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