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How Metallica’s ‘...And Justice for All’ Would Have Sounded with Cliff Burton on Bass

(Image credit: Pete Cronin/Getty Images)

Metallica bassist Cliff Burton died September 27, 1986, when the band’s tour bus rolled over on a stretch of icy road, killing him instantly.

Metallica were on tour for their recently released album Master of Puppets and had written most of the songs for their next LP, …And Justice for All.

Bassist Andriy Vasylenko—the man behind Total Cliff, a noncommercial tribute to Burton—wondered how …And Justice for All would have sounded if Burton had been alive to record it. He assembled this video clip of him playing snippets from the album’s tracks in the style he feels Burton might have played.

“Of course you’ve thought about it—what if Cliff were still alive and recorded all the Metallica albums featured Jason Newsted,” Vasylenko writes. “This topic often leads to a hot discussion that makes no sense, actually. Nevertheless, the question ‘what if’ could teach some interesting things in terms of music.

“So, this is my speculative …And Justice for All bass medley, how it might sound with Cliff’s bass arrangement approach, based on what I’ve learned making Total Cliff.”

Check it out below, and visit Total Cliff’s Facebook page for more information.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.