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****Excellent ***Good **Fair *Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

January 05, 1988|JON MATSUMOTO | Terry Atkinson

"Cliff 'Em All." Metallica. Elektra. $19.98. This no-frills look at speed-metal rock's favorite sons is as harsh and unpretentious as the San Francisco band's molten music. Using footage shot between 1983 and 1986, "Cliff 'Em All" (named in honor of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, killed in a bus accident in Sweden last year) often looks like a home movie--because, in a way, it is; the 90 minutes include tapes shot by fans. One result: The concert material often offers a wobbly and distant camera perspective and poor sound. But the video's sometimes amateurish qualities seem to fit Metallica's underground image and artistic temperament. The quartet's boisterous club performances here are particularly impressive. The video also includes some unsanitized interviews with the musicians and plenty of Burton bass solos. "Cliff 'Em All" may be too coarse for MTV addicts, but it's a must for die-hard Metallica fans. Information: (213) 205-7400 or (212) 484-7200. ***

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