Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | June 17, 2006

Killing Is My Business…And The Music is Genre-Defining

maybe i should thank the (lolly)pop-suckin’ indian music retail shops, that due to the inavailability of this awesome classic album….i’d spared myself atleast approx. 31 mins. of unheard thrash metal music that’ll give me an ounce of extra life from the same stuff and the deteriorating stuff that’s got onto my nerves. This is a biased article…as are all other DP’s Journal entries…so if u think different do comment positively about your view an don’t bother cursing mine.

Artist: Megadeth
Album: Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good
Year: 1985
Recording Company: Combat Records

This is one album that I’ve been trying to procure since like eons past and all albums except this one were always available. Forget the old (original) version…I never even came across the “Deluxe Reissue” which seems to contain Dave’s original artwork and 3 bonus demo tracks that the band presented to Combat Records to get a deal to release their albums. Anyways, what’s strange is the album Kill ‘Em All by Metallica which released earlier than KIMB is still available at most retail stores but not this one…was there only limited prints of this? I mean given that it had been poorly produced (with most money draining into drugs), maybe perhaps the poor sound quality was being seen as a deterrent to good amount of sales. So it’s more of value to a collector or one who trusts megadeth music and has really sharp ears/good set of speakers to make the songs audible enough. The most common experience that I relate with this album is the hesitation i have when i ask the innocent candy pop salesman in the retail stores. The scene’s as follows:
Sales Rep: Sir, May I help you?
Me: (From past experiences…I’ve learnt to keep the album name for last so…) I’m searchin’ for a Megadeth album.
Sales Rep: What is the album’s name?
Me: (poochh liya na?…ab le yeh sun!) Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good. I actually speak this out real fast…coz they used to check me out at half part of the album name… 😉
Sales Rep: No Sir, we don’t have that album.
Me: (Woh! toh main bhi dekh raha hoon!) Ok…Then I’m done with my window-shopping.. 😀

Let’s check out the tracklist and then onto songs of interest…I ain’t a musician, so can’t stress on the technical aspects much…you could ask this guy though. 🙂

  1. Last Rites/Loved to Death
  2. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good
  3. Skull Beneath The Skin
  4. These Boots
  5. Rattlehead
  6. Chosen Ones
  7. Looking Down The Cross
  8. Mechanix

the first song among these that i heard was Mechanix. It was the Metallica demo from a site nolifetillleather (the site is defunct now). It had all the demo versions of Kill ‘Em All and most of the demos of other versions. Mechanix is the alternate version of “Four Horsemen” that features on Kill ‘Em All. My first reaction was “it’s not the producer’s mistake…dave just plays sooo fast, how’s he s’posed to catch all those sounds”. I mean Mechanix finishes much earlier than Four Horsemen yet both are based on the same rhythm/riff. Themes of both the songs are almost diametrically opposite to the extent that it makes you realise the fact…that 2 sets of lyrics…completely different can be set on one music piece…instead of just adding a dhikchak dhikchak and calling it disco mix ’85. Later on, when I downloaded the KIMB version…one thing i noticed was even the final album version sounded as poor as the demo version…barely audible. I thought…damn! the P2P users…cheaters. Till I learnt of Dave’s priorities. To this day, I’d choose Four Horsemen over this song…simply because compared to it’s lyrics, mechanix sounds so crappy…unless you’re in a crappy mood and u wanna have a laugh at a sick joke. Besides Four Horsemen is Bigger, Longer, Uncut :p

I came acoss the title song (every song has a title…but am talkin bout the one that shares it’s title with the album) “Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good” (Live version…more crowd noise than Dave’s voice). This was first exclusive song from the album that I heard (Mechanix was a ‘Tallica demo). This song is about a hitman who talk about his …umm business and it’s good coz his next job is his employer. Just the kind of verses, I’d prefer to pen down. 🙂 But ek baat saaf nahin hui and that’s kinda the obvious reason why asking for KIMB album looks a bit odd…the thing is, why is the album named that when the rest of the songs are from different themes. One reasoning is the extreme anger that Dave anna had inside him for being thrown out of Metallica for the habits that all the other members had too….but dave was worse. Through all the years Dave has emerged out of his drug-induced stupor in which he wrote (and performed) some of the fastest riffs (guess what it must be lookin’ like — ♪…vroom vroom vroom!) Dave has come out of drug abuse quite well but the Metallica members are I guess still not happy that they couldn’t make him lose his share of fortune that he deserves…and possesses. Back to the song…the lyrics aren’t too lengthy, but the general rhythm is pretty much hummable (for those who love metal music i.e).

Got the rest of the songs after we got broadband at home. My most favorite and coincidentally the longest track in the album is “Looking Down The Cross”. The duration of the longest track is characteristic of Megadeth’s tracks …. quickly done in less duration….(deth is less painful that way.. :P). It’s about Jesus Christ looking down at the sinners for whose sins he gives up his life….what if he chose to watch them be at the mercy of Father’s wrath? What if he wished to bring harm upon all those who caused him to make this sacrifice? my kinda lyrics again…and awesome music….i’d say a lot of varieties here….surely must’ve been their best effort in those days.
Rest of the songs ,ordered according to my preferences, are as follows: –

  1. Last Rites: instrumental piece…forgot which symphony this is…this is one part of the last rites/loved to deth song
  2. Skull Beneath The Skin: cool starting…cool for me coz i’m a guitar dance or a music dunce…so it all sounds cool n amazing but fact is dave mustaine (and consequently megadeth) is amazing….and were more so in those days.
  3. Chosen Ones: like the general vocals in this song. Both chosen and skull songs that i have seem to be unclear in sound quality…like a bad mix of sound levels of the various instruments and dave’s voice.
  4. Rattlehead: Megadeth’s version of “Whiplash”…no no not a re-rendition…but a song about one’s experience at a concert (megadeth and metallica respectively). i prefer whiplash a lot more….but only the original version which is so damn fast. Rattlehead (Vic Rattlehead) is the name of Megadeth’s official mascot (unlike the scary guy logo of metallica…which james came up with…their logo if i’m not mistaken is the M-star logo), but the mascot is described in “Skull Beneath The Skin” while the song Rattlehead describes the experience of seeing him in a megadeth concert.
  5. Loved To Deth: This is the second part of the Last Rites/Loved to Deth song and has lyrics as well. It really isn’t a separate track or there isn’t a break in between the two parts like a fade out/fade in kinda thing….so it’s difficult to decide where Loved To Deth starts from… I assume it to be the part when the fast riff (by fast…i mean almost godspeed) starts into the song. vocals and music are typical (love thre irksome high-pitched ‘WoooW’) of both metallica and megadeth in their first albums…somehow that insane drive seemed to have vanished or lessened.

These Boots (Nancy Sinatra) need to be given a special mention and so am discussing it separately. It’s the only track that Dave and his band didn’t originally compose, but decomposed into the most vile and offensive lyrical assault….so says poor nancy. 😉 Besides being the only ‘cover’ song it was a feature of first 3 albums of Megadeth to cover songs in their own flavor. And if you believe deth delivered quickly is less painful….dave’s version of “These Boots” are crazily faster than the original version…And there weren’t any software or machines to artificially increase the tempo of the music to those levels….That was MEGADETH!
Why this song is special because given that Nancy cried and made Dave remove the original version from the reissued version (one version of the story is that the track’s been removed and the other is that the swear words have been beeped out, but the track remains). Now I wonder why not many people were having the version that I could luckily get….with all the original goodness.. 😀

I can’t really discuss about the album on the whole (perhaps like artwork or any stuff printed inside or anything…coz Dave stopped printing these and our retail shops will never have this album….AFAIK. However I hope this huge ‘look’ at the album proves to be informative to some extent and is my first attempt to write an unstructured review of a music album. Feedback….additional details….welcome. 🙂


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