It’s been nearly 35 years since Metallica’s fourth album came out but Kirk Hammett can’t help but wonder what …And Justice for All would have sounded like if Cliff Burton was on the album. Here’s what the guitarist had to say about Burton during his interview with Rick Beato, a music producer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and YouTuber.
Hammett talks about the band’s Master Of Puppets album, explaining that the songs and production were exactly what he had imagined [transcribed by Blabbermouth]:
“I really felt that [album was] that lineup’s peak, and I mean we were peaking with Cliff Burton…arrangement-wise, songwriting-wise, sonically, playing-wise, we coalesced in a way that we had not coalesced at that point. And it just made me wonder what ‘…And Justice for All’ would’ve been like with Cliff. That’s a thought that I still contemplate.”
Hammett goes onto say that when he listens to Master Of Puppets “I get flooded by a bunch of memories.” He describes the Metallica album as “very sentimental” and even thought “we knew it was proactive and that it might not be accepted by anyone, but we were fully, a thousand percent committed to it – every single note.”
Cliff Burton sadly passed away in a tragic tour bus crash in September 1986 at just 24 years old. “To Live Is to Die” is a tribute to Burton, using some of his own lyrics and bass lines, and is on the album …And Justice for All.
Hammett also spoke about how he stands behind Metallica’s more maligned albums, including Lulu and St. Anger. In his opinion, every record was important for the overall growth the band took album-to-album. Read how he felt about those records and why they’re important here.