Metal Album Reviews: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
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19-04-2013, 03:08 AM
Metal Album Reviews: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
[Image: Megadeth_PeaceSells.jpg]

Backround and history

In the mid-80's, major record lablels started paying attention to the underground metal. Seeing how independent record labels like Combat and Metal Blade had their sales skyrocket after giving underground metal bands from L.A, San Francisco and New York a contract, bigger labels knew this really was the new explosion with the rock genre.

Megadeth's "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!" was a smash hit for Combat Records, becoming it's best selling record ever. Dispite the poor production caused by the bands unprofessional use of funds, Combat was still willing to give the band another chance to hit the top again, and asked Megadeth to make another album.


Although the last album was a bestseller, the members of Megadeth was still struggling too feed themselves, aswell as paying for the increasing abuse of drugs like heroin. At that moment, Dave Mustaine was living a life on the road, keeping himself and the others alive by touring and sleeping over at female one night stands. At one perticular stop, while digging through a house for money and food while the host was gone, Mustaine stumbled over a Reader's Digest article named "Peace Would Sell But No One Would Buy It". The title insipred Mustaine, and sat down and wrote what was eventually going to be the title track.

Combat Records once again funded the band, but as last time most of the cash went to satisfying the needs and supply the band members. Regardless, the band still pulled off the recording process, although Samuelson and Polands drug abuse made it difficult since they missed session after session. Shortly after the recording was done, Combat Records and Megadeth was approached by major label Capitol Records. Capitol, much like Def Jam Records who went on to produce other trash band Slayer; was looking to invest in the future of thrash metal, and offered Megadeth a deal. Megadeth accepted it, and that without a doubt helped Peace Sells reach the status it has today. Being a part of Capitol had it's benefits: improved quality on the final mixes, a bigger market, aswell as the being the first thrash band with music videos to carry out the songs; the title track was a massive hit on Headbangers Ball, MTV.

The album, track for track

It starts off with the song Wake Up Dead. After Samuelson hammers the snare, the riff starts off and Mustaine starts preaching out about how to sucessfully cheat in a relationship, and about it's risks. This song has inspiration from Mustaines current girlfriend Diane, and she is even metiontioned in the lyrics. Wake Up dead has three acts: the opening which gives two solos from Mustaine and one from Poland. After Poland is done with his part, the song picks up the speed and becomes a double kick mayhem from Samuelson and pure speed from the gitars. Then, out of nowhere, the song stops and goes over to a riff WILL make your head fall off your neck, nevermind the fact that this part also includes one of Mustaines finest solos. After Wake Up Dead is over, we greet The Conjuring. This song starts off slow while Mustaine dabbels in the dark arts. Then boom; we get introduced to Samuelsons "signature move": creating what appears to be double bass patterns, with one foot. The Conjuring is a windmill headbangers wet dream, and will make you move at least in one body part. Lyricwise, the song has two parts: one revolves around summoning the "devil", and the other part is about how he cuts deals with humans. Nr. 3 is of course the title track. There is no reason to go into detail on this one, beacuse everyone has really heard it already. One can atleast say, it's a perfect song for what seems a perfect album. Once Peace Sells is done, Devil's Island is next. The song has a nice into solo from Mustaine, and when that is done we get a near orgasmic bassline from Ellefson. The song then goes into a catchy riff and lyrics. This song is also another Samuelson driven song, with him showing off some fast and precise roll-offs. Up next is Good Mourning/Black Friday. This is without a doubt the most morbid song Megadeth has written, and the closest the band will ever get to make lyrics similar to bands like Slayer. This song is about a serial killier without boundaries; smashing people with hammers, stepping on them and feeling no regret, typical stuff. The song starts off slow with Poland giving a brilliant solo preformance, before the song kicks into a tempo similar to The Conjuring. After this song comes Bad Omen, which also revolves around summoning the devil. Bad Omen might just be the heaviest song on the album, and does make you feel like you are part in the summoning of good ol' Lucy, especially near the end where Mustaine does three solos back to back, with the last one sounding a like rollocoaster to hell. The next song is a another cover of a classic song, this time I Ain't Superstitious. I never really liked this cover, the tune is boring and it doesn't hold up against the previous cover they did which was These Boots Are Made For Walking. I did find it ironic though. Mustaine sings that he ain't superstitious, but we all know he is to great lenght. The last on the track list is My Last Words. This song is about russian roulette, and musically it feels like a big joint effort by all the artist to make a great closing track. The rythm catchy and it has a good set of solos.

Production and sound

The question one may ask about Peace Sells is, would the album have sounded differently if Capitol Records hadn't taken over the project? Quite frankly, by listening to the demos you can hear that they are not that different from the final product. And according to the line-up, they were very lucky with the place they recorded the album. As one might understand, Peace Sells has some of the finest sounds of metal albums during the 80, only surpassed Reign In Blood. The gitars sound crispy, the bass is heavy and the drums have balanced the sound between snare, toms and bass.

Although Peace Sells was a classic since release, it has been re-released after the orginal 1986 launch, with re-mastering in 2004 and 2011. The 2004 re-mastering was a effort by Mustaine himself to give the album better sound. If it does however is questionable. The overall volume has improved and the bass is louder and easier to hear, but the gitars seems to have lost some of their crisp sound; this is noticeable during the albums title track. The 2004 release also included several bonus tracks, being demos done by Combat. The 2011 release is the 25-anniversary marking for the album, and the re-master this time is very close to the orginal release, if you want to listen to this album re-mastered, you should go for this one.

Final Verdict

The final rating for Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? is a remarkable but well deserved 10/10. Peace Sells is a must for pretty much anyone. You don't know what metal really is before you heard this masterpiece.

R.I.P Gar Samuelson

Orginal Release



2004 Re-Mastered



Couldn't find the 2011 remaster on YT, sorry.

They came, they saw and acknowledged
Some good, some bad
Opinion: Dangerous
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19-04-2013, 04:01 AM (This post was last modified: 19-04-2013 04:09 AM by TheGulegon.)
RE: Metal Album Reviews: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
Thank you, Sir, for those 2 YT vids Thumbsup Thumbsup Thumbsup
I almost forgot these Huh My day has began better than most Big Grin
I enjoy the remastered best, myself. *sigh* But tommorrow I'll be angry again Sad

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