Megadeth is an American thrash metal band formed in Los Angeles, California on December 18th, 1983. After the breakup of Metallica, Dave Mustaine teamed up with guitarist Marty Friedman and bassist David Ellefson to create Megadeth. Their debut album was released in 1985 and it was called “Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!”. After a few initial changes in line-up over the years, and a brief hiatus from 2002 – 2004, they have remained mostly stable ever since.
Released in 2009, “Endgame” is the twelfth studio album by Megadeth, and the first to feature new drummer Shawn Drover. It is the follow-up to the band’s previous record “United Abominations”. It was well received by both critics and fans, who praised it for its faster pace and focus on shorter songs than previous releases. It had some marketing snafus, as it was slated for release around the same time as rock band Rise Against’s album of the same name, but that album was pushed back toward the end of the Megadeth “Endgame” album cycle, sparing any potential distribution or consumer mix ups.
9. The System Has Failed
Released in 2004, “The System Has Failed” is the tenth studio album from Megadeth. Due to the timing of the record and its title, many people believe that it gives reference to the re-election of President George W. Bush in 2004. The album was slightly different from the band’s previous albums, featuring a heavier sound due to Dennis Lyxzen replacing James MacDonough as producer.
8. Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!
Released in 1985, “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” is the debut studio album from Megadeth. It sets the stage for the band’s entire career, and was met with mixed reviews because of its content being about violence and the occult. Nevertheless, it put the band and frontman Dave Mustaine on the map, setting the group up for a fruitful career with their sophomore breakout hit.
7. The World Needs A Hero
Megadeth’s ninth studio album, “The World Needs A Hero”, was released in 2001 after a three-year gap from their previous outing. It was the first of two to feature new bassist and vocalist James Lomenzo. The tone of the record is largely somber, as well as stripped down compared to the band’s previous works.
6. Super Collider
As one of the band’s more modern albums released in 2013, this record proves that Megadeth can stand the test of time as one of the big four in thrash metal. Despite a few missteps, “Super Collider” saw the development of guitarists Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover, as well as the band’s first album to not feature then-current drummer Shawn Drover. The record has proven to be a major comeback from their previous lackluster effort, ‘Thirteen”.
5. Countdown To Extinction
Released in 1992, the “Countdown To Extinction” was Megadeth’s fifth studio album. The band’s commercial and artistic success had picked up by this point, with their previous efforts having sold over 300,000 copies within just two weeks of being released. The album was a massive success, and the band was playing to sold out crowds before they even knew what hit them.
While this album was met with pretty mixed critical reviews, it holds up incredibly well. It is the band’s eighth studio album, released in 1999. This time around, Megadeth sought to utilize a more electronic sound on “Risk”. While some critics saw this as an overall detriment to the band’s sound, many others lauded the new direction. Despite fan and critical response being pretty mixed, it did not stop the album from achieving gold status in the United States, Canada and Japan.
3. So Far, So Good… So What!
Released in 1988, “So Far, So Good… So What!” is the fourth studio album by Megadeth. The album featured a more polished sound than previous records due to new producer Paul Lani. As their third record, the band was beginning to hit their stride and capitalize on the popularity of their first two records.
2. Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?
Their sophomore record was a huge breakout hit in 1986. The single “Peace Sells” continues to dominate radio airwaves to this day. Despite the album’s mixed reviews, it is not shy when it comes to being a commercial success. Not only did it reach gold status in the United States and Canada, but the album also pushed the band to new levels of commercial viability. The music videos for “Peace Sells” and “Wake Up Dead” dominated VH1 and MTV, and helped bring thrash metal to the main stream.
1. Rust In Peace
Released in 1990 as their triumphant fourth record, “Rust In Peace” is particularly one of the most important albums in Megadeth’s discography. Their single “Hangar 18” is quite possibly one of their most famous songs as a band, and features guitar solos that are so iconic that many still revere them as all time greats to this day. Every song on the record is a classic song that many fans still enjoy to this day. This is one of Megadeth’s best albums of all time, but more importantly, it ushered in a new period of recognition for the band.
While “Rust In Peace” clocks in as Megadeth’s best work, there are certainly a few other notable records that deserve recognition. Albums like “Cryptic Writings” and “Youthanasia”, while they didn’t make the list, are also incredibly deserving of praise for how they propelled the band’s career and helped connect with fans.