Megadeth was formed in 1983 after Dave Mustaine was unceremoniously kicked out of Metallica due to violent tendencies, substance abuse problems, and conflict of interest. He teamed up with Dave Ellefson and together make up what are the only two core members of a rotating band lineup as good as any seen. No less than 20 individuals have played some part in the bands line up over the years due in no small part to the substance abuse issues that plagued its core members. Megadeth are known for their distinctive, technical, instrumental style, often featuring dense, intricate passages and trade off guitar solos, as well as for Mustaine's recurring lyrical themes including politics, war, addiction, personal relationships and religious themes.
In 1984 they were handed $8,000 US by their record company to hire a producer and finance their new album. Unfortunately the band spent most of the money on alcohol, drugs and partying, so they had to fire their producer and produce it themselves. Despite its obvious production limitations however, Killing is My Business… and Business is Good! was well received, including elements of thrash and speed metal. Mustaine was once quoted as saying "After getting fired from Metallica, all I remember is that I wanted blood. Theirs. I wanted to be faster and heavier than them." Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? marked Megadeths commercial breakthrough in 1987, with the album going onto sell over 1 million copies. Following the release of their next album ,which was also a commercial success, Mustaine fired two band members for substance abuse problems, not a lot different to his own. In 1989 Mustaine crashed into a off duty police officers car and was ordered into rehab, becoming sober for the first time in 10 years.
For the next decade, with Mustaine’s sobriety in check, Megadeth released another 6 successful albums before Mustaine was administered to hospital for removal of a kidney stone. Whilst in there he received analgesia for the treatment, triggering his long dormant addiction issues. Upon release from hospital he checked himself straight into rehab where he had a freak accident resulting in the loss of movement in his hand. Despite this setback he retaught his hand to play the guitar and went onto release two more albums with Megadeth, their eleventh, United Abominations, in 2009. Megadeth have sold over 25 million records worldwide and been nominated for 8 Grammy awards, with 8 consecutive nominations in the Best Metal Act categorie. Alongside Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax they are considered one of the four great thrash metal bands of the 80’s.