Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 -- September 27, 1986) was a bass guitarist best known for his work with the American heavy metal band Metallica from 1982 until 1986. As a bassist he was known for his unique style, which made heavy use of distortion and effects (several of which are usually associated with non-bass guitars), best exemplified on his signature piece, "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth".
Burton's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which Metallica became famous. Burton joined the band in 1982 and performed on their debut album, Kill 'Em All, which was composed of songs that had been written prior to his arrival. Burton's influence was heavier on the follow-up, Ride the Lightning, which showcased the band's evolving compositional technique. Burton's final album with Metallica, Master of Puppets, was a big commercial and huge critical success. Burton died in 1986 when the band's tour bus overturned in Sweden while the band was on tour promoting Master of Puppets