Set off by an iconic bass line written by Mustaine and performed by Ellefson, the album’s title track remains one of MEGADETH‘s brightest moments — even if it was originally conceived as a very different song.
Although METALLICA and MEGADETH were clearly leading the genre circa 1986, the two bands weren’t exactly celebrating their achievements in the same room together. Poland recalls that considerable friction still existed between Mustaine and his former METALLICA bandmates at the time.
“I really didn’t know any of those guys,” he said. “Because of this whole feud, every time they were near me or whatever, I was just like, ‘Well, I don’t know. Should I go talk to them?’ I really wanted to talk to [METALLICA frontman/guitarist James] Hetfield about tubes and tone and how you do this and that, but I just never did.”
In September 1986, METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a tour bus accident at the age of 24. Despite what was going on between Mustaine and his old band at the time, Burton‘s tragic passing was deeply felt within the MEGADETH camp.
“Dave took that so hard,” Poland said. “That was really rough on him, because those guys drove to rehearsal together… He was out of it for days, just crying constantly.”