This uncompromising and intense thrash metal quartet was founded in San Francisco, California, USA by guitarist Dave Mustaine after leaving Metallica in 1983. Recruiting bassist Dave Ellefson, guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gars Samuelson, Mustaine negotiated a deal with the independent Combat label. Working on a tight budget, Megadeth produced KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…AND BUSINESS IS GOOD in 1985. This was a ferocious blast of high-energy thrash metal, weakened by a thin production. Nevertheless, Capitol Records, realizing the band's potential, immediately signed them up, even though Mustaine was beginning to acquire a reputation for his outspoken and provocative manner. PEACE SELLS…BUT WHO'S BUYING? was a marked improvement over their debut, both technically and musically. It was characterized by incessant, heavy duty riffing, bursts of screaming guitar and lyrics which reflected Mustaine's outspoken perception of contemporary social and political issues. In 1988, Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson, bringing in Jeff Young and Chuck Behler as replacements before the recording of SO FAR, SO GOOD, SO WHAT This built on their aggressive and vitriolic style, and included a cover of Anarchy In The UK, with Sex Pistols’ guitarist Steve Jones making a guest appearance. Following two years of heroin-related problems, and the enforced departure of Poland and Behler, Mustaine re-appeared in 1990 with guitar virtuoso Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza. RUST IN PEACE was released to widespread critical acclaim, combining an anti-nuclear message with the explosive guitar pyrotechnics of Friedman. COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION, meanwhile, was a bruising encounter which entertained more melody in the execution of its theme—that of impending ecological disaster. Reports of Mustaine's drug problems again overshadowed sessions for their sixth album, YOUTHANASIA, recorded in Phoenix, Arizona, where three quarters of the band now live. It was produced by Max Norman (who co-produced COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION and mixed RUST IN PEACE). Along with Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax, Megadeth remain at the forefront of the thrash metal genre, despite the vulnerability of their central creative force.

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