In 1986, when Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? came out, most of the world was either listening to the new wave techno MTV bands or they were partying with hair-metal bands like Motley Crue and Ratt and Poison and the likes. Underground metal was starting to make some noise and die-hards were spotted at school wearing t-shirts from bands like Slayer and Exodus and Anthrax and Megadeth and Metallica and such.
Born of the vengeance of Dave Mustaine and his willingness to to anything necessary to show up his former bandmates in Metallica, Megadeth was born. The fastest, thrashiest, most obnoxious speed metal band that ever lived was what Mustaine was going for. But he wanted to have talent around him, too. Not only was Megadeth thrashing it up, they were techinically good musicians. Chris Poland on guitar and Gar Samuelson on drums round out Dave Mustaine and Dave Ellefson and Megadeth head into their second album.
“Wake Up Dead” a Megadeth staple tune and a certified rocker. The lyrics are a little juvenille now that we can look back, but otherwise a very cool tune. “The Conjuring” musically stunning, lyrically trying to be evil in the Mercyful Fate Satan-is-good kind of sense, except he’s asking us to cojure Dave Mustaine instead of Lucifer. Kinda freaky cool. “Peace Sells” one of the greatest metal tunes ever written and of course Megadeth’s most recognized tune. The bass line was the music for MTV news forever. Great song! Very anti-establishment! Sit up and notice me! This was Megadeth extreme! “Devils Island” a hard rocking tune based on the classic novel Papillon, showed us Mustaine was literate as well as pissed off. Great. “Good Mourning/Black Friday” another musical stunner with murderous, I-will-cut-you-down lyrics, almost feels like a leftover from Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! Metal, but kinda regressive. “Bad Omen” starts off like Good Mourning/Black Friday, a little eerie. Truns into a thrash-metal burner. Not really a memorable tune, missing some hooks. “I Ain’t Superstitious” probably the most straight-forward rock tune, a cover, of course. “My Last Words” same intro as Good Mourning & Bad Omen? Soundz a little familiar. All out thrash metal.
Overall, Peace Sells… wil always be remembered as one of the pioneering albums of Thrash & Speed Metal. Truly great! A classic. One of the greatest heavy metal albums ever recorded.