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Megadeth‘s 1985 debut album Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! is widely regarded as one of the best in the genre. Though if you ask Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, the record was too ahead of its time. In an interview with Trece, Mustaine said Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? was his favorite record, but Killing Is My Business has since wormed its way into his heart.

“Oh, that’s hard to say [what my favorite is]. That’s like asking somebody to pick their favorite child. There are certain records that we have that were really influential in my life. Peace Sells was,” said Mustaine.

He continued: “I think Killing Is My Business was so ahead of its time that people didn’t really understand it. And that’s when art is at its best, when you get something new that you’ve never heard before. When you hear a record and it’s just the same old crap, nobody wants that. I mean, how long has it been since we heard a new band that was really fantastic, like a new Iron Maiden or a new AC/DC or a new Megadeth or a new Guns N’ Roses. We haven’t heard a band like that in so long that was something that we stopped and went, ‘Wow. That’s great.'”

In a 2022 interview, former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson revealed that Killing Is My Business was originally a lot slower until one fan wrote Mustaine a letter saying they hoped Megadeth would be “faster than Metallica.” So of course the tempos were increased and here we are nearly four decades later with a very fast Killing Is My Business.

“It’s widely known that the [Killing Is My Business] album is one of the fastest Thrash albums ever to descend upon mankind. However, rapid fire tempos in the band was not always the case. When we formed the group and first batch of songs were being composed in mid to late 1983, the tempos were much, much slower. In fact, almost at a Black Sabbath tempo. I recall ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ being almost half the tempo as it was finally recorded, which gave it this monstrous groove and weight. The same was true with ‘Chosen Ones’ which allowed me to play the bass lines with my fingers in a more Geezer-esque manner.

“However, one day a fan letter showed up to our mailbox addressed to Dave which pleaded, ‘I hope your new band is faster than Metallica‘ and BOOM that was it…game over! That night at rehearsal, all the tempos were increased dramatically (20-40 beats per minute minimum!) and thus the [Killing Is My Business] LP represents a true turning point in the trajectory of speed being the primary calling card of cool factor with the founding fathers of the Thrash genre. Exodus was already fast as hell and once Kerry King had seen them live, Slayer would follow suit.”

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