Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top Ten Bassists of All TimeWatch clips from the winners, including Flea, John Entwistle, Cliff Burton and Victor Wooten
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9. Cliff Burton
Metallica's early albums inspired generations of metal bands, and Cliff Burton's bass parts were studied by fans like they were the Talmud. His catalog is slim – just Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets – but that was more than enough to secure his legacy for decades to come. Burton tragically died in September of 1986 when Metallica's tour bus flipped over while traveling through Sweden. He was just 24. The band carried on, but many diehards feel that they never matched the thunder of the Cliff Burton era.