Peace Sells . . . But Who’s Buying? – Megadeth

This is a monster of an album.

Vic Rattlehead

A long time ago there was a documentary on BBC2 called “Heavy Metal”. In it they tried to explain heavy metal music. They had a clip of the comical Napalm Death along with some clips of Motorhead and, I seem to remember, a clip of Megadeth playing “Peace Sells But Who’s Buying” open air in Northern Ireland [at a time when there definitely wasn’t peace]. For a long while that opening riff stuck in my head and one day I bit the bullet and bought the vinyl album.

My initial reaction was one of disappointment. I loved the pop-like qualities of the title song but the opening made me think “oh, this is another thrash band”. How wrong I was.

After a few listens the genius of this album started to creep out and grab hold of me. It’s a gorgeous complete piece of art [although “I ain’t superstitious” is a bit shit].

If you know me then you know that I consider “Wake Up Dead” to be the best song ever. It contains THREE of the best metal riffs ever and they occur in the last half of the song. Being in the pit with this playing and the whole crowd bouncing in time with the riffs is an amazing memory.

This album was written while Mustaine was heavily into drugs and you can tell. It’s probably why it’s so good. He got cleaned up at some time later and found religion. Mind you, religion is a part of the 12 step process, and just to point out that AA or even NA is only ONE way of getting clean and the evidence shows it’s not the best way of doing it. Because one of the Daves found religion he refuses to play THE CONJURING live any more. Which is a fucking shame because it’s a great song.

The above video shows Nick Menza [just one of Megadeth’s many drummers] playing his part of The Conjuring during the same tour when I first saw Megadeth. It was the Clash Of The Titans tour. Amazing.

The title song of this album is amazing.

Devil’s Island rocks with its fast riffs and high paced beats.

Good Mourning/Black Friday – more classic Megadeth with proper fast complex riffs. Clearly showing why they are better than Metallica.

Bad Omens – sends shivers down my spine. These songs are so well crafted.

[I Ain’t Superstitious – terrible song] every band gets one free pass on every album as far as I’m concerned. With this album it’s this song. It’s shit.

My Last Words – weren’t the last words of the Daves and the next album is an almost complete and perfect selection but the raw power and speed of this album is amazing. You can feel the anger, the rage, the fighting. It speaks volumes, if you want to listen.