Megadeth's third album, released in 1987, is probably the most distinctive of the band's "heavy"* albums, in that Mustaine's roots in 80's punk dominate most of the songs. Without knowing anything about guitarist Jeff Young and drummer Chuck Behler who were with the band only for this album, it seems logical to assume that they either influenced the music or were hired specifically because of their history in punk. The latter seems more likely, as every song besides the cover of the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK was written by (lead singer and guitarist) Dave Mustaine and (bassist) Dave Ellefson.

Picking up the album and looking at the front and back reveal the first clues of the punk infrastructure. The title of the album (a mockery of Bryan Adam's So Far, So Good) and of the second track (you might never have heard of the song I Don't Want to Set the World On Fire) throw back to the punk tradition of using antagonistic puns for song titles (Kill the Whales comes to mind). And of course, there's the third track, a cover of one of the most well-known punk bands of the day.

Hearing the songs on the album and identifying the punk aspect requires a small bit of familiarity with Megadeth's previous releases. To the uninitiated, speed guitar soloing and fast, complex riffs seem relatively prevalent from the first track (an instrumental) onward, but anyone who owns Peace Sells, But Who's Buying? or Killing is My Business... and Business is Good! ought to recognize the presence of many more chunky power chord riffs than were allowed to seep into the other releases. Also, the lyric content is more of the angry, finger-pointing, political variety (common to punk music) than the death/torture/occult material Mustaine used in prior albums. This is most evident in Liar and Hook in Mouth.

So Far, So Good... So What!

  1. Into the Lungs of Hell
  2. Set the World Afire
  3. Anarchy in the UK
  4. Mary Jane
  5. 502
  6. In My Darkest Hour
  7. Liar
  8. Hook in Mouth
* If you ask me, Youthanasia and all of the band's releases since it have been extremely lightweight in comparison to the first four or five... some fans argue with me on this point, but I think a casual, non-biased comparison proves me right

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