A position that is sometimes overlooked in other bands, the role of bassist in Metallica has had quite a hectic history. From dealing with the death of one bassist to the quitting of a couple others, Metallica have overcome certain obstacles many bands never have to face. At the end of the day, though, the bassist is, and always has been, an integral part of the band's foundation.

First jamming with James Hetfield in 1981 in the band they formed known as Leather Charm, Ron McGovney is considered the original bassist for Metallica. After Hetfield answered that fateful newspaper advertisement placed by Lars Ulrich, McGovney picked up his bass and started rocking out with the band. In fact, Metallica's first official demo took shape in McGovney's garage.

After rocky relationships in the band grew too unstable, McGovney quit in December of 1982. It didn't take long for Metallica to fill his spot with the one and only Cliff Burton. Burton was a genius when it came to plucking the bass, and he cemented his role in the band with his unique finger-picking style and high-intensity energy. Unfortunately, Burton's life was cut way too short. On Sept. 27, 1986, Burton died after the band's tour bus skidded off the road in southern Sweden.

With Burton's family approval, Metallica set out to find his replacement. It didn't take long for them to sign up Jason Newsted to take over the bass duties. Joining in 1986, Newsted first appeared on 'The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited.' He would be with Metallica throughout the next 14 years, officially quitting the band on Jan. 17, 2001.

During the recording of 'St. Anger,' Metallica hired Robert Trujillo to be the next bassist, although he would not appear on that album. Trujillo has been a huge part of Metallica since his hiring. With an animal-like stage presence and bass-playing style that is eerily similar to Burton's, Trujillo made a big splash and quickly won over Metallica fans across the world. After Newsted, many felt that the role of bassist in Metallica would just be a rotating position and would never be permanent, but Trujillo has proven that you can take a tough situation and turn it into something much better.

So with that, we ask you this tough question: Who is your favorite Metallica bassist? Cast your vote and then tell us why in the comments section below!