TMD reveals the Holy Grail of heavy metal bass. It’s the isolated master bass track recording of the classic instrumental song “Orion” off METALLICA’s epic Master of Puppets album, the legendary band’s third and final with bassist Cliff Burton – which was released twenty four years ago on March 3, 1986 via Elektra Records and reached #29 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart. This album marked the very first time METALLICA would strike gold record status with over 500,000 copies sold. Believe it or not, this was achieved without any radio airplay or the release of one radio single or music video. ‘Master’ eventually cruised on to sell over seven million copies in the United States and was certified seven times platinum by the RIAA. Some critics have called Master of Puppets the best heavy metal album ever recorded.
In the start, Metallica was never content writing directionless tunes. The tracks on Master of Puppets are orchestrated like classical pieces with multiple movements, in difference to the verse-chorus formula of most rock acts of the period – though ultimately the direction the band would take itself later in their career, much to the disappointment of their most ardent fans.
‘Master’ ended up spending 72 weeks on the Billboard Charts. Upon the album’s release, the band went on a big American tour supporting Ozzy Osbourne. At the end of that tour, they next headed to Europe to play their biggest full-scale European headlining tour in their history, “The Damage Inc. Tour”.
On September 27, 1986, the worst thing that could happen… did. While sleeping on their tour bus on the road from Stockholm to Copenhagen, their driver hit a patch of “black ice” (which Hetfield says he looked for and couldn’t find) and lost control of the vehicle. After several violent flips, the group emerged from the wreck unhurt, except for Cliff. Tragically, the bass great was thrown from the vehicle, which then rolled on top of him. He was dead at just 24 years old.
Cliff Burton is arguably the greatest heavy metal bassist that ever lived. Once you hear his studio playing ‘isolated’ for the first time… you will simply be blown away by his innovative playing style
and pure dedication to all that is heavy.
Listen to the rare isolated Cliff Burton master bass track recording below!