“Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying?” (remaster) by Megadeth

Artist: Megadeth
Title: “Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying?”
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 7/27/2004
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 4.25/5

1986 was truly an amazing year for the Metal genre based on the widely diverse amount of releases that were coming from the scene’s leaders. Historically speaking it would showcase some of the giants most prolific work while on the opposite side of the coin present us with some others bands most maligned output. The Thrash Metal side found Metallica delivering their seminal “Master Of Puppets” while Metal Gods in Judas Priest gave us “Turbo”. It was the year that while “Slippery When Wet” came care of Bon Jovi, that Dave Mustaine and the boys in Megadeth would give us “Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying?”. I’ll admit that Megadeth were not preferential to me from the very beginning, as I didn’t “get” what “Killing Is My Business” was all about as much as my friends did, but back at that time in my life, while I leaned to the Heavy side of things I also greatly enjoyed the Glam stuff. “Peace Sells” would be a different animal altogether and I snapped this up the moment that I first watched the video on the them almost juggernaut of a Metal force of MTV. The words in this tune spoke to our generation. We were unhappy with the way the world was and Mustaine seemed to be our truest spokesman about life and how we interacted with the world around us. Clearly when Dave spoke, we were listening.

The album has become one of the must have releases in every Metal fans collection and its no surprise with the rousing nature of its title track and the oft heard in concert halls before the bands come on “Wake Up Dead”. I’ve been to shows over the years where the moment that these tunes begin to play the place erupts in excitement. Without being too critical of the bands debut of “KIMB”, I did feel that there was a little more cohesive thought going on with “Peace Sells” and certainly a better level of musical maturity and fluidity in their playing. For some this has remained the quintessential lineup of the band with both Mustaine and Poland on lead guitars while the rhythm section of Gar Samuelson (drums) and Dave Ellefson (bass) delivered some justice for the sake of the bottom end. “The Conjuring” was a true headbanger and a tune that found the band being thought of as sinister minions of the great darkness. I cannot say much more than “Peace Sells” has remained one of my very favorite tunes in the bands catalog based on the solid groove and overall drive. Yes, the message it spoke was of great importance as well but beyond that this tune has remained timeless in nature and is many fans favorite around the world. “Devil’s Island” and “Good Mourning/Black Friday” resonate with Thrash Metal clarity thanks to the remastering that was done on the album and while some of you might pine for the sound from your vinyl, I had to say that a proper job was done with this one. If you have never purchased this one on CD, or somehow still have a cassette tape in your possession my recommendation is that you snare a copy of the remaster.

The rest of the album is spot on but you all knew that already. I simply chose to only speak up on my own personal favorites. The remastered edition features a sixteen page booklet with liner notes from Mustaine about the release and some of the bonus inclusions. We get four tracks that are mixes by Randy Burns for what is listed as the Combat Test pressing. I will be honest and say that I didn’t really care much for these and would have preferred some legacy live material be delivered but this is what we got. Either way the albums main tracks more than make up for the reason to own this and as I’ve stressed the playing is exciting all around those tunes. Sadly this would be the last album with Gar Samuelson on drums as the musician was fired due to addictions in 1987 (he would die of liver failure in 1999). Interestingly enough guitarist Poland would leave for similar reasons but would briefly return to the Megadeth camp many years later. Despite the changes the band would continue onto even greater success and this album be cited as one of the best of their offerings.

Track Listing:
1. Wake Up Dead
2. The Conjuring
3. Peace Sells
4. Devils Island
5. Good Mourning/Black Friday
6. Bad Omen
7. Ain’t Superstitious
8. My Last Words
9. Wake Up Dead (Randy Burns Mix) – bonus
10. The Conjuring (Randy Burns Mix) – bonus
11. Peace Sells (Randy Burns Mix) – bonus
12. Good Mourning/Black Friday (Randy Burns Mix) – bonus

Official Website: http://www.megadeth.com

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