Hook in Mouth
|"Hook in Mouth"|
|Song by Megadeth|
|Released||January 19, 1988|
"Hook in Mouth" is a song by the American thrash metal band Megadeth, written by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson. It is the eighth and last on their So Far, So Good... So What! album, which was released on January 19, 1988. The song is about revisionism and censorship, specifically aimed at the P.M.R.C., the Parents Music Resource Center, which forced the band to put "Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics" warnings on both Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? and So Far, So Good... So What!.
Dave Mustaine described the song as his favorite of his band's songs, and it remains as a semi-regular staple of Megadeth's live setlist, appearing on their 2001 live album Rude Awakening, as well as being played at The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to be violent or sexually suggestive. The committee was founded by four women: Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. They were known as the "Washington wives" – a reference to their husbands' connections with the federal government. As a method of combating this alleged problem, the PMRC suggested a voluntary move by the RIAA and the music industry to develop "guidelines and/or a rating system" similar to the MPAA film rating system. Additional suggestions from the PMRC that appeared in an article in the Washington Post included: printing warnings and lyrics on album covers, forcing record stores to put albums with explicit covers under the counters, pressuring television stations not to broadcast explicit songs or videos, "reassess[ing]" the contracts of musicians who performed violently or sexually in concert, and creating a panel to set industry standards.
Megadeth was one of the bands first affected by the establishment of the Parental Advisory warning, having their 1986 album Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? be one of the very first albums to bear the warning. This however did very little to reduce the album's sales, as Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? was declared Platinum in 1992. Nonetheless, this deeply affected and annoyed the members of Megadeth, and motivated Dave Mustaine to write a song, "about censorship and the way that people try and tell us what we can and can't listen to". In addition, in the music video for the song "In My Darkest Hour", from the same album, as well as the Megadeth portion of the 1988 rockumentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, bassist David Ellefson can be seen with a sticker on his bass that says "Fuck The P.M.R.C". Ultimately, So Far, So Good... So What! was branded with the Parental Advisory warning. As Megadeth's follow-up album, Rust in Peace, was free of the warning, it is possible that "Hook in Mouth" simply annoyed and insulted the PMRC enough to earn the album the warning on its own.
Other than being inspired by the PMRC, several parts of this song are similar to the dystopian novel by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four which has been described as another major inspiration for this song. In the book, the government employs and organization called the Ministry of Truth to alter every piece of literature, especially newspaper articles, in order the make the government look good. The book describes people being created and erased, statistics and figures being changed, all to eliminate any negative feelings or opposition towards the government. Many of the workers for this organization are described just as Dave describes them; little, beady-eyed, bug-like men. Dave felt that the organization overstepped the bounds of what the government could do by putting warning labels on albums or forcing artists to compromise their integrity in any way.
F is for fighting,
R is for red ancestors' blood in battles they've shed
E, we elect them,
E, we eject them in the land of the free and the home of the brave
D, for your dying,
O, your overture
M, they will cover your grave with manure / is for money and you know what that cures
This spells out freedom, it means nothing to me
As long as there's a P.M.R.C.
- "Hook in Mouth" – 4:49
- Dave Mustaine - lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
- Jeff Young - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
- Dave Ellefson - bass, backing vocals
- Chuck Behler - drums, percussion
- Produced by Paul Lani and Dave Mustaine
- Engineered by Paul Lani with Matt Freeman
- Mixed by Michael Wagener
- Executive produced by Tim Carr
- Mastered by Stephen Marcussen
- Produced by Dave Mustaine
- Mixed by Ralph Patlan and Dave Mustaine
- Engineered by Ralph Patlan with Lance Dean
- Edited by Lance Dean with Scott "Sarge" Harrison
- Mastered by Tom Baker
- "Megadeth – Hook in Mouth (4:39)". Lastfm. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
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- 1999 A.V.Club interview with Spheeris
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- "Hook in Mouth". Songsfacts.com. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- "Hook in Mouth". LyricsG.com. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- YouTube Video 
- Megadeth's Official Site 
- Official lyrics 
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics