31 Years Ago: @megadeth Bring the Thrash With ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’ As a founding member of Metallica and a major contributor to the band’s groundbreaking debut ‘Kill ‘Em All,’ Dave Mustaine was clearly a gifted songwriter and a talented musician. However, his first effort to reach the top of the thrash metal hierarchy with his band Megadeth, 1985’s ‘Killing Is My Business… And Business is Good’ suffered from sub-par production and it lacked the stand-out hooks to catapult the band to stardom. Fifteen months later, on Sept. 19, 1986, Mustaine and his bandmates followed-up their debut with the exceptional, catchy and powerful riff-fest ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?’ “Megadeth was capable of extraordinary musicianship,” he wrote in his memoir Mustaine. “The twin guitar attacks on ‘The Conjuring,’ the great harmony line in ‘Peace Sells’ were achieved not only through careful composition, but through the camaraderie that comes when a band is really clicking.” Clearly, songs like the chant-along “Wake Up Dead” and the barreling, graphically brutal “Good Mourning/Black Friday” were next level stuff, but the obvious standout was the title track. From the opening jaunty bass line to the contagious main riff, “Peace Sells” remains one of the most memorable numbers from the thrash era. The vocals were snarky, but political, proving the Mustaine had more than tales of decadence and mayhem in his lyrical arsenal, and the rhythmic shifts in the song gave it lasting impact.
Megadeth toured extensively for ‘Peace Sells’ and the album reached No. 76 on the Billboard album chart. After the tour, however, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson because their drug problem was impeding the forward progress of the band. ‘Peace Sells’ was certified gold in November 1988, and went platinum four years later.