Megadeth Megadeth, the thrash metal quartet formed by ex-Metallica frontman Dave Mustaine, has established itself as one of the most commercially viable heavy metal bands of the 1980s and early 1990s. Mustaine formed Megadeth in 1983 after he was kicked out of the powerhouse metal band Metallica, supposedly for drug abuse. With Dave Ellefson on bass, Chris Poland on guitar and Gars Samuelson on drums, the band released their debut album, Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good, in 1985 on the independent label, Combat. The album received heavy praise from metalheads and mainstreamers alike and attracted the attention of Capitol Records, who signed the band later that year.
Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?, Megadeth's first major label release, went platinum after its release in 1986 and a successful 72-week concert tour established the band as a major arena draw.
Mustaine fired Poland and Samuelson, replacing them with Jeff Young and Chuck Behler for the recording of Megadeth's third album, So Far, So Good...So What?(1988). The album, which featured a cover of the Sex Pistols' anthem "Anarchy in the U.K.," went platinum and peaked at No. 28 on the album charts. Mustaine, whose heroin use was becoming a constant source of aggravation for band members and management, fired Young and Behler after the album tour and brought in guitarist Marty Friedman and drummer Nick Menza.
In 1990 Mustaine was arrested for driving under the influence, which landed him in a 12-step drug recovery program. By the end of the year, the band released their fourth album, Rust In Peace, and Mustaine was on his way to a new life of sobriety.
Successive albums, Countdown to Extinction (1992) and Youthanasia (1994) went platinum. In 1995 the band released an album of rarities entitled, Hidden Treasures. Megadeth's eighth album, the gold-selling Cryptic Writings, was released in June 1997.
The group recruited a new drummer, Jimmy DeGrasso, for the release of their latest CD, Risk, in August 1999.