Public Enemy No. 1 (Megadeth song)

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"Public Enemy No. 1"
Public Enemy cover.jpg
Single by Megadeth
from the album Thirteen
Released September 13, 2011
Recorded May–June, 2011
Genre Thrash metal
Length 4:15
Label Roadrunner
Songwriter(s) Dave Mustaine
Johnny K
Producer(s) Johnny K
Megadeth singles chronology
"Sudden Death"
"Public Enemy No. 1"
"Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)"
"Sudden Death"
"Public Enemy No. 1"
"Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)"
Thirteen track listing
"Sudden Death"
"Public Enemy No. 1"
"Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)"

"Public Enemy No. 1" is a song by the American heavy metal band Megadeth, written by Dave Mustaine. It is the first single and second track from their thirteenth studio album Thirteen, which was released on November 1, 2011. The song was commercially released as a single on September 13, 2011, which was Mustaine's 50th birthday. A music video for the song was released on November 5, 2011.[1]


The song debuted live in Hamburg, Germany on July 4, 2011, prior to its release as a single.[2]

On October 31 (Halloween), 2011, the band performed the song on the American late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!. As it was a Halloween edition of the show, the band members were almost unrecognizable, dressed in full costume: Dave Mustaine as Frankenstein's monster, David Ellefson as a werewolf, Chris Broderick as the Phantom of the Opera and Shawn Drover as a Bela Lugosi-style Dracula. The band also performed "Symphony of Destruction", but only a small portion aired over the ending credits. The full performance was made available for view exclusively on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! website.

Lyrical meaning[edit]

Mustaine has said that "Public Enemy No. 1" was written about 1920s gangster Al Capone. The inspiration was a possible haunting incident while the band was recording in an old building in Tennessee, which Mustaine described as being a "hideaway" of Capone's.

Music video[edit]

On September 20, 2011, David Ellefson announced that the band was filming a Western-themed music video for the song in Valencia, California. The video includes live animals and footage of the band.[3] The video was released on November 4, 2011.

Critical reception[edit]

Graham Hartmann of Loudwire gave the single three-and-a-half stars out of five, commenting that the song follows the standard Megadeth formula: "aggressive thrash and blistering guitar work", combined with Mustaine's "somewhat" clean vocals.[4]

Track listing[edit]

Digital single

  1. "Public Enemy No. 1" – 4:15


Chart (2012) Peak
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[5] 28





External links[edit]