I'm not a big Metalica fan either, just like what Cliff did, he broke some barriers, you know tried to discover new land, a pioneer and visionary in a way.

    Jason and Rob didn't really bring anything new or out on the ordinary to music, so I guess you are right they fitted Metalica better in that perspective.

    You are probably not a heretic, I guess you just got bad taste in music.

    I am not saying that 6 string basses are not real basses, you are the one saying that Cliff didn't play bass right, advocating for traditional bass playing, so you playing a 6 string seems somewhat contradictory.
    DrMole, Thisguy and HaphAsSard like this.
  14. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Yep bad taste in music that why I usually don't discuss about that.

    i'm absolutely not telling that burton is not a great player, he is. He was innovative, young and not afraid and surely good.

    That's not making him the best bass player. It's my final point.

    Overrated? Yes.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  15. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    Have you actually listened and learned his bass lines, not solos, but the bass lines he plays in the first 3 Metallica albums?

    They are absolutely amazing bass lines. Melodic, groovy, fast, intense. Do yourself a favour - LEARN THEM. You'll soon see what all the hype is about.

    I was going to list a few good songs to learn, but, shag it learn everything from Kill 'Em All, Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets. They are so much fun to play.
  16. BoogieZK


    Sep 28, 2008
    Toulouse, France
    Yes, again, it's against Cliff Burton, it's about the same fuzz going around Former/Second singer of ACDC, Motley Crue, Judas Priest.

    Cliff Burton was good, no doubt but again that is not making him the best player in metalica or THE best bass player. Like Lemmy Kilmister, he created a playing style and a sound, right?
    Does that makes him the best? No
    Cliff Burton was a Character from the 80s/90s but IMO not the greatest. That's all.

    A good counter example is David Ellefson, I think he was the best bass player for Megadeth. Even if James Lomenzo is an awesome bass player.
  17. I wasn't sure who Cliff Burton was until reading this thread. I see the name frequently on TB, but, never bothered to look him up.

    Admittedly, I'm not a fan of Metallica.
  18. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Cool story bro.

    Your contribution to this thread is priceless. :p
  19. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Any discussion of best when it comes to artists of any kind is ludicrous.
    BillMason, GregC, Creede and 4 others like this.
  20. Jeffrey Bryan

    Jeffrey Bryan

    Jan 28, 2008

    Look at this kid:

    Absolutely crazy in my eyes, terrifying maybe... but someone being this enthousiastic and happy from someone elses music makes me remember what music is all about. It's why I got into music in the first place. No place for competition, just the best drug and pass-time in the world where everyone has his personal space of "best" and "awful". Don't get me wrong I love to discuss but some people are way too rigid in treating their opinion as a fact.
    BillMason, Rocker949 and Thisguy like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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