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Megadeth – Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? (1986)

July 23, 2014

[Album 332/1001]

Friends, there was a time when I was destined for silver screen stardom.

The year was 1995.

My big break: an extra in a Rainbow Butt Monkeys video for the song Danananana.



At exactly 4:01, the pizza delivery man passes a short guy in a dark blue t-shirt.  That’s yours truly!

Alas, our paths diverged after that fateful day.

The Burlington band sagely changed their name to Finger Eleven and went on to enjoy continued & even greater musical success.

Unfortunately, that represented the peak of this Burlingtonian’s illustrious acting career.

I’m currently in talks with VH1 about a documentary detailing my story, The Thespian That Might Have Been.

Why relay this anecdote now?  Two reasons:220px-Megadeth_-_Peace_Sells..._But_Who's_Buying-

a) The relentless rhythm guitar that supports a few of the solos here reminded me of the outro to Danananana.

b) If you’re into metal (and many of my fellow bloggers certainly are), you already know and love this record.  I had to at least attempt to say something semi-new!

Though I think there is plenty to appreciate here even if thrash isn’t your bag.

Here are 4 big reasons why this big 4 album works, even for big 4 neophytes!

1) The album art.  I read an interesting article recently about how books are often reprinted with new covers but album covers never vary from their originals.  A given volume of Harry Potter has likely already had dozens of book jackets for instance;  can you imagine a reissue of Peace Sells without Vic Rattlehead?  Who’s buying indeed!

2) The lyrics don’t seem like an afterthought here.  The conversational delivery of the title track’s verses reminds me of The Pursuit of Happiness’s I’m an Adult Now, also from ’86.

3) The musicians can play.  I’m a fan of the clean plucked guitar + soaring lead combo, as featured during the Good Mourning instrumental.  The intricate bass pattern on My Last Words is another highlight.  Incidentally, had The Hangover been released in ’86, My Last Words (starting at 0:50) surely would have been used in lieu of Wolfmother’s Joker & The Thief.

4) Although there is variety among the 8 tracks (including a blues cover unlike any other), the band retains a distinct sound.  With a total running time of 36:12, Peace Sells can hardly be considered bloated.  Instead, the record is perhaps best described by a couple of Sum 41 album titles: (just over a) Half Hour of Power and All Killer, No Filler.

From → 1980s

  1. Great post! I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it: Dave Mustaine is a geniune genius. This album is awesome. There are more stunning riffs in the first song than most bands will manage in their lifetimes.

    • Thanks HMO!
      It’s funny you mention the opener – I was looking at a tab for it to find what power chord the rhythm guitarist was playing midway through the song.
      Best part about the tab? NO chords – instead, here’s how to play riff 1,2,3,4,5,6…!

  2. “What do you mean I hurt your feelings? I didn’t know you had any feelings.” Great lyrics in this song!
    I’m a late bloomer to Megadeth. My husband played Train of Consequences once totally randomly and my ears perked up. “Who’s this?” “It’s Megadeth.” “Play it again!”
    This was 2007. At this point I returned to school – Seneca College – as a mature student. I had a small commute from Stouffville, so my husband made me a “best of CD of Megadeth.” to listen to in the car. I played that and RUSH’s Snakes and Arrows album on a constant loop in my car. I love Megadeth!

    • that’s a nice double pack! – I enjoy joining the party for a band decades later, Rush was one of those late blooming groups for me!

  3. Oh, and BTW, one of my oldest friends came from Burlington and went to school with the guys from Rainbow Butt Monkeys. She used to talk about them all the time.

    • I have a friend who’s good friends with the guitarist’s brother – by all accounts, they seem like down to earth dudes.

      And if you’re from Burlington, you have to brag about connections to Finger Eleven/Jim Carrey (he went to a local high school for about 20 minutes)!

  4. I hope you give Rust in Peace a shot…blows this album out of the water.

    One of my old store manager compatriots was roomates with the singer from Rainbow Butt Monkeys. He came to one of our staff parties once, and nobody recognized him. On stage he’s all like “GRRRRR!” and looks scary. At the party, he was rocking a sweater.

    • Rust in Peace is on the list as well – so a it will be given a shot soon!
      The sweater, I love the Canadian modesty – when I saw the hip in Philadelphia, we waited out front for the band after the show. Saw a limo pull up, we thought, ‘la di da’ but of course it wasn’t for the hip. Instead, two of the guys got in a cab and another just started walking casually down the street!

    • Holen permalink

      Rust in Peace is probably the better record, but it doesn’t blow this one out of the water. This one’s classic, and has more raw energy than RIP.

  5. Have this on Vinyl, think I need to listen to it again soon.

    “The conjuring” and “Devil island” pretty rule.

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