How does a metal act secure its place among the iconic? While there’s no science, per se, history suggests that it must satisfy certain criteria. Based on longevity and fan respect alone, one would assume that Megadeth is among the legends, but let’s see how they stack up:
1. Metal Melodrama: Dave Mustaine’s past feuding with former Metallica bandmates is well-established and of a high enough caliber to satisfy this step.
2. Narcotic Tomfoolery: Sure, it’s easy to miss this one when watching ‘Behind The Music,’ but rest assured Mr. Mustaine had his share of substance charades.
3. In-Fighting: If you’re a fan, then you’ve noticed there’s only one Dave in Megadeth these days. Apparently the easy way to get rid of Dave Ellefson was to break up the band, reform it a few months later and conveniently forget to tell Mr. Ellefson.
4. Megalomaniac Frontman: “Diamond” David Lee Roth might own the rights, but Dave Mustaine has spent more than most on licensing fees for this title.
5. Scary, Scary Mascot: Eddie is the king of all metal mascots, but Vic Rattlehead, in all his post-nuclear glory, plays the Barney Rubble to Eddie’s Fred Flintstone.
6. Macho Rallying Cry: Metallica had “Metal Up Your Ass”, Anthrax had the more esoteric “NOT”, but Megadeth takes it all with “Rattle Your Fucking Head Off.”
Based on the above, Megadeth clearly qualifies, and its entire body of work, although not always consistent, has produced more than its fair share of memorable tunes. But what seals the deal is the fact that Megadeth’s new release – Greatest Hits: Back To The Start – is the band’s second compilation of hits.
You see, when folks like Slaughter can release a greatest hits album, having one such record is not enough to establish your high metal rank. So Megadeth has done its wannabe brethren one better. Fans who already own Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years will have little reason to race out and purchase this latest offering, as the track list between the new and the old is almost identical. Of course, Back To The Start has the classic “Mechanix,” but even in its 2002 remix form, it still doesn’t hold a candle to Metallica’s “Four Horsemen.”
Bottom line: this is a fine compilation or Megadeth mix tape for those who don’t have something comparable.