Megadeth are a band that truly need no introduction. In perhaps one of the most significant bounce backs from the musical gutter, Dave Mustaine formed Megadeth after being unceremoniously fired from Metallica. Though Mustaine was at his lowest point, he would go on to create a prestigious career.
With 13 albums released, 32 music videos in the can, nearly 30 years of existence and over 38 million albums sold worldwide, there are few bands that can touch the career of Megadeth. To celebrate this legendary metal act, we offer our list of the 10 Best Megadeth Songs.
'Sweating Bullets'From: 'Countdown to Extinction' (1992)
On 'Sweating Bullets' off of 1992's 'Countdown to Extinction,' Dave Mustaine battles with his inner selves, painting a visual picture of the song's essence. Mustaine's conversational singing style is well-used in 'Sweating Bullets,' as he utters, 'Well, me... it's nice talking to myself / A credit to dementia / Someday you too will know my pain / And smile it's blacktooth grin.'
'Wake Up Dead'From: 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?' (1986)
Although 'Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?' is Megadeth's second album, the record's opening track, 'Wake Up Dead' was the first official single released by the band. After a heavy-as-hell instrumental opening, 'Wake Up Dead' chronicles the story of a cheating boyfriend's fear that his girlfriend will kill him while he sleeps.
'Ashes in Your Mouth'From: 'Countdown to Extinction' (1992)
Clocking in at 6 minutes and 11 seconds, 'Ashes in Your Mouth' is the longest track from Megadeth's landmark 1992 album, 'Countdown to Extinction.' The tune is notable for being intensely aggressive, while showcasing some of thrash's greatest shredding, which is shared between Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman.
'In My Darkest Hour'From: 'So Far, So Good…So What!' (1988)
It's common knowledge that Dave Mustaine was one of the original members of Metallica and a bandmate of late bassist Cliff Burton. After the 1986 death of Burton, Dave Mustaine wrote 'In My Darkest Hour' in one sitting after learning of his former bandmate's demise. The song was released on Megadeth's third album, 'So Far, So Good…So What!'
'A Tout Le Monde'From: 'Youthanasia' (1994)
For the less worldly metalheads out there, Megadeth's 'A Tout Le Monde,' which was released on their sixth studio album, 'Youthanasia,' translates to 'To Everyone.' The track is unique to Megadeth, as the chorus contain the lyrics, 'To everyone, to all my friends, I love you, I must leave,' sung in French. Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia lent her vocals to an updated version of the song in 2007, creating a beguiling blend of singing styles.
'Tornado of Souls'From: 'Rust in Peace' (1990)
For Megadeth fans who crave masterful guitar work and a take-no-prisoners thrash attitude, 'Tornado of Souls' is sure to be a favorite. With an opening that mixes power chords with multiple harmonics, along with lyrics such as, 'No more living trapped inside / In her way I'll surely die / In the eye of the tornado, blow me away,' the track captures the interest of metalheads instantly.
'Peace Sells'From: 'Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?' (1986)
Perhaps Megadeth's most famous cut, 'Peace Sells' boasts the lyric 'Peace sells… but who's buying?,' which inspired the title of Megadeth's second full-length. Representing the song's rejection of negative stereotypes placed upon metalheads, the 'Peace Sells' video contains the classic verbal exchange where a father yells, "What is this garbage you're watching? I want to watch the news!" after seeing his son watching a metal music video. The son responds, "This is the news."
'Hangar 18'From: 'Rust in Peace' (1990)
'Hangar 18' is another thrash masterpiece from Megadeth's 'Rust in Peace' album. The significance of the 'Hangar 18' title lies in the theory, believed by some, that a UFO crashed at Roswell, New Mexico and was brought to Hangar 18 at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Unsurprisingly, the song is riddled with incredible guitar work, which offers blistering progression throughout the track.
'Symphony of Destruction'From: 'Countdown to Extinction' (1992)
'Symphony of Destruction' is one of Megadeth's most famous works, as well as a staple of the band's live show. The lyrics were penned by Dave Mustaine for the 1992 album 'Countdown to Extinction,' with the theme of the song detailing a story about a regular citizen as the head of a puppet regime, as the country is run by a phantom government.
'Holy Wars... The Punishment Due'From: 'Rust in Peace' (1990)
Although Dave Mustaine is a devout born-again Christian, the lyrics for 'Holy Wars… The Punishment Due' are critical of fundamentalists who are driven towards violence in the name of religion. Dave Mustaine was inspired by the Northern Ireland conflict to write 'Holy Wars,' but the lyrics can be interpreted to fit various religious wars. "It's revolving around the way that war is immanent," says Mustaine. "It doesn't really matter what country it's in."
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