Megadeth
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
September 2nd, 2009 | 43 replies | 4,739 views


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mustaine sells...

10 of 10 thought this review was well written

Part III of IV: Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, by Megadeth

Prologue

Ah, we all remember our good friend Dave Mustaine, do we not? After being kicked out of Metallica, he swore he would have revenge. And that revenge came, in the form of a band that would be heavier, faster, and most of all, better than the one he felt betrayed by.

Mustaine then recruited bassist David Ellefson, guitarist Greg Handevidt, drummer Dijon Carruthers, forming Megadeth in Los Angeles, 1983. After an unsuccessful search for a vocalist, Mustaine took over the duty himself, as well as becoming the band’s main lyricist and songwriter.

‘Deth’s debut Killing is my Business… and Business is Good! was released in 1985,after some line-up changes, and featured a low-budget production, resulting in a rawness similar to Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All. It was not an immediate breakthrough, but when Megadeth recorded and released their second album Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? a year later in November, it became a commercial and critical landmark for the band, and often today, it is still cited as an essential thrash piece.

Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

Peace Sells’ Megadeth was:

- David Scott Mustaine ~ Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
- David Warren Ellefson ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Christopher Poland ~ Lead Guitar
- Gary C. ‘Gar’ Samuelson ~ Drums

Artwork by Edward J. Repka

Mustaine has became synonymous with his political subjects, but although both the album (title and artwork) and its title track immediately evoke a feeling of political ranting, the subject matter on Peace Sells is more diverse. In fact, the main idea is far from political, as more songs, such as The Conjuring and Bad Omen are about ritualistic matters and devil worshipping. More social themes can even be found, as on the man-cheats-on-girlfriend tale found on opener Wake Up Dead. What all songs share, however, is the punkish attitude that is typical of early thrash metal.

Mustaine leaves no doubts about the revenge he craves, for his band’s second offering is indeed faster, heavier, and also more intricate than any of Metallica’s would ever get. Complex guitar work, trade-off solos and Mustaine’s original and trademark snarl created the most important features that made Megadeth a unique player in the thrash scene, and accounted them to the Big Four. While Poland is a technically skilled and powerful lead guitarist, Mustaine shows he’s got just as much skill for it with his own soloing, and his unmistakable snarl is a very interesting way in making up for a real vocalist. The man can’t sing, but Megadeth would have been a very different Megadeth without that snarl. The rhythm section, on top of that, is top-notch. Ellefson gets enough moment to shine his bass through despite all the heavy guitar commotion, most evidently with the famous intro to the title track, as well as Wake Up Dead, and Samuelson is a speedy and heavy-hitting drummer, complementing perfectly with Peace Sells’ feel.

Though the stylistic basis remains the same throughout, some song writing variety is abound. There are two shorter songs. Wake Up Dead goes along at great speed, lasting for about 3 minutes,and the Willie Dixon cover I Ain’t Superstitious, actually the least interesting piece on the album, doesn’t even hit the 3-minute mark. The lengthy Good Mourning/Black Friday though, is even somewhat of an epic, and shows a more progressive side to Mustaine’s writing. The remaining 5 tracks can be labeled as both solid and consistent, with the obvious highlight being the title track.

Where Peace Sells’ appeal maximizes, however, is it musical consistency. Mustaine has ever managed to gather a band of skilled musicians, and this album was no exception. The technical riffs and solos keep coming and going, and yet they never sound quite the same. Though along with Reign in Blood one of the definite shorter ones of the Four, clocking at a mere 36 minutes, Peace Sells makes up for it in the same way: it is an ongoing rampage, and it almost never has the mind to slow things down. Dave Mustaine and Megadeth are coming for you. They’re fast, they’re heavy, and they’re going to make sure you hear it. For the more technical of thrashers, Peace Sells is your pick.

Essential listening:

Wake Up Dead
Peace Sells
Devil’s Island
Good Mourning/Black Friday

Epilogue

Megadeth would become known for many line-up changes, quite some formations lasting for just a single album, though Mustaine would always remain the driving force of the band. Their longest-lasting line-up would come with the highly acclaimed Rust in Peace, featuring Mustaine and Ellefson, along with Marty Friedman on guitar and Nick Menza on drums. After that release in 1990, ‘Deth got more and more mainstream, and faced eventual degradation. Breakup followed when Mustaine experienced an arm injury, but the band reunited in 2004, recording two success stories The System Has Failed and United Abominations. As of now, they are working on their soon-upcoming album Endgame, but of their thrash roots there is not a great deal left.

To be continued in Part IV: Among the Living…



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user ratings (2634)
Chart.
4.3
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other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
September 2nd 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

...and so the Trash Quadriliogy is almost rounded up. Hope you'll enjoy it.

KILL
September 2nd 2009



70621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn good job with these reviews, i will read later, its too early atm haha, have a pos anyway

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Nagrarok
September 2nd 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not for me, but that must be the time difference. And where's Chuck gone off to?

Piglet
September 2nd 2009



4653 Comments


I pos'd good review

FadeToBlack
September 2nd 2009



10913 Comments


good job. this is my second favourite of the four albums
oh and i pos'd

Douchebag
September 2nd 2009



3624 Comments


I pos'd too. good review, I should hear this, peace sells is one of their best songs.

Bfhurricane
September 2nd 2009



6194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good job on the reviews. Love this album, just not as much as MOP. I'd say it's Deth's best.

Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2009



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It is my opinion that this album is totally overrated. There's only two songs that are really good (Wake Up Dead and Peace Sells). The rest are pretty boring. Only Chris Poland's playing makes them tolerable. Speaking of that, did anyone ever listen to Chris Poland's prog metal band, Damn the Machine? They're good.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

theacademy
September 2nd 2009



28258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this leaked?

(pos'd)

Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2009



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this leaked?
Yeah, 23 years ago.

Roach
September 2nd 2009



2149 Comments


is the punkish attitude that is typical of early trash metal.


I've never understood this mistype. I always see it.


Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2009



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think "trash" is a european term for thrash, because the only time I've seen or heard that term is from over there (and England).

Altmer
September 2nd 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Peace sells and I'm not buying this fucking album.

FadeToBlack
September 2nd 2009



10913 Comments


I think "trash" is a european term for thrash, because the only time I've seen or heard that term is from over there (and England).
typo. the actual word is rarely/never used in Europe


Nagrarok
September 2nd 2009



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I often make the typo. I'll be fixing them.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2009



8318 Comments


great review man, I haven't been on sputnik much lately so I will catch up with the other two too. Also, i have noticed a certain similaity in our writing. We both like to make fairly detailed, pretty easy to read reviews without going into "hard-to-define" musical phrases. You'll have a pos from me.

this leaked?

Yeah, 23 years ago.
LMFAO Trey hahahahahahahaha




Roach
September 2nd 2009



2149 Comments


I think "trash" is a european term for thrash, because the only time I've seen or heard that term is from over there (and England).


Don't think so, I'm English and it's definitely 'thrash' not 'trash'. Pretty sure it's just a mistype.


Willie
Moderator
September 2nd 2009



15887 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have a lot of old Kerrang magazines that my dad gave me, and that's where I've seen the term a lot, and when I was in England I heard it used a few times (all of them drunkenly good times).

FadeToBlack
September 2nd 2009



10913 Comments


then Kerrang obviously don't/can't proofread lol

it is a really easy typo to make though

Roach
September 2nd 2009



2149 Comments


Maybe but there's nothing on the internet about it plus Kerrang sucks dick.



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