Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Tribute to Cliff Burton - Metallica "No Remorse"

Rocking Out came easy to Cliff  
  A week ago today marked the 25th anniversary of Cliff Burton's tragic death on a tour bus accident. His name was mentioned everywhere on the internet, and places like Facebook were covered with profile pictures of Cliff on stage rocking out. As it turns out the friday prior I had played a show with a Metallica tribute here in Toronto (Sandman, check em out here!) and so there was a lot going on to remind me of the greatness of Cliff's playing. But what really made me want to do this next post about him was the video that surfaced on YouTube where his father was speaking about what a great person Cliff was, not just an amazing musician and entertainer. If you have not seen the video I invite you to please check it out here. It's very touching. So I pulled out my old '76 Rickenbacker and did one of my favourite songs that Cliff Burton played on with Metallica: "No Remorse"

Metallica - No Remorse - Bass Guitar Cover from Alberto Campuzano on Vimeo.

Click HERE if you can't see the video.

 This song was track number 8 on Metallica's 1983 debut album Kill 'Em All, and as such I find it may get lost for some people, as many late tracks do on a lot of albums. But to me it really showcases the band's and Cliff's abilities and creativity in writing and performing. The song has a lot of different sections, which is normal for Metallica, but what i find is not that typical of them is that this song does not repeat as much as some of their other songs on the album. What I mean is that the song changes a lot: by my count there are 9 different riffs or sections in the song, with the Verse, Pre-Chorus, and Chorus being the only ones that repeat.  All these different sections, with their changing tempos, keep the song interesting, and at 6 minutes and 26 seconds it never gets boring for me.

  As for Cliff's playing, it is not the most impressive demonstration of his skills, but to me it is a great example of why he is regarded so highly, he is creative with his part. He does not merely follow the guitar parts all the time, he plays different notes, adding harmonies that "thicken" the sound. Every Chorus is like that, he is mostly playing the fifths below the chords that the guitars are playing, so when the guitars are playing an "E" power chord, he plays a "B" note. Cliff also adds harmonies at the end of the big solo in the middle of the song. At around the 4 minute mark he plays an "F#" while the guitars play a "D" power chord, turning it into a D major chord. And then he plays a "G" note while the guitars play a "C" power chord, so he is playing the fifth of the chord. It may seem insignificant, but it adds a lot of colour to that section.

  I count myself as one of the many people out there that wished Cliff was still with us. I can only imagine what he would be doing to blow our minds. Rock on brother, we'll meet up some day \m/


  1. Nicely done. While i also love Kill em All..i have to say that i think "Ride the Lightening" showed more of Cliff's skill as a bass player and writer. Keep up the great work Al!!