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Classic Review: Megadeth - So Far, So Good... So What!
Megadeth
www.megadeth.com
So Far, So Good... So What!

Label: Capitol Records
Year released: 1988
Duration: 34:25
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 3.7/5

Review online: August 4, 2004
Reviewed by: Bahamut 502
Readers Rating
for:
So Far, So Good... So What!

Rated 3.96/5 (79.27%) (55 Votes)
Review


Up until the mid to late 90s, when Megadeth began a course toward the mainstream, 'So Far, So Good, So What' was widely considered the weak album in the band's early canon. Being sandwiched between two masterpieces --'Peace Sells' and 'Rust in Peace' -- only exacerbated this tendency. But, because of the band's change of direction (and back, depending on who you ask) in recent years, many fans (possibly from a lack of satisfying material from the band) have returned to this album with less critical ears.

For years the main argument from fans and critics was that SFSGSW lacked musical focus because of the departure of two talented members, Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson. And for good reason. Dave Mustaine was always the primary songwriter in the band's early days, but having a top-notch lead guitarist with no 'official' song input can make great songwriters seem brilliant. The lack of a fantastic lead guy is a big reason for what's going on with SFSGSW. Jeff Young, who played lead and rhythm on this album, is no Poland or Marty Friedman. He's a mercenary guitarist, and that's a big reason this disc sounds like it's straight out of a creative vacuum.

But the reason so many MegadetH fans come back to this album is because a handful of these songs sound so much better live. SFSGSW suffered from an overdose of reverb during production, which gives the guitars such an echo-like sound. When played live, songs like the widely under appreciated 'Set the World Afire', the blistering '502', and the PMRC-scathing 'Hook in Mouth' sound fresh off more-inspired albums. The weak spots surface with songs like 'Anarchy in the U.K.', (thankfully the band's last attempt to fuse a punk or blues cover into a thrash album) and Liar, which is essentially Dave ranting about his partnership with Poland gone sour.

"In My Darkest Hour", whose subject matter is still the subject of much debate among Deth fans, is probably the most inspired piece of songwriting on this album, showing how much the departure of Poland and Samuelson hurt the band. Repeating 'Peace Sells' is no easy task. Thankfully, though, Mustaine managed to say afloat long enough through substance abuse to team up with Marty Friedman and Nick Menza for the epic "Rust in Peace."


Track Listing:
  1. Into the Lungs of Hell
  2. Set the World Afire
  3. Anarchy in the U.K.
  4. Mary Jane
  5. 502
  6. In My Darkest Hour
  7. Liar
  8. Hook in Mouth
Other related information on the site
Review: Behind The Music - Extended Version (reviewed by The Lord of Hate)
Review: Capitol Punishment (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Countdown to Extinction (reviewed by Bahamut 502)
Review: Endgame (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Endgame (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good (reviewed by Bahamut 502)
Review: Peace Sells… But Who's Buying? (reviewed by Bahamut 502)
Review: Peace Sells… But Who's Buying? (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Risk (Remixed & Remastered) (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Rude Awakening (reviewed by The Lord of Hate)
Review: Rust In Peace (reviewed by Bahamut 502)
Review: Rust In Peace (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: So Far, So Good... So What! (reviewed by The Lord of Hate)
Review: The System Has Failed (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: The World Needs A Hero (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Review: The World Needs A Hero (reviewed by The Lord of Hate)
Review: United Abominations (reviewed by Bruce Dragonchaser)
Review: Unplugged show (reviewed by Pierre Bégin)
Video: Headcrusher
Video: Peace Sells
Video: Set the World Afire
Video: Sweating Bullets
Video: The Right to Go Insane
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