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Review: Megadeth, "Peace Sells but Who’s Buying?"

Updated on February 6, 2024
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Two Reasons for Peace Sells But Who's Buying being their best album are the songs and the contributions of Chris Poland

Peace Sells But Who’s Buying? is the second album by American heavy metal band Megadeth and as of 2017 to the present time in the opinion of this writer it is the band’s finest work surpassing Rust in Peace. I know that many of you reading this will probably shake your heads and wonder “what is this guy saying? No Megadeth album could possibly be as great as Rust in Peace!” What you are about to find out is that Peace Sells But Who's Buying? although a short album has finer songs than Rust in Peace even if the production may not be as good. The guitar contributions by Chris Poland (OHM) certainly help a great deal!

Songs such as "Wake Up Dead" and "Peace Sells" set the foundation for this album

The first song "Wake Up Dead" has excellent lead guitar work in it but before that part, the riffing that sets that up is the foundation. Without that kind of musical foundation in that song, it is doubtful that we would have such a finely crafted song. Peace Sells is also the second and last album to have Gar Samuelsson (1958-1999) on drums. "Peace Sells" is a song about rebelling against the normal American system on how to run things. They are looking for other alternatives and in today’s political environment, this would be a great song to listen to in order to get some perspective. He is being questioned about not believing in GOD even though he does believe in GOD. He is criticized for not supporting the system even though he goes to court when he has to. The song also emphatically points out that just because there's a rebellion against the established order that people shouldn't take it as someone having their feelings hurt. As Mustaine says: "what do you mean I hurt your feelings? I didn't know you had any feelings." That's one of the best lines in this song.

"Bad Omen"

Devil's Island Is the Best Song on Peace Sells But Who's Buying?

"Devil’s Island" is a song about someone that has been convicted and he is about to be sentenced to death on a place called Devil’s Island, the final stop for him. The song has always been not just a Megadeth classic but one of my favorites from this band. It has some of the finest guitar riffing you will hear even if Dave Mustaine’s voice sounds rough, harsh, and muffled. After Dave utters the words “here I am,” there is more memorable guitar riffing. That part near the end is very addictive! The song has a terrific lead style interlude in the beginning which is one more reason to consider it a heavy metal classic.

"My Last Words"

Best Megadeth studio album

Is Peace Sells But Who's Buying the best album written by Megadeth?

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"Devils Island"

Songs Good Mourning Black Friday and My Last Words End a Brilliant Album by Megadeth

"Good Mourning/Black Friday" is a two-part song which has a very memorable twin guitar sound in it and the song is about the thoughts, feelings, and actions of a serial killer. This type of twin guitar sound has been used by other bands since the time of the album's release. Something, some kind of force has overtaken this person and he does not feel so good. He wonders what is wrong with him so he becomes filled with rage and takes it out on others. The album has a performance of the song “I Ain’t Superstitious” a Willie Dixon song. The bottom line is that Peace Sells But Who’s Buying? is not only one of the premier thrash metal releases of all time but it is the finest work in the career of Megadeth for sure! "My Last Words" is a song that starts again with that dual guitar sound and it is about playing a game of Russian roulette. Peace Sells But Who's Buying? should get no less than 95 out of 100 points for this longtime American band.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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