It's taken quite some time, but someone has finally put together a book on the life, and death, of Cliff Burton, one of the most acclaimed bassists in metal, and the guy that really helped Metallica put all the pieces together and become one of the biggest bands in the world back in the mid 1980's. Author Joel McIver (who has written numerous books on such bands as Slayer, Tool, Slipknot, Black Sabbath, and of course, Metallica) looks at the early years of both Burton and Metallica, the eventual crossing of their paths, and how Cliff's superior musical and compositional skills helped drive the rest of the band and take them all to another level, resulting in such classic albums as Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. Included are a multitude of quotes from many people associated with the band, Cliff's friends, family, as well as the early thrash scene in general, and almost everyone talks about the bassist in an extremely positive lighty, as someone who really touched other peoples lives in a special way. The authors takes the reader through each phase in the life of Burton and the band, up till the fateful bus crash in Sweden in 1986 that took the life of the 24 year old bass virtuoso, just as Metallica were starting to become the hottest act in metal. McIver even takes a look at the Metallica years after Cliff's death, and how his influence can still be felt to this day.
Despite what you might think of the band Metallica today or over the last decade, there's no doubt that most metal fans consider their output in the 80's as perhaps some of the greatest heavy metal to ever be created. Whether we attribute that greatness to Cliff Burton's presence in the band, or the combination of Burton, Hetfield, Ulrich, and Hammett working together to form one of the most potent combinations the genre has ever seen, probably matters not.McIver has given us a reason to look back in fondness at those years, and celebrate the short life of a gifted individual who was taken away from us way too soon. May his legacy forever live on.