The Megadeth reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Megadeth

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Megadeth is an American heavy metal band led by Dave Mustaine. The group was formed in 1983, disbanded in 2002, and reformed again in 2004.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Lyrical themes
3 Discography
4 See also
5 External links

History

Shortly after lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica due to drug use and personality conflicts, Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson formed Megadeth. Mustaine became the band's singer and primary lyricist as well as playing guitar. The band soon added drummer Lee Rash and temporary guitarist Slayer's Kerry King. Later the same year, Rash was replaced by Gar Samuelson, and Chris Poland took over for King.

In late 1984, they were signed to Combat Records, and in May 1985 they released their first album, entitled Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!. In November 1986 they released their second album, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?. Later the same year Megadeth signed with Capitol Records, who also bought the rights to Peace Sells... from Combat.

Gar Samuelson and Chris Poland were fired from the band after a tour in Hawaii. Replacements were Chuck Behler (drums) and Jeff Young (guitars).

In March 1988 Megadeth released their next album, So Far, So Good... So What!. In 1989 the lineup changed yet again, as the new members Jeff Young and Chuck Behler were fired. In July the same year, Chuck Behler was replaced by Nick Menza on drums, and Marty Friedman took over Jeff Young's role.

In 1990 Megadeth released their fourth album, entitled Rust in Peace, regarded by many Speed metal-fans as one of the most technically fulfilled and exciting speed-metal albums of all time.

In July 1992, Megadeth released the album Countdown to Extinction. It became an instant hit, reached #2 on the Billboard album charts, and went multiplatinum. The following album, Youthanasia was delivered in 1994, and it also became a great success.

Their next album, entitled Cryptic Writings was released in 1997. This album had more pop influences than the previous ones, but its sound was still unmistakably Megadeth's. Nick Menza left the band in 1998, and was replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso.

The pop influences were even more evident on the following album, 1999's Risk. Shortly after its release, Marty Friedman left the band, and was replaced by Al Pitrelli. Risk was not the success they were hoping it would be. Looking for a way to end their contract with Capitol Records, they released a greatest-hits collection entitled Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years (2000). This compilation included two new tracks that they were contractually obliged to give to Capitol.

In 2001 Megadeth signed a deal with Sanctuary Records. Shortly thereafter, they put out a new album, entitled The World Needs a Hero, on which most of the pop sound of the two previous albums was eliminated.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, a group of program directors of radio conglomerate Clear Channel Communications compiled a list of 150 songs they thought might be inappropriate to play. Megadeth's "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" and "Sweating Bullets" were on the list. Clear Channel claimed the list was not official, and that individual stations were allowed to play songs on the list if they wanted.

On April 3, 2002, Mustaine announced in a press release that he was leaving the band, officially due to an injury that caused nerve damage to his left arm. The remaining members decided to dissolve Megadeth as a result. This marked the end of the band's nearly twenty-year career.

Although after more than a year has passed and Dave Mustaine felt his arm was back at it's 100%. While working on his solo career, he also re-banded Megadeth to make a new album originally titled Blackmail The Universe, but later renamed The System Has Failed (2004). This CD would have none of the band's usual line-up, having Nick Menza on tracks, Chris Poland on others and many more musicians. All of the original CDs are also coming out soon, remixed with vocals redone, musical parts, etc. Megadeth has returned, and although they don't plan to tour too much they will do some shows all around. As Dave Mustaine said: "Megadeth is slowly rising from the ashes".

Lyrical themes

Aside from Megadeth's unmistakable guitar style, there are several recurring lyrical themes across their albums. War and military themes - particularly nuclear war - is a common theme for many of the bands songs. In fact, the band's name is a play on the word megadeath, a term coined by the US military to mean one million deaths. However, beyond nuclear war, topics for Megadeth songs include prisoners of war (Take no prisoners), military stratergy (Architecture of Aggression), the aftermath of war (Ashes in your mouth), and the Israel Palestine war (Holy Wars... The Punishment Due).

Politics is also a common theme to many Megadeth songs. Mustaine is scathing in his assessment of Tipper Gore, the PMRC, and music censorship in the song "Hook In Mouth", attacks gambling in "Train of Consequences", takes an environmentalist stance in "Countdown to Extinction", and shuns dictators in songs like "Warhorse" and "Symphony of Destruction". Mustaine's general cynicism about politics shines through on tracks like "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?" and "The World Needs A Hero".

While Megadeth has recorded songs about relationships, they tend to be songs either about breaking up, or have a dark twist. "Trust", "Almost Honest", "Addicted To Chaos", and "1000 Times Goodbye" are examples of the former. Examples of the latter include "Promises", an eerie ballad from beyond the grave, and "Last Rites / Loved to death", a song about a man who is angry that he can't have the woman he loves, and seeks to kill her. The one exception to this was the Risk track "I'll be there", and is often held up as an example of what was "wrong" with that particular album's pop-rock influences.

Discography

See also

External links