To Live Is To Die: The life and death of Metallica's Cliff Burton

Overview

Metallica, the seventh-biggest recording act in American history, are consummate musicians--but it wasn't always that way. A significant proportion of their playing expertise was acquired from a pivotal three-year period in their history--1983 to 1986--during which their music, a potent variant of thrash metal, evolved from garage level to sophisticated, progressive heights thanks to the teachings of their bass player, Cliff Burton. The San Francisco-raised Burton, born in 1962, pushed the band to new musical ...

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To Live Is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton

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Overview

Metallica, the seventh-biggest recording act in American history, are consummate musicians--but it wasn't always that way. A significant proportion of their playing expertise was acquired from a pivotal three-year period in their history--1983 to 1986--during which their music, a potent variant of thrash metal, evolved from garage level to sophisticated, progressive heights thanks to the teachings of their bass player, Cliff Burton. The San Francisco-raised Burton, born in 1962, pushed the band to new musical levels with his musical training, songwriting ability and phenomenal bass guitar skills. Across three albums--Kill 'Em All (1983), Ride The Lightning (1985) and Metallica's undisputed masterpiece, Master Of Puppets (1986)--Burton's awe-inspiring playing, derived from a unique blend of classical and punk approaches, received worldwide recognition from fans and bass players alike. He was the first heavy metal bassist since Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler to regard the bass as a lead instrument, delivering intricate live solos based on classical fugues and even laying down a solo track on Metallica's debut album. Cliff's life was short but influential; his death was sudden and shocking. At the age of just 24, he was killed when Metallica's tourbus overturned on a remote Swedish mountain road in the early hours of September 27, 1986 for reasons which have still not been ascertained: he was crushed to death after being thrown from his bunk through a window. The driver, who has never been identified, told the rest of the band that the bus had hit black ice, leading to the accident: singer James Hetfield refused to believe him and has often spoken publicly about his doubts. With Cliff's death, Metallica's most critically acclaimed period of activity ended. They went on to record huge-selling albums, but by their own admission never pushed the creative envelope as radically as they had done in the first four years of their career.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906002244
  • Publisher: Outline Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel McIver is the author many books on rock music, including a bestselling biography of Metallica and books about Slayer, Black Sabbath and Queens Of The Stone Age. McIver also contributes to music and film magazines such as Rolling Stone and Classic Rock and presents a series on Scuzz TV, Guitarmageddon, based on another of his Jawbone titles, The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. Visit www.joelmciver.co.uk for more information.

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    Don't judge a book by it's cover..

    I thought Cliff just another stoner,hippie,stupid music dude. Boy was I wrong. Smart,motivated,loving,kind,warm,mellow,caring. Obviously a HUGE influence not just for Metallica,but for the people (personal and professional) who knew him. Read this book and be blown away by what an amazing man Cliff was. I wish he had been my older brother. Even if it meant having him for only 24 years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    Truly inspiring, a book of enlightenment

    I LOVED this book. I've read musical biographies before, but none have affected me the way this book has. I wasn't even alive when Cliff was, but I truly wish I could have met him. Reading the book made me feel like I actually knew him (although that is a naive statement), and I couldn't help but shed a few tears as I read about his death. He inspired my brother, and now he has inspired me, To Live Is To Die is truly a great book full of music, philosophy, life, and Metallica. DEFINITELY read this. DEFINITELY!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    I love this book.Everytime I read this book,it makes me cry.I mi

    I love this book.Everytime I read this book,it makes me cry.I miss Cliff so much.I didn't know him personally.But,I feel like I do.He was such a amazing person.He was super talented.I don't think anybody can play like Cliff did.He was very very talented.And I miss him very very dearly.When I first heard about Cliff dying,I was shocked..But,then I found out how he died and my blood went cold.I cried so much about this man.He mean so much to me.He mean so much to a lot of people..He was and will always be a angel of God.Cliff like so many others,didn't deserve to die.And the sad thing is.A great,smart,funny,beautiful,talented,amazing,caring person.Like he was.He didn't deserve to die like that.He didn't deserve to die at all.But.Dying like that is just so..Horrible.Cliff.I love and miss you.Forever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    TO EVERYPNE WHO EVER HATED METALLICA

    FIRST OFF IM ONLY 12
    SECOND SHOW SOME RESPECT WOULD YA?
    THIRD FREAK YOU

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing book cliff burton will be remembered forever

    this book is amazing i bought it today and i finished it in one sitting awesome great book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this book is amazing i read it and loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 19, 2012

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    Posted January 12, 2010

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    Posted September 25, 2009

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    Posted November 11, 2009

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    Posted February 28, 2010

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    Posted July 13, 2009

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    Posted December 8, 2009

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