Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Megadeth, those snarling, jazzy, politically charged Big 4 thrash OGs led by the singer-shredder and habitual provocateur Dave Mustaine. The group has many classic cuts to its name, but in our opinion, these songs are Megadeth’s most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
ALBUM: KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…AND BUSINESS IS GOOD
Written by Dave Mustaine before he joined Metallica, this double entendre–packed ripper evolved into that band’s “The Four Horsemen.”
Sample lyrics: “Made my drive shaft crank/Made my pistons bulge/Made my ball bearing melt from the heat.”
ALBUM: PEACE SELLS…BUT WHO’S BUYING?
Gruff riffs meet anti-establishment thinking.
Sample lyrics: “If there’s a new way/I’ll be the first in line/But, it better work this time.”
“HOOK IN MOUTH”
ALBUM: SO FAR, SO GOOD…SO WHAT!
Mustaine’s pointed assault on the censor-happy Parents Music Resource Center.
Sample lyrics: “Put your hand right up my shirt/Pull the strings that make me work/Jaws will part, words fall out/Like a fish, with hook in mouth.”
“TORNADO OF SOULS”
ALBUM: RUST IN PEACE
Fresh out of rehab, Mustaine looks ahead to better days.
Sample lyrics: “My future looks so bright/Now I think I’ve seen the light.”
“FORECLOSURE OF A DREAM”
ALBUM: COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION
The losing-it-all theme is probably better suited to embattled farmers than maniacal metalhead, but the song still rocks.
Sample lyrics: “To leave ain’t believing, so try and be tried/Insufficient funds, insanity, and suicide.”