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Metallica: Cliff 'Em All! (1987)

Cliff 'Em All, Metallica's first video, is a tribute to late original bassist Cliff Burton. James Hetfield describes it as "a compilation of bootleg footage shot by sneaky Metallifux, stuff... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Cliff Burton ...
Himself (Bassist) (archive footage)
...
Himself (Guitarist) (as Metallica)
...
Himself (Guitarist / Vocalist) (as Metallica)
Metallica ...
Themselves
Dave Mustaine ...
Himself
...
Himself (Drummer) (as Metallica)
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Storyline

Cliff 'Em All, Metallica's first video, is a tribute to late original bassist Cliff Burton. James Hetfield describes it as "a compilation of bootleg footage shot by sneaky Metallifux, stuff shot for TV that was never used, but we've held onto, home footage, personal fotos and us drunk. But most important, it's really a look back at the 3-1/2 years that Cliff was with us and includes his best bass solos and the home footage and pix that we feel best capture his unique personality and style." Written by Erik Kirchner <metnever@msn.com>

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26 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Metallica: 'Заклиффь' их всех!  »

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Connections

Referenced in Der Todesking (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Whiplash
Written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich
Performed by Metallica
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User Reviews

 
Absomuthaf#ckin..Lutely!!
26 June 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Years ago, this video tribute combined live footage, interviews and home video all involving Metallica's original bassist Cliff Burton. Who had just died in, possibly, the most bizarre bus accident this side of rock n roll. Today, "Cliff'Em All" stands out as a time capsule for fans of the original lineup with its great peak at a band that was in the 80s, the benchmark for all Metal bands.

At the time of the video's release, Hair Metal (Dokken, Poison, etc..) was the big thing on MTV but more upsetting was the assumption that these bands were the musical voice of male youth. Being a proud Metal vet let me clarify something in our old vernacular: NOT! Transgender, spandex clad, hair quaffed pretty boys churning out generic power ballads were for the Girls. Or at most, guilty pleasures and slow dancing at school. While, the relic metal bands from England with songs about Dragons, Rainbows and Guillotines were growing real old, real fast.

It was the time of a new, faster, louder, and chaotic Metal movement. One that embraced the stark sounds of Sabbath and Zeppelin while combining it with the anarchic, DIY attitude of punk. The results were bands like Slayer, Anthrax, S.O.D. and Megadeth. (sniff…god Bless, em!) But the crème del la crème of the new breed was undoubtedly Metallica.

At that time, they didn't look like the wanna be rock stars they are know. They looked like your average Headbanger. Complete with black jeans, shaggy hair and white high-tops sneakers. The kinda guys who drove the beat up Trans Am to school, which would rumble out of the parking lot around 1 PM, signaling, they were cutting class. The kinda guys who would come to school the day after a concert with the tour shirt as evidence that he saw Ozzy. The guys who were failing art class but had every band logo perfectly rendered on his folder. He couldn't remember the pledge of allegiance but he knew the lyrics of "Paranoid" backwards. But I digress… Alas Metallica's sound was what made the real difference: relentless, compelling and fast. It took the next evolutionary step from "British Steel" as opposed to "Theater of Pain." Metallica were the band that played for their fellow Headbangers instead of the hair chicks at the Roxy.

Watching "Cliff'Em All" and seeing the group during those great days, it's easy to see why they garnered a ravenous following. From frantic head shaking live performances to unprofessional interviews. You can sense that Lars, Kirk, James and Cliff lived and breathed Metal in its purest form: loud and heavy! Not the watered down, crossover, cop-out attempts done by the Motley Crue wannabes.

If you ever wondered why Metallica graced the T-shirts of so many guys in the 80s, "Cliff'Em All" will help shed some light. It also provides humorous moments of the band being candid. Especially Cliff, who in one scene, manages to set back all the hard work that Nancy Regan's "Just Say No" campaign, strove for.

Cliff's death was unfortunate! Seeing him then, it's just impossible to envision him in what Metallica has become today. "Cliff'Em All" proves he was never cut out to be an eyeliner wearing, art collecting, wannabe elitist that the current Metallica outfit has become. Thank the Metal Gods for that.

R.I.P, Cliff. We miss you!


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