Saturday, March 08, 2008

Megadeth on MoFi - Grooovy

It appears that MoFi - aka the Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs - will be tackling Megadeth's 1992 album Countdown to Extinction. Grooovy. I was a Megadeth fan for many years, around the same time that I really discovered Metallica, and found the thrash metal bands to be the perfect antidote to all that bad hair metal. Megadeth's Golden Age, where Dave Mustaine and company were really firing on all cylinders - coincides with the Countdown album.

Now, my first concern was that this record would be using the same materials as the digitally remastered CD's that Mustaine put out a few years ago. I am no fan of those remasters at all; in fact, I think they're uniformly terrible. But this album was relatively untouched and unharmed. I am hopeful that the wizards at MoFi will do the right thing, and give us the original music, and not the rehashed/re-recorded version.

I don't have any Megadeth on vinyl right now. It's impossibly hard to come by. There is the new album, but I've discovered, to my dismay, that my journey with the band had finally come to an end. I've been a Dave Mustaine fan for many years, and I cheered loudly when he sprang back from a career-ending arm injury and revived Megadeth with new musicians. But he's a different person now, far more cautious musicially, far more desperate to appeal to that narrow metal community. He's lost the musical diversity that made Rust in Peace, Countdown, and Youthanasia great albums. He turned his back on his pop instincts, a tragic misreading of the failure of the Risk album.

But, most of all, his worldview has shifted. Dave Mustaine has turned into Ted Nugent; just another fearful, right-winger who fetishes war and violence. What happened to the Mustaine who gave us the protest anthems of yesteryear? Countdown to Extinction was a very political album, and directed harshly against the right-wing policies of the Reagan/Bush years. It's so sad to see him spouting off Fox News fantasies about the "War on Terror." He should know better.

So I had to get off the wagon and follow my own path. Which is a shame. But I will be first in line to grab MoFi's reissue of Countdown to Extinction. You should, too.

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