The Five Best Metallica Songs Co-Written by Cliff Burton
“For Whom The Bell Tolls” from Ride The Lightning
Another track from Metallica’s sophomore album, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” features Burton playing a nice lead part to open the song and, from there, his bass line – with its amazing sounding tone – carries the track as it marches into battle. The video shot at Day on the Green in Oakland, back in 1985 (and shown on the Cliff ‘Em All video) is probably the best pro-shot performance of Burton live with Metallica. He takes “For Whom the Bell Tolls” to a new level with that intro solo.
“Orion” from Master of Puppets
One of Metallica’s more progressive pieces at the time, “Orion” is a chugging, spacey instrumental prominently featuring Burton’s amazing bass playing, particularly the two bass solos he plays. The first, a section of repeated notes, comes in at 1:42 and goes through until 2:13. There’s a melodic bass interlude in the middle of the track, followed by a Kirk Hammett solo, then Burton really goes to work at at 6:36 on his second solo. As an ode to Burton, James Hetfield has the bass notes from the middle section of “Orion” tattooed onto his left arm, along with Cliff’s name over top of it.
“Damage Inc.” from Master of Puppets
The closing track on the Puppets album, “Damage Inc.” sees Burton creating the build-up intro with bass swells and harmonies, laid out over what he said in an interview with Rock Hard magazine was “eight or 12 tracks of bass, a lot of harmonies and volume swells effects and stuff.” It’s a total thrash monster of a track, propelled by Burton and drummer Lars Ulrich. It’s the last full song recorded on an album with Burton’s playing.
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