Megadeth – Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! [Remastered] (2002, Loud Records)
Original Release: 1985, Combat Records
1. “Last Rites/Loved to Deth” … 4:40
2. “Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!” … 3:06
3. “The Skull Beneath the Skin” … 3:47
4. “Rattlehead” … 3:43
5. “Chosen Ones” … 2:55
6. “Looking Down the Cross” … 5:04
7. “Mechanix” … 4:22
8. “These Boots” … 4:42
9. “Last Rites/Loved to Deth” (demo) … 4:18
10. “Mechanix” (demo) …. 4:01
11. “The Skull Beneath the Skin” (demo) … 3:11
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Piano
Chris Poland – Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar
David Ellefson – Bass, Backing Vocals
Gar Samuelson – Drums, Timpani
Producer: Dave Mustaine & Karat Faye
Ah, now my Megadeth collection is complete! I had been wanting this one since the reissue… It only took me 7 years to finally pick it up! This is Megadeth’s debut and the album was known for having an incredibly bad production (Dave says he blew half the album budget on drugs & food). To right a wrong, for this reissue Mustaine himself remixed and remastered every song. We also get a few bonus track demos from 1984 along with a reshuffled track listing.
The album is a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I’m not the biggest fan of Megadeth’s early years but this probably my favorite of their three ’80s releases. Just seems more consistent and interesting overall even if there’s nothing here that can stand up to “Wake Up Dead”, “Peace Sells” or “In My Darkest Hour”.
What really surprised me was the beginning of the opening track. A PIANO ?!?!? Wow, I was not expecting that. It’s a pretty brave way to start off a debut in the macho world of ’80s thrash/speed metal.
“These Boots” is the band’s cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” with altered lyrics. After 1995, it was left off any future pressings of the album due to complaints by the author of the original song over the lyrics (who I should point out had been accepting the royalties for 10 years by this point). The song was included for the reissue because the altered lyrics are now beeped out. Kinda stupid and annoying. And by that, I’m talking about the song’s original writer and all the beeps in this new censored version.
The original version of this album features one of the ugliest covers known to man. Combat had lost the original artwork and they substituted the thrown-together plastic skull ‘n’ hooks photo that looks extremely low-budget and cheesy. Luckily, this was another wrong Dave sought to make right and the reissue cover is basically an updated version of the lost artwork.
Strangely, Loud Records was a hip hop label. As far as I know, this was their only rock/metal release. I guess they were considering branching out before they went out of business in 2002.
Highlights: “Last Rites/Loved to Deth”, “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!”, “The Skull Beneath the Skin”, “Rattlehead”, “Looking Down the Cross”