That iconic Ed Repka cover. The sound of a band with global domination (or at least domination over Metallica) on their mind. A precocious genius with more technical riffs up his sleeve than the rest of The Big 4 combined. We can only be talking about Megadeth’s thrash classic Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? and incredibly it was released 30 years ago today!
In terms of musicianship and compositional skill, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? represented a monumental leap forward from the previous years Killing Is My Business… album. This time around, Dave Mustaine had assembled a posse of musicians who could match his knack for melody and dead-shot metal marksmanship and the results were uniformly stunning.
The first four tracks on this album remain untouchable (tracks 5-8 ain’t bad either) with “Wake up Dead” kicking off proceedings with enough riffs and tempo changes to pad out an entire album. “The Conjuring” followed and was a devilishly diabolical ode to the power of black magic (bring it back to the live set Dave, bring it back!). However, it was on track 3 where Megadeth stamped down their mark on the thrash scene for all eternity. ”Peace Sells” was the colossal hit that slapped the mainstream round the face with its badass bass line, heavy yet accessible approach and sneering, snarling lyrics spat out by Mustaine using his inimitable delivery. In stark contrast, “Devil’s Island” was a state of the art thrash showcase of predatory power and scintillating speed; jaw-dropping to this day.
Combined these 4 tracks single-handedly redefined what thrash metal could be. Mainstream appeal? Yep! Technical nous? Check! Jazz influences? Somehow, yes! Songs about Satan? You betcha! It’s all here….and it hasn’t aged a day.
The stories of drug abuse are legendary but Dave Mustaine’s bloody-mindedness was only ever going to yield one result…..one of the finest thrash metal album in history. Dark, haunting and crackling with energy, the pure determination of Mustaine to surpass his ‘pals’ in ‘tallica is writ large over each and every track. 30 years on, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? remains a thrash metal milestone and a highpoint in Megadeth’s incredible career that as Dystopia proved, is still reaching new highs.
Celebrate in style and crank this banger up full blast!