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Classic Review: Megadeth - Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?
Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?

Label: Capitol Records
Year released: 1986
Duration: 35:52
Tracks: 8
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: August 18, 2003
Reviewed by: Bahamut 502
Readers Rating
Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?

Rated 4.69/5 (93.86%) (114 Votes)

Peace Sells is the only album that can hold a candle to Rust in Peace for the title of "Megadeth's masterpiece." Many Megadeth fans will make good arguments that Peace Sells is actually the better work. Regardless of which one is better, it's accepted fact that this album broke Megadeth through to the metal mainstream way back in 1986 (remember the days..?)

The most recognizable song is the anthemic title track, which received a lot of airplay on MTV (remember that?) and helped sell the band. Ironically, that track is one of the least heavy, or better said, more accessible. The rest of the album is filled with complex songs that shred at blistering tempos in riff and solo (except for the cover of Willie Dixon's bluesy "I Ain't Superstitious," which sounds extremely out of place on this thrashfest). In fact, there's no weak track on here, which is the argument of many who hail Peace Sells as superior to Rust, which contains one bad song, "Dawn Patrol."

The songwriting and music are both more focused on Peace Sells than the previous Killing is My Business … , but the intensity is still there; it's just more focused and contained, resulting in a combination of creative songwriting and blistering tempos fused with Mustaine's trademark snarl. Just check out the riff almost three minutes into "Bad Omen" and you'll wonder just what Dave and Co. were on back then….

It's also worth noting the important contributions of Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson on this album, both of whom played on the previous release. Both were heavily jazz-influenced musicians, and their talents are easily evident. After their departure the band sunk into a creative funk (So Far, So Good, So What!). Many fans have argued that this lineup, in addition to this album, was the classic Megadeth lineup, instead of the one seen on Rust in Peace.

The basis for arriving at a decision to the superiority of Rust in Peace in comparison to Peace Sells is almost entirely subjective. Both albums are so technically proficient and almost equally poetic. Peace Sells tends to lean a little more to themes of the occult and witchcraft, whereas Rust deals more with religious hypocrisy, government corruption and control (ironically the theme of "Peace Sells", the song), and the horrors of war. Individual tastes, not album quality, eventually lead the listener to his or her own determination.

A quote from's review of the album paints a candid picture of Peace Sells: "The lines between hell and earth are blurred throughout the album … Vital, necessary thrash."

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