5 September 2013

Megadeth - So Far, So Good, So What

This album is the sound of a man who has had too much booze, too many drugs and is sore at the world but not afraid to hold back. Nuclear war, the fun of speeding, loss and bereavment, censorship and ex-bandmates (NOT ones in Metallica) are all subjects dealt with on this album that do not emerge unscathed from Mustaine's anger. Oh, there is also a bollocks song about a man being haunted by a girl or something,

Right, we all know that Dave Mustaine can be a prick with a capital 'P', especially since finding God and becoming a Republican but he used to be able to write a decent tune. This album has these, and in spades! Released in 1988, it was quite popular, although there was only one metal band beginning with 'M' who were cleaning up that year. But unlike the album they had out at the time, this one clearly had an audible bass. The recording sessions were problematic, as Mustaine was undergoing treatment for his addictions and the band as a whole were having trouble recruiting personnel as previous guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson were both sacked for their drug use, they apparently pawned the bands gear to get the money for fixes. The recruitment another guitarist (Jay Reynods - from a really shit band called Malice) faltered which lead to the hiring of Jeff Young as well as drummer Chuck Behler. Quite chaotic, wouldn't you agree?

So, once that was all sorted, it was into the studio to record the album. I'll get this out of the way now - the production is crap as there is way too much reverb, this makes the album sound echoy and muddy. Paul Lani (Who mixed previous effort Peace Sells But Who's Buying) ws supposed to be producer but was fired after a series of disagreements with Mustanie, and in his place came Michael Wagner. I guess there wasn't enough to salvage but they really should've came up with a better production for this album!

Album opener 'Into The Lungs Of Hell' sets the pace of nicely, an instrumental opening which is a brave move. From there, the pace doesn;t let up as we have a quite frankly FUCKING AWESOME cover of the Sex Pistols song 'Anarchy In The UK', which boasts a guest appearence by former Sex Pistol guitarist Steve Jones. Everyone rags on this cover but it's like the Sid Vicious version of 'My Way' - a man so out of it just snarling and shouting away, what's NOT to like? Kudos go to the songs '502' which is about getting a speeding ticket. I don't know how they did it, but they actually made a song about getting a speeding ticket excellent! Best song of the album is 'Liar', an ode to ex-bandmate Chris Poland. The only drag is 'Mary Jane', for some reason I just never liked that song.

Megadeth would make far better and far worse albums than this. But this album is special. I'd recommend it in a heartbeat as it contains some of their finest works. In fact, get the first five Megadeth albums and leave it at that.

8/10 - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart.

Chris J.

You can buy this album on iTunes.

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