Man, just right after their debut, Megadeth made the cult following “Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?” Remember when I said earlier that one of my reasons why I love Megadeth is because the band’s attitude of punk-rock band? Well, punk-rock is the anarchist’s number one choice of music where the music deals with political awareness, but with Megadeth’s pinch of a dark, threatening, typically heavy metal worldview, I’m glad that Megadeth took that direction in “Peace Sells.” Megadeth’s target was on Metallica on “Killing is My Business,” but in “Peace Sells” they’re mocking the United Nations, implying that the United Nations Organization is for sale. The cover and the title suggest that while peace is a popular theme, it has become a disillusion and trying to sell it to war no one would buy it. The very theme of this album is important to fit the tracks offered in this very album.
What’s a big improvement for Megadeth over their last album is their songwriting; which all varies storytelling and description of things that the band is singing about rather than titles of each song to be obviously explanatory. They have to be listened to be understood and it instantly makes you a fan if you give any Metal song a chance. Like for example “Wake Up Dead” I had no idea that it’s a song that’s going to be 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 will kill him. But like many of their songs, they change pace in the course of listening like two different songs into one just to make sure that each song does not get repetitive. Speaking of not get repetitive, almost every song varies different topics like “The Conjuring” to be about witchcraft & have Satan claiming the soul of someone who has made a deal with the devil, “Devil’s Island” – being imprisoned in the place of execution, “My Last Words” – a game of Russian roulette and the fear one goes through when playing the game, and more. Pretty much the only song that actually fits the theme of the cover album is “Peace Sells” which is of course not only the best track of the album, but also is arguably one of the best songs Megadeth has ever made. It made their audience shout “Peace Sells…” “…But Who’s Buying?” like an anarchist or a person who doesn’t believe in peace.
I will have to say that the guitar riffs and how every instrument is handled in each of the songs were clearer and a more organized than “Killing is My Business.” Dave Mustaine has offered new tricks to claim rock star status. “Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying?” is one of the early examples of an album to contain the Parental Advisory label, developed by the Parents Music Resource Center, an organization made to censor music that was deemed “inappropriate;” similar to Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom to the PG-13 rating and Mortal Kombat to the ESRB Rating System. “Peace Sells” is the very album that put Megadeth on the map as one of the best Metal bands in the world. But at the same time I think “Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying?” is a little overrated because it’s the one album non-fans regard as their best because that’s the only thing they are familiar with Megadeth, while in actually they’ve made better albums than “Peace Sells.” One of my biggest problems with this album is the echoing is a little over done in this album making a bit hard to listen to the lyrics and there are slow downs with the songs like “Bad Omen,” and just mashing in songs like “Good Mourning/Black Friday” that couldn’t stand up with “Peace Sells” the song or even all of the songs from “Killing is My Business.” But without this album, Megadeth wouldn’t be who they are today and many of their later albums are a bit similar to “Peace Sells” in terms of structure and theme. “Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying?” was a fun experience but yet I can’t really say that their most popular album is their best; popularity and quality rarely go hand-in-hand.
- Peace Sells
- My Last Words
- Wake Up Dead
The Top Lister’s album score – 4 / 5