Megadeth in Woodstock 1999 (Live)
Megadeth - MTV 1994 (Live)
( Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Menza ,Ellefson)
As a pioneer of the American thrash metal movement, Megadeth rose to international fame in the 1980s and was ranked as one of the "Big Four of Thrash", along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, who were responsible for creating, developing and popularizing the thrash metal sub-genre. Megadeth has experienced numerous line-up changes, due partly to the band's notorious substance abuse problems. From 1983 to 2002, Mustaine and Ellefson were the only continuous members of the band. After finding sobriety and securing a stable line-up, Megadeth went on to release a string of platinum and gold albums, including the platinum-selling landmark Rust in Peace in 1990 and the Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Countdown to Extinction in 1992. Megadeth disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a severe nerve injury to his left arm. However, following extensive physical therapy, Mustaine reformed the band in 2004 and released The System Has Failed, followed by United Abominations in 2007; the albums debuted on the Billboard Top 200 chart at #18 and #8, respectively. Megadeth, along with their new lead guitarist Chris Broderick, released their twelfth studio album, titled Endgame, on September 15, 2009, which debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200.
In the band's 25 active years, Megadeth has had 20 official members, with Dave Mustaine remaining as the driving force and main songwriter.
Megadeth is known for its distinctive instrumental style, often featuring dense, intricate passages and trade off guitar solos. Mustaine is also known for his "snarling" vocal style, as well as his recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, personal relationships, and the occult.
Megadeth has sold close to 25 million albums worldwide, with five consecutive albums being certified platinum in the USA. The band has also been nominated for seven consecutive nominations for Best Metal Performance.
Dave Mustaine is notorious for making inflammatory statements in the press, usually regarding feuds and problems with former bandmates and other bands, including Slayer and Metallica. Perhaps most well known is his long standing feud with Metallica members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, stemming from his ejection from the band, and the method in which it was conducted, as well as disagreements on songwriting credits.
In April 1988, at a concert in Antrim, Northern Ireland, Mustaine "unknowingly" dedicated the final song to the IRA. Before the final song, "Anarchy in the UK", Mustaine said, "This one's for the cause!" A fight amongst the audience ensued, as Protestants took offense and, according to Mustaine, the band had to travel in a "bulletproof bus" for the remainder of the tour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Mustaine later alleged that he had been misled as to the meaning of the expression "the cause" by T-Shirt bootleggers outside the venue where they were performing. This incident served as inspiration for one of Megadeth's most well-known songs, "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due".
In July 2004, former bassist David Ellefson sued Mustaine for $18.5 million in Manhattan Federal Court. Ellefson alleged that Mustaine short changed him on profits and backed out of a deal to turn Megadeth over to him when the band broke up in 2002. Ellefson also accused Mustaine of locking him out of merchandise and publishing royalties. The suit was dismissed in 2005, and Mustaine filed a countersuit, which was later settled out of court.
Also sparking minor controversy was Mustaine's announcement that Megadeth will not play certain songs live anymore, due to Mustaine's new identification as a Christian. In recent years Dave Mustaine has become a Born again Christian. In May 2005 Mustaine also allegedly threatened to cancel shows in Greece and Israel with extreme metal bands Rotting Christ and Dissection, due to the bands' perceived anti-Christian beliefs, which in turn caused the two bands to cancel their appearances.