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Another compilation of hits from Megadeth. This time around the songs were chosen by the Megadeth forum members. But isn't it weird enough, that many a best-scoring song doesn't appear here? Why? Hey, money talks, if you didn't know! It says that "the track list for this collection is largely the result of a poll..." Yeah, largely, which is still true, because the singles scored well anyways.
I enjoy most of the songs here, even the 'Risk' (1999) one, 'Prince of Darkness'. But the problem is, that there are so many overplayed songs, which you hear in concerts or on a radio. Or then not, as these are 2004 remixes! Those remixes of all Megadeth albums from 1980's and -90's are something I don't want to hear. 'Kill the King' is a nice surprise at least, because it's more rare a song. If I'd make my own Megadeth "best of" CD, some of these songs would appear on it, but nowhere near every single one.
Why I bought this, then? I bought this because of the bonus DVD. I bet many Megadeth fans did, and will. I got this album as new for under 7 Euros, so it felt like a bargain. At least sort of. The DVD's main attraction is, as one would think, live at Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, Colorado 27th December 1999. However, only seven songs are available here, but probably because their studio versions can be found on the CD. Lame... The band sound incredibly bored, as there's no energy flowing at all. This was one of the last gigs for guitarist Marty Friedman, so Mr. Mustaine acted as usual to thank his band mate for all the years and mixed Friedman's guitar very, very quiet. Only Marty's solos and some other bits are really audible. LAME! Thank you, Dave Mustaine, for this totally unnecessary live abomination. It's not even of bootleg quality. The video clip for 'Kill the King' is the best thing here. It's "nice", that it appears here and not on 'Arsenal of Megadeth' with other video clips (minus 'Crush 'Em'). Simply too "buy 'em all" mentality from the record label and the band. Well, so is the video, because it is just a collage with cuts from older video clips...
This is NOTHING BUT AN AWFUL CASH IN, so a huge "fuck off" to Capitol Records!!! I wanted to write this as a warning! Only for true Megadeth completists, this one.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2010)
We have a mess of a greatest hits album. Without any knowledge of the whole Megadeth forum fiasco, it’s still a mess.
This was made to revive interest in the band for their comeback and maybe introduce their music to new fans, but fails due to its lack of early material. They overlook their strongest material in favor of a balanced attack from each album, which for this band doesn’t work! Why? Because Megadeth made their initial fan-base through their early thrashier material and this almost but not completely feels like it skims over that era. Another problem is that the tracks are not in chronological order, which due to the myriad of themes and styles of their work makes this feel a bit choppy.
All that said, this does give you a flavour from each album, good or not so good. Also none of this material is bad per se, but it could have been stronger.
Overall, “Back to the Start” is understandably hated by fans, but for those slightly curious to Megadeth this is an okay starting point. However people who really want to get into them should start with “Killing is my Business...and Business Is Good” and work their way up the albums.
I'm a member of the Megadeth message boards, and I am there quite often (my post count is a testament to this). When the webmaster and Dave announced that we would vote for the songs, everyone was excited, after all, we all knew that Dave wanted to do the right thing instead of releasing another Capitol Punishment. Boy were we wrong or what?!
I have no problems with the music. None at all. I like every single track, some more than others (IE A Tout Le Monde...I really can't stand it that much anymore). I was happy to see Prince of Darkness included, I liked the song, but after that, this isn't a review on the music, because we all know it's great. This review is a rant.
What the hell man?! Many songs had more than 2,000 votes and didn't make it, IE Take No Prisoners, Good Mourning Black Friday, TORNADO OF SOULS!!!! Instead, we get songs that were not voted on as much, or the singles, because all the idiots voted for the singles. And it would have been a much better deal if this would have been a double album, or a live album even, because the material here doesn't really do Megadeth's 20 years justice. We all know the songs, we want more. And the DVD is nothing to shit at either, it's just a bunch of footage from the Risk tour, which in itself was horrid because Marty was getting ready to leave Megadeth and those are some of his worst performances ever. Don't even bother buying this unless you want a copy of Kill the King, which is a great song.
The result of a months long survey of Megadeth forum users to decide which tracks to include on a greatest hits album. The way votes were recorded, however, says a lot about how poor this disc is. Each album was given its own poll on the forums and the tracks with the highest overall votecount were recorded. If the fans could have their way, the best of Megadeth would include most of "Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?", "Rust In Peace" and a few tracks from the rest. I consider "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good" and "So Far So Good... So What!" to be far more deserving of the passing mention they get here. The rest is really crap when compared to the '85-91 so call 'filler' material (like "Take No Prinsoners", not included here.) For a band with an already vast back-catalogue and already existing compilations still in print, it must be asked for whom this album was really compiled?
Sales figures for "The System Has Failed" indicated that, while Megadeth has a strong following today, it is not a band creating new fans with its latest releases. A greatest hits such as this, designed to lure in new fans, is therefore missing its mark. The song selection is highly unoriginal and so on the same token there are no old tricks to lure long time fans into a purchase by including one or two temping additions. For exampleI would have loved for Dave to do what Anthrax did with "The Greater of Two Evils" and re-record the classic Megadeth tunes with his new band, who are an amazing fit for Megadeth live (or even record another live album).
But since he didn't, this review really only functions to criticise the way this album was marketed and decided upon: under the guise of being for the fans of Megadeth on their official forums, it ends up not for new fans, not for old fans and is therefore totally and utterly redundant.
Mustaine has an undeniable talent for music, even though Megadeth's last albuns are quite regular he's a great musician. But in the last few years (or decade ?) he's showing to the fans another talent, to make us waste our money on shitty records (Risk pops in your head, right ?) or useless compilations (Why release something like 'Still Alive.. and Well?' ?), and now he present the fans again with: 'Megadeth's Greatest Hits: Back to the Start'.
The album starts off wrong, the name 'back to the start' should mean something like, songs from the first albums, classics such as 'rattlehead', 'set the world afire', 'devil's island', etc.. but no, the tracklist here features probably the most overrated songs of the band, something to MTV-freaks to buy. Even the classics on the album are very familiar to all the fans, yes.. 'Holy Wars', In My Darkest Hour' and 'Hangar 18' are good examples, in fact, these three songs you can find in 3 or more Megadeth albums, so.. buy the studio albums instead.
The only reason for a fan to buy this, is if you want to own all Megadeth discography, besides that there's nothing new here and you'll not want spend money to hear 'Prince of Darkness' again.
By the way, the name of the album should be: 'Still Alive.. and DEFINITELY not Well !'
So this is it - another Best Of compilation from Megadeth. The catch? This time the tracks were selected based on fan votes from Megadeth’s official forums. You’d think that leaving a compilation track list up to the fans would be the best possible way to get a good compilation album, but unfortunately, they even managed to fail at that. There is a reason it’s called “Best Of” and not “Mediocre collection”.
Yeah, you get a couple of awesome classics such as Holy Wars, In My Darkest Hour, Hangar 18, A Tout Le Monde and Wake Up Dead…but when it boils down to it, what else is there? There are seventeen tracks on this compilation and I can name at least ten that I’d like to see replaced with songs that are more deserving of recognition. Instead of delving into the days of when Megadeth actually meant something and wrote songs that even the test of time couldn’t dilapidate, the fans have chosen to take the contemporary road – a path that does not even come close to representing the best eras of this band. What happened to the underappreciated classics, like Hook in Mouth, Into the Lungs of Hell, Rattlehead and Take No fucking Prisoners? A man’s Megadeth compilation is not complete without Take No Prisoners, no matter how many classics you put on it.
Prince of Darkness, Kill the King, Dread and the Fugitive Mind, Trust, Angry Again…how many people gave or give a damn about these songs? This is like a hamburger without the meat. Please don’t put anymore money into Mustaine’s pocket and fueling his oversized ego by purchasing this piss poor release. All of you asshats who voted on this track list suck at life.
So imagine this. You'rethe frontman of an old metal band that has just released a quite average album. You have your ego and wallet to placate, but don't want to put in any actual effort into anything. So, you decide that it'd be a pretty good idea to wash your integrity further down the drain by releasing your third "best of" compilation in three years. And, the result, is of course, shitty.
Yes, this is Megadeth's third "best of" in five years, which is bad enough in itself. To further insult us, the metal consumer, Mustaine must have thought that it'd be a pretty good idea to not only keep on releasing these pieces of shit, but to also include a nearly identical tracklisting to one of the aforementioned best hits. I mean, at least Capital Punishment: The Megadeth Years had two new songs. This has nothing. This is a rehash of Capital Punishment with four extra songs or so added on and a few of the other ones taken away to make this album appear more "back to the roots". This is, in essence, bullshit.
So basically, this is in fact a complete waste of time and money. Not only does it follow in the past proud Megadeth "best hits" train of shitty song selection, but its also completely unoriginal in its song selection too. Good job and congratulations on this one, Dave.