Rust in Peace
|Rust in Peace|
|Studio album by Megadeth|
|Released||September 24, 1990|
|Producer||Dave Mustaine, Mike Clink|
|Singles from Rust in Peace|
Rust in Peace is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth, released on September 24, 1990. It was their third album distributed through Capitol Records, and their only collaboration with record producer Mike Clink who was the first producer to successfully produce a Megadeth album from start to finish, without being fired. It was the first album to feature guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza, following the firing of both Jeff Young and Chuck Behler in 1989.
There are nine tracks on the album, with lyrics inspired by subjects ranging from nuclear fallout, war, religion, Area 51, and fantasy. Two singles were released from the album: "Hangar 18" and "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due", which have become staples of the band's live performances. Rust in Peace was universally acclaimed by both critics and fans and was responsible for bringing Megadeth to the attention of a mainstream metal audience. It was cited as one of the best thrash metal records of all time by publications such as Decibel and Kerrang!. The album was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 33rd Grammy Awards, and "Hangar 18" was nominated for the same award at the 34th Grammy Awards. Allmusic described the record as "easily Megadeth's strongest musical effort", and it was noted as one of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
A remixed and remastered version featuring four bonus tracks was released in 2004. A limited edition 180g LP using the original mix was issued in the U.S. in 2008 by Capitol Records. In addition, in January 2010, the band announced that they would be doing a North American tour to commemorate the album's 20th anniversary. They performed the whole album live, including three tracks that had never previously been performed live, "Five Magics", "Poison Was the Cure" and "Rust in Peace... Polaris". Their performance at the Hollywood Palladium was filmed and released as Rust in Peace Live on CD, DVD and Blu-ray later that year.
In 1988, Megadeth appeared at the Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park in the UK, alongside Iron Maiden, Kiss, Helloween, Guns N' Roses, and David Lee Roth, performing to an audience of more than 100,000 people. The band was soon added to the "Monsters of Rock" European tour, but dropped out after the first show due to bassist Dave Ellefson's drug problems. Due to further issues within the band, Dave Mustaine fired both drummer Chuck Behler and guitarist Jeff Young, and canceled their scheduled 1988 Australian tour. The following year the band had hired drummer Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman to join the band, creating what would become the band's first stable line-up. Ellefson and Mustaine were the only remaining members from the original line-up from 1983.
The title "Rust in Peace" was inspired by a bumper sticker that Mustaine saw on the back of a vehicle. In an interview from 1990, Mustaine remarked, "I was driving home from Elsinore... um, Lake Elsinore. I was tailgating somebody, racing down the freeway, and I saw this bumper sticker on their car and it said... you know, this tongue in cheek stuff like, 'One nuclear bomb could ruin your whole day' and then I looked on the other side and it said, 'May all your nuclear weapons rust in peace' and I'm goin', Rust in Peace. Damn, that's a good title. And I'm thinkin' like, what do they mean, rust in peace? I could just see it now―all these warheads sittin' there, stockpiled somewhere like Seal Beach, you know, all covered with rust 'n' stuff with kids out there spray painting the stuff, you know." The band entered Rumbo Studios in March 1990. They were joined with producer Mike Clink, who had previously produced albums with Whitesnake, Guns N' Roses and Metallica.
The album's artwork was created by artist Ed Repka, who previously had designed the cover for Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? in 1986. The album's singles, "Hangar 18" and "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" had promotional art created by Repka as well. The cover features band mascot Vic Rattlehead and the leaders of five world powers of the early 1990s. The world leaders of the time, from left to right, are British Prime Minister John Major, Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, then-West German President (and later president of a reunified Germany) Richard von Weizsäcker, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and U.S. President George H. W. Bush.
The opening song, "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" finds its thematic inspiration derived from the Northern Ireland conflict, in which the largely Catholic nationalist community were in conflict with the mainly Protestant loyalist community over the sovereignty of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Mustaine's feelings concerning religion, amongst other things, are outlined in the song. In an interview with the UK magazine Guitarist, Mustaine says that he was inspired to write the song in Northern Ireland, when he discovered bootlegged Megadeth T-shirts were on sale and was dissuaded from taking action to have them removed on the basis that they were part of fund raising activities for "The Cause'. He liked how "the cause" sounded and unknowingly dedicated a performance of "Anarchy in the U.K." to it, where the audience quickly started to riot. Megadeth was forced to travel for the remainder of the tour in a bulletproof bus. This incident further inspired the song, with the popular Marvel comic book character, The Punisher acting as a lyrical inspiration.
Nick Menza thought of the concept for "Hangar 18", a song about UFO conspiracy theories, Area 51 and Hangar 18, a film which was later featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. According to Menza, "Hangar 18 is a military installation that holds UFO artifacts and alien creatures as far as we know." Mustaine remarked that "The idea's based on a place in the four corner state region of the United States... it's a place where the military intelligence is housing alien aircraft and alien life-forms. Not that I subscribe to this point of view or any of that kind of BS, but Nick is way into it."
Politics, warfare, and the environment are some of the main topics explored throughout the album. The track, "Rust in Peace... Polaris", covers the topic of intercontinental ballistic missiles and their effects on the world with "Polaris" referring to Lockheed's Cold War Polaris missile. Mustaine revealed in a March 2012 interview that he had written the song as a teenager, prior to joining his first band. It was the third song he had written and was originally titled "Child Saint".
"Take No Prisoners" is a song about Prisoners of war and the killing of not just the enemy, but one's own soldiers, while "Dawn Patrol" is a song about the environment being destroyed by global warming and greenhouse gases, and the life of humans after a nuclear war. "Five Magics" and "Lucretia" are fantasy inspired songs; "Five Magics" is based on the novel Master of the Five Magics and "Lucretia" is about a "ghost who lives in Mustaine's attic". "Tornado of Souls" is about dysfunctional relationships and the hardship of breaking up, and "Poison Was the Cure" is a song about Mustaine's issues with heroin addiction.
Rust in Peace was acclaimed by both underground and mainstream music critics. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune called it Megadeth's "most accomplished album", praising its "instrumental virtuosity, thoughtful lyricism and punkish rage". Allmusic's Steve Huey also named the album "easily Megadeth's strongest musical effort". While noting that the entire record is "consistently impressive", Huey picked the second track "Hangar 18" as the "obvious highlight". Reviewing the album for Entertainment Weekly, Jim Farber described the music as "sheer velocity, combined with dexterity" and Mustaine's lyrics as "nihilistic whimsy". Robert Palmer of Rolling Stone wrote that the album is demonstration of how far the "nasty speed thrash" concept can go without being "formulaic and boring". Mike Stagno from Sputnikmusic agreed that the songwriting was "top notch" on the album, as well as the fast and technical musicianship. He also spoke highly of Marty Friedman's and Dave Mustaine's guitar performance, calling them "one of the most potent duos in the scene". Spin reviewer Tom Nordlie described the record as "mature, complex, surprisingly consonant and sparely produced album". He concluded: "Simply put, Rust in Peace never sleeps". Another positive critical response came from Rock Hard, whose writer Holger Stratmann stated that the record was "pure Megadeth", filled with "razor sharp guitars" and "snotty vocals". Piero Scaruffi opined that the album features technical perfection that "only Metallica can match". According to him, Rust in Peace was the "swan song" not only for Megadeth, but for the whole thrash movement.
Rust in Peace was included on many best album lists by various publications. MusicRadar ranked the album at number 6 on their list of the "50 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time". They explained their selection by saying that the record put Megadeth into the "big league", while staying "true to the intricate thrash and apocalyptic lyrical vision of Dave Mustaine". IGN named Rust in Peace the fourth most influential heavy metal album of all time, commenting that the album "displays Dave Mustaine's finest writing ever". It was also declared as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. When asked if Rust in Peace was his favorite Megadeth album, Dave Mustaine replied: "Yes actually, it’s a fun record for us to play. Sometimes you’re playing a record and it can be a little tiring, but we’ve been really excited about getting back down there and playing it some more."
Rust in Peace was released on September 24, 1990, and debuted at #23 on the Billboard 200, as Megadeth's highest charting album up to that point. It was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA in 1994. The album was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 33rd Grammy Awards, and "Hangar 18" was nominated for the same award at the 34th Grammy Awards.
In 2002, Mustaine remastered Megadeth's debut album, Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!. Inspired by the positive reception of the re-release, he worked to remaster all of the subsequent Megadeth albums which had been recorded with Capitol Records, which included Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? up to Risk. Rust in Peace was re-released in 2004 with a new sound, four new bonus tracks and a slightly different version of the cover art. During the audio mixing process, Mustaine found that the original lead vocal tracks for "Take No Prisoners", "Rust in Peace... Polaris", "Five Magics" and "Lucretia" were all missing, which meant he had to re-record the vocals on "Take No Prisoners" and "Rust in Peace... Polaris" and use alternate takes for "Lucretia" and "Five Magics".
The tracks "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" and "Hangar 18" have become almost permanent additions to Megadeth's live set, and are fan favorites. In early 2010, the band announced a North American tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Rust in Peace, with Testament and Exodus as openers. The tour took place from March 1-31, 2010, and included 22 shows. At every show, the band performed the album in its entirety and in order. The first concert on the tour was also the first occasion on which "Five Magics", "Poison Was the Cure" and "Rust In Peace... Polaris" were ever played live.[dead link] Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, the band announced that it would carry on performing the entire album in the South and Central American tour dates which were to follow. Coincidentally, former long-time bassist and founding band member Dave Ellefson, who left the band in 2002, rejoined the band a short time before the tour began. He replaced James Lomenzo, sparking even more interest in the tour. Ellefson stated in an interview for Classic Rock magazine that drummer Shawn Drover contacted him and stated that LoMenzo was leaving the band, and that "if ever there was a time for you and Dave to talk, now is it."
In 2010, Shout! Factory released a live recording filmed on the Hollywood Palladium stop of the tour. The release, titled Rust in Peace Live is the first Megadeth release since 2002's Rude Awakening to feature Ellefson. The live album was released on September 7, 2010 in Blu-ray, DVD and CD formats. The album debuted at #161 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Billboard DVD charts.
Rust in Peace in its entirety was released as purchasable downloadable content in the rhythm game Rock Band, a part of the their "Rust in Peace Download Package". It was released a little more than a year after the release of Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? on the game's download store. A cover version of "Holy Wars" by Steve Ouimette was featured in Rock Revolution. "Holy Wars" was also featured in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, while "Hangar 18" was featured in Guitar Hero II and as downloadable content for Guitar Hero 5. Both songs have been described as amongst the most difficult songs in the series' history. In further pop culture, a reference to the ending of the "Hangar 18" music video was made in an episode of Duck Dodgers, an animated television series. In the episode entitled In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock, the title character resurrects Dave Mustaine from a cryopreservation to play loud enough to overload an evil alien device. Mustaine voices himself in the episode; the song "Back in the Day" from The System Has Failed album is featured.
A sequel to "Hangar 18" titled "Return to Hangar" was featured on Megadeth's ninth studio album, The World Needs a Hero. It concludes the fictional narrative begun in "Hangar 18", where the life-forms said to be contained in Hangar 18 come back to life and kill those inside the building before escaping. Both "Hangar 18" and "Return to Hangar" were played live consecutively on the live CD and DVD Rude Awakening, and That One Night: Live in Buenos Aires,. Also "Holy Wars" and "Hangar 18" were the two opening songs during Megadeth's performance at The Big 4 Live from Sofia, Bulgaria. Marty Friedman, who recorded on Rust in Peace, covered the song "Tornado of Souls" on his solo album Future Addict in 2008. Megadeth tribute band Primitivity performed an instrumental cover of "Hangar 18" on their debut cello rock album Plays Megadeth For Cello in 2010. Russian thrash metal band DeadXheaD covered the same song on their debut album Regressive by Default in 2006. "Hangar 18" was covered by Fairlight and "Holy Wars" was covered by Mind-Ashes on the Megadeth tribute album Megaded - A Tribute to Megadeth released in 1999. Both "Hangar 18" and "Holy Wars" were also featured on the 2005 compilation album Greatest Hits: Back to the Start, where fans voted on the track listing.
All songs written and composed by Dave Mustaine, except where noted.
|1.||"Holy Wars... The Punishment Due"||6:36|
|3.||"Take No Prisoners"||3:28|
|5.||"Poison Was the Cure"||2:58|
|6.||"Lucretia"||Mustaine, David Ellefson||3:58|
|7.||"Tornado of Souls"||Mustaine, Ellefson||5:22|
|9.||"Rust in Peace... Polaris" (5:44 on reissue)||5:36|
|2004 reissue bonus tracks|
|10.||"My Creation"||Mustaine, Menza||1:36|
|11.||"Rust in Peace... Polaris" (Demo)||5:25|
|12.||"Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" (Demo)||6:16|
|13.||"Take No Prisoners" (Demo)||3:23|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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