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Best 10 Megadeth Songs
10. Sweating Bullets
This song finds a man (apparently schizophrenic) being confronted by his dark side, who warns him that he cannot be repressed much longer. When this sinister side shows up, the man wakes up with blood stains on his hands, wondering what he did.
Dimebag Darrell of Pantera loved this song and got a tattoo of a black tooth grin after a tour, a reference to the line, in this song, “Someday you too will know my pain and smile its black tooth grin.” Darrell also created a drink he named after the song, which is mostly whiskey with a splash of Coke.
Regarding the line, Dave Mustaine told Billboard: “I think there’s no better description of the joy of a good fight than when you see a boxer who’s smiling after he’s won, but he’s had a tooth knocked out.”
9. Wake up Dead
This song is about a man who has been cheating on his wife (or girlfriend) and is sneaking into his house, knowing that if his wife finds out about his other lover, she’ll kill him.
The song tells the story of relationships that have failed due to mutual dishonesty.
Dave Mustaine wrote this song. The lyrics are about not being able to trust someone you love; possibly an infidelity or a suspected infidelity between a couple causes great pain for each member of the relationship. It makes some commentary on the hopelessness of relationships when you can’t trust your partner: “Why does Trust have to equal pain?”
7. A Tout Le Monde
This song is often misinterpreted to be about suicide, as the lyrics can be heard as a suicide note.
On September 13, 2006, Kimveer Gill went on a shooting rampage at Dawson College in Montreal, eventually shooting himself. He was a fan of Megadeth and mentioned this song on his blog, which prompted Dave Mustaine, who wrote the song, to make this statement the next day: “Like everyone else, I am horrified and disgusted by the tragic events of yesterday. We will pray for everyone who has been hurt, and all the families that are suffering. ‘A Tout Le Monde’ is based on a dream I had, where my mother came back from heaven to say ‘I love you.’ It’s about me talking to her again.”
Mustaine: “We don’t write music that has any kind of suggestion about taking one’s life. It is more like, ‘Hey, we have a problem, let’s be part of the solution.'”
6. In My Darkest Hour
Burton’s death was the inspiration for this song, but the lyrics are not directly about him, as the song is about remaining true to your friends and being there in their time of need. Mustaine didn’t get a lot of support from his family, and also felt betrayed by Metallica when they kicked him out of the band.
Reflecting on the song, Mustaine explained that he treasures his relationship with his fans, who have shown him the kind of support he didn’t get as a kid.
The song doesn’t have a happy ending, but many Megadeth fans found it very helpful in getting them through difficult times, since it can be comforting to know that others have been through it.
5. Symphony of Destruction
This song is about political leaders who essentially puppets for the powerful organizations that control them. It relates to military dictatorships, but also to democratically elected leaders.
As Dave Mustaine points out in the song, the problem is not just the leaders, but also the people who blindly follow them. These politicians, once they gain power, lead a “symphony of destruction” that the people follow, often to their own detriment.
Dave Mustaine says that inspiration for this song came when he was watching The Manchurian Candidate. This song came very quickly to Dave Mustaine, who says he was driving home when inspiration struck. He’s told different stories about his canvas for the lyrics (a receipt for sushi, his arrest paperwork), but he wrote the chorus in the car and finished the song after he arrived home.
4. Tornado of Souls
This song was written by lead singer Dave Mustaine and bass player David Ellefson. The lyrics talk about ending a dysfunctional relationship, and near the end of the song, Mustaine sings about giving the girl “the kiss of death.” This led to speculation that the song ends with him killing his partner, but Mustaine has dismissed that, explaining that it is a very personal written at a difficult time. Said Mustaine: “‘Tornado of Souls’ was written the day I broke up with my fiancé; it explains what I went through, how I sprang out of it. I thought my existence was in that relationship – I was trapped in the eye of a tornado, and if I stepped out of line, I’d be blown to oblivion. No more whirlwind romances for me. If I do get back in that situation, I’m gonna be very aware now and check the weather before I get involved.”
Marty Friedman’s complex solo in this song is one of his most classic and beloved ones, and it seems to have been an important one for himself too at the time. In a 2002 interview, he recalled: “When I finished the solo to this one, Mustaine came into the studio, listened to it down once, turned around and without saying a word, shook my hand. It was at that moment that I felt like I was truly the guitarist for this band.”
3. Peace Sells
One of Megadeth’s most popular songs, this deals with disillusion, Cold War politics, and military combat – all recurring themes in Megadeth songs.
Frontman Dave Mustaine recalled the writing of this song to Rolling Stone: “I was homeless at the time, and I was living in a rehearsal place in Vernon, California. I was seeing a girl, Diana – there were a lot of songs I wrote about her. I actually wrote the lyrics to that song on the wall, in that building. I didn’t have any paper in the studio, but I had a Sharpie, so I just wrote on the wall. Whoever inherited our rehearsal room after I moved out, saw the original lyrics to ‘Peace Sells’ on the wall. They probably painted right over it and didn’t even know it.”
2. Hangar 18
Hangar 18 is an Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio where the alien bodies were taken when a UFO supposedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The remains were later taken to Area 51 in Nevada, and many people believe they are still there. Dave Mustaine of Megadeth explained when the album was released: “‘Hangar 18’ is about military intelligence – two words combined that don’t make sense. I can’t understand why they’re hiding stuff from us. It’s our country, too. But see, they run it, and the more I get into politics, the less I become a musician.”
Dave Mustaine, who was a member of Metallica until he was fired in 1983, wrote this song. The main riff of this song is similar to Metallica’s “The Call Of Ktulu” which appeared on their Ride The Lightning album. Mustaine had composer credits on that song, but he was kicked out of Metallica before the album was released.
1. Holy Wars… The Punishment Due
This song has been interpreted to be about the troubles in Northern Ireland, but Dave Mustaine has indicated that the song is about Israel (Mustaine’s mother is Jewish though he is Christian). In an interview with Rock Detector, Mustaine said: “‘Holy Wars’ doesn’t talk about any specific place in time. It doesn’t talk about any country. It just says, ‘Don’t look now to Israel it might be YOUR homeland.'”
Mustaine has explained that the second half of the song was inspired by the comic book The Punisher, which he loves (the Megadeth song “Killing Is My Business…and Business is Good,” is about The Punisher). As for the first part, he explained when the album was first released that it was about an experience that happened in Ireland. Said Mustaine: “I had found out that the IRA wasn’t as apparently opposed to the English as I was told. Yet the way that was described to me was very watered down. So, I shot my mouth off while there, saying, ‘This one is for the cause! Anarchy in Ireland! Give Ireland back to the Irish!’ I caught a lot of flack from the English press, and I caught a lot from the Irish… and like I give a f–k for the IRA!”