MEGADETH‘s Dave Mustaine has personally overseen a new 20th-anniversary edition of the band’s most popular album, 1992’s double platinum-certified “Countdown To Extinction”, to be released November 6 by Capitol/EMI.
After wrapping up their “TH1RT3EN World Tour” this fall, MEGADETH will perform the acclaimed album in its entirety on their “Countdown To Extinction 20th Anniversary Tour” this November and December.
Presented in a 2CD lift-top box and digitally, “Countdown To Extinction”‘s new commemorative edition pairs the remastered original album with a 1992 concert, recorded live at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, which has never before been released in its entirety. The concert audio has been newly remixed for this release. The physical and digital versions both include a booklet with a new liner notes essay by music journalist Kory Grow, and the 2CD box also contains a 24″ x 36″ poster and four collectible postcards.
“Countdown To Extinction”, MEGADETH‘s fifth studio album, was recorded in Los Angeles in 1992 as rioting raged across the city in response to the Rodney King trial verdicts. American tensions weren’t limited to L.A., by any means, as the Gulf War was still fresh in people’s minds, the state of the environment was becoming headline news, and President George H.W. Bush was seeking reelection in a heated campaign season.
Out of this turmoil, MEGADETH was inspired to create “Countdown To Extinction”, considered by many to be the band’s best and most accessible album. The group’s previous albums, including “So Far, So Good…So What!” and “Rust In Peace”, included songs that tackled topics like censorship and religious bloodletting in the Middle East. But none were as polemical as the sonic missiles launched by “Countdown”. MEGADETH laced the songs with acid-tongued commentary about subjects ranging from the futility of war (“Architecture Of Aggression”) to the senseless brutality of caged hunting (“Countdown To Extinction”). “Foreclosure Of A Dream” sampled George Bush‘s infamous “Read my lips” speech, making a statement about taxation endangering the American Dream.
Thanks to a perfect balance of hard-rock song structures, epic choruses, and fleet-fingered guitar work, “Countdown To Extinction” became an instant classic, benefiting from copious MTV and radio play. Spin magazine raved that “Countdown” “may just be the finest thrash-metal album ever made,” and before long, songs like “Symphony Of Destruction”, “Sweating Bullets” and “Skin O’ My Teeth” had entered metal’s canon of essential recordings. The album shot to No. 2 on the Billboard chart (it may have hit No. 1, if not for Billy Ray Cyrus‘ long chart-topping reign with “Some Gave All”), and it was certified double platinum in the U.S. within two years, with sales of more than two million copies.
MEGADETH was in top form, with Mustaine, the band’s then 31-year-old singer and guitarist leading the album’s assault with lyrics like “You know your worth when your enemies praise your architecture of aggression,” not to mention his venomous rhythm guitar attack. His band mates completed the picture, as lead guitarist Marty Friedman blazed with memorable solos, bassist David Ellefson jammed dizzying arrays of low-end thunder, and drummer Nick Menza attacked his kit. MEGADETH sounded hungry, and the band was rewarded when the album earned a Grammy Award nomination (“Best Metal Performance”) and when its title cut garnered a Genesis Award from the Humane Society for raising awareness for animal rights issues.
“Megadeth: Countdown To Extinction (20th Anniversary Edition)” track listing:
01. Skin O’ My Teeth
02. Symphony Of Destruction
03. Architecture Of Aggression
04. Foreclosure Of A Dream
05. Sweating Bullets
06. This Was My Life
07. Countdown To Extinction
08. High Speed Dirt
10. Captive Honour
11. Ashes In Your Mouth
CD 2 – Live At Cow Palace, 1992
02. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
03. Skin O’ My Teeth
04. Wake Up Dead
05. Hangar 18
06. Countdown To Extinction
07. Foreclosure Of A Dream
08. This Was My Life
10. Sweating Bullets
11. In My Darkest Hour
12. The Conjuring
14. Ashes In Your Mouth
15. Symphony Of Destruction
16. Peace Sells
17. Anarchy In the UK
Nov. 09 – Providence, RI @ Lupo’s at the Strand
Nov. 10 – Huntington, NY @ Paramount Theatre
Nov. 11 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
Nov. 13 – Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre
Nov. 14 – Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Nov. 16 – Atlantic City, NJ @ House Of Blues
Nov. 17 – Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre
Nov. 19 – Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Nov. 20 – Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion
Nov. 24 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ House Of Blues
Nov. 25 – Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
Nov. 26 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Nov. 28 – Kansas City, MO @ Midland Theatre
Dec. 01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Great Saltair
Dec. 02 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
Dec. 04 – Reno, NV @ Grand Sierra Theatre
Dec. 06 – Las Vegas, NV @ House Of Blues
Dec. 07 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theatre