After being kicked out of Metallica in 1983, guitarist Dave Mustaine started Megadeth. The original lineup included bassist David Ellefson, guitarist Kerry King and drummer Lee Rash. Shortly thereafter Kerry King left for his old band Slayer and was replaced by Chris Poland and Lee Rash was replaced by Gar Samuelson. In 1985 their debut album Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good was released.
The success of their debut drew the attention of major labels, and Capitol Records signed Megadeth for their second album, 1986's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying. It was huge successful, and the band was poised to battle Metallica to be the most popular thrash metal band.
Mustaine's behavior was becoming erratic due to drug and alcohol problems. Prior to their third album he fired Poland and Samuelson, who were replaced by guitarist Jeff Young and drummer Chuck Behler. There were several more lineup changes over the years, culminating in the acrimonious exit of original member David Ellefson in 2002.
Injury and Recovery:
In 2002, Mustaine suffered a nerve injury and it was initially thought he may not be able to play guitar again. He used the downtime to remaster Megadeth's previous releases with added bonus material. Luckily he recovered and reformed the band with a new lineup to release 2004's very well received The System Has Failed. Mustaine also put together the Gigantour Festival that Megadeth headlined in the summer of 2005.
Megadeth's success continued with a couple of very successful CDs in United Abominations and Endgame. In 2010 bassist David Ellefson rejoined Megadeth after a contentious exit several years ago.
Current Megadeth Band Members:
Dave Mustaine - Vocals, guitar (Fallen Angels,
Metallica, Panic, Sanctuary)
Chris Broderick - Guitar (Jag Panzer)
David Ellefson - Bass (F5)
Shawn Drover - Drums (Dimension Infinite, Eidolon)
Former Band Members:
Gregory L. Handevidt - Guitar (1983)
Chris Poland - Guitar (1984-1986, 2003-2004)
Jay Reynolds - Guitar (1987)
Jeff Young - Guitar (1987-1989)
Marty Friedman - Guitar (1990-2000)
Glen Drover - Guitar (2004-2008)
Al Pitrelli - Guitar (2000-2002)
Jimmy Sloas - Bass (2003-2004)
James MacDonough - Bass (2004-2006)
James LoMenzo - Bass (2006-2010)
Lee Rauch - Drums (1983-1984)
Gar Samuelson - Drums (1984-1986) Died in 1999 Chuck Behler - Drums (1987-1989)
Nick Menza - Drums (1989-1998)
Jimmy DeGrasso - Drums (1998-2002)
Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums (2003-2004)
1985 Killing Is My Business...And Business Is
1986 Peace Sells....But Who´s Buying? (Capitol)
1988 So Far, So Good, So What? (Capitol)
1990 Rust In Peace (Capitol)
1992 Countdown To Extinction (Capitol)
1994 Youthanasia (Capitol)
1997 Cryptic Writings (Capitol)
1999 Risk (Capitol)
2000 Capitol Punishment (Capitol)
2002 Rude Awakening (live) (Metal-Is)
2004 The System Has Failed (Sanctuary)
2005 Back To The Start: Greatest Hits (Sanctuary)
2007 United Abominations (Roadrunner)
2009 Endgame (Roadrunner)
2011 Th1rt3en (Roadrunner)
Best Megadeth Albums
The top 5 best Megadeth albums, as selected by About.com Heavy Metal.
Essential Megadeth Album:
Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Their 1986 sophomore album was a thrash masterpiece. The guitar work is great, and Mustaine's lyrics are dark and twisted.