We remember Metallica bassist Cliff Burton today (Feb. 10) on what would have been his 56th birthday.

Cliff Burton joined Metallica in 1982 playing on the bands first three studio albums. Metallica’s fast tempo, aggressive sound made them one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. The band established a growing fanbase in the underground metal community and won critical acclaim for their first four albums. Their third album Master of Puppets was described as one of the most influential and heaviest thrash albums.

 Sadly, Cliff Burton died in a bus accident in Sweden on Sept. 27 1986 while on tour with Metallica in support of the Master of Puppets album. He’s was 24. Burton and the rest of Metallica were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 . I'ts been declared 'Cliff Burton Day' today in Cliff's hometown of Castro Valley, California. Check out the story courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock here.

Crank some old school Metallica today in Cliff's memory! For more on Cliff Burton and Metallica, check out the history page of Metallica’s official website here.