Megadeth: Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! [1985]

Released June 1985
Recorded Indigo Ranch Studios, Malibu, California, December 1984 – January 1985
Genre Thrash metalspeed metal
Length 31:25
Label Combat
Producer Dave Mustaine, Karat Faye

Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! is the debut album by the American Thrash Metal band Megadeth, released in June 1985 through Combat and Relativity Records. During the beginning of 1985, the band was given $8,000 by Combat Records to record and produce their debut album, but this proved to not be enough and so the band were given a further $4,000. Instead, a majority of the budget was spent on drugs, alcohol, and food so thus the band was forced to fire their original producer and produce the album themselves. Despite the resulting poor production, the album was a well-received effort that was credited for blending elements ofthrash and speed metal. The album explores themes of death, violence and social commentary. The album received positive reviews from most music critics.

The album featured a controversial cover of “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” and the track “Mechanix“, a song Dave Mustaineoriginally wrote for Metallica. A deluxe edition, completely remixed and remastered with several bonus tracks, was released throughLoud Records in 2002. It features vastly different artwork, with its cover based on the version originally designed by Dave Mustaine in 1985. Several songs from the album have been performed by Megadeth during their various tours.

Two months after lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica due to drinking, drug use, violent behavior and personality conflicts with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson formed Megadeth in Los Angeles.[1] Mustaine later said, “After getting fired from Metallica, all I remember is that I wanted blood. Theirs. I wanted to be faster and heavier than them”.[2]

Fueled by the desire for revenge, Mustaine elevated the intensity of Megadeth’s music, speeding up existing songs such as “Mechanix,” which Metallica’s new line-up adapted into the slower paced “The Four Horsemen.”[3] Also, the song “Last Rites/Loved to Deth” reinterprets the introduction of Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach, speeding up the tempo.[4]“Mechanix” is a song which Metallica reworked and retitled “The Four Horsemen”. Mustaine included his original version of the song on the album to “straighten Metallica up”, as Metallica referred to Mustaine as a drunk and said he could not play guitar.[5]

After unsuccessfully searching for a vocalist for nearly six months, Mustaine decided to handle lead vocal duties himself, while also serving as the band’s primary lyricist, main songwriter, and co-lead and rhythm guitarist.[6] Early in 1984 Megadeth recorded a three song demo, and on the strength of their demo, Megadeth was asked to be signed with the New York based independent label Combat Records.[7] Early in 1985, the band was given $8,000 by Combat Records to record and produce their debut album.[8] However, after spending half of the album’s budget on drugs, alcohol, and food the band was forced to fire their original producer and produce the album themselves, at the Indigo Ranch Studios, in Malibu, California.[8]

The album features the first of many covers performed by Megadeth: a speed metal version of Nancy Sinatra‘s classic “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’“, with lyrics altered by Mustaine.[9] The song sparked controversy in later years when the song’s original author,Lee Hazlewood, deemed Mustaine’s changes to be “vile and offensive” and demanded that the song be removed from the album. Under threat of legal action, the song was removed from all pressings released after 1995.[10] In 2002, however, the album was re-released with an edited version of the song, with the altered lyrics bleeped.[9] In the 2002 re-issue liner notes, Mustaine is strongly critical of Hazlewood, and notes that Hazlewood received royalties for almost 10 years before objecting to the altered version.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Dave Mustaine, except “These Boots” by Lee Hazlewood.

Original track listing
No. Title Length
1. “Last Rites/Loved to Death” 4:42
2. “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” 3:08
3. “Skull Beneath the Skin” 3:48
4. These Boots 3:40
5. “Rattlehead” 3:43
6. “Chosen Ones” 2:56
7. “Looking Down the Cross” 5:03
8. Mechanix 4:25
Total length:


1. Last Rites

[D. Mustaine]

2. Loved To Death

[D. Mustaine]

Your bodies empty now
As I hold you
Now your gone I miss you
But I told you
I remember bad times
More than good
There’s no coming back
Even if we could
I loved you to death
If I can’t have you
Than no one will
And since I won’t
I’ll have to kill
My only love, something
I’ve never felt
Now you’ve gone to heaven
And I’ll burn in hell
I loved you to death

[solo: Mustaine]

And now I’m down below

And what do I see
You didn’t go to heaven
Your down in hell with me
And now your coming back
Baby take me please!
I really think I would
If you weren’t such a sleaze
I loved you once before
You kept me on a string
I’d rather go without
Than take what you would bring !
I loved you to death

3. Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!

[D. Mustaine]

I am a snyper (?)
Always hit the mark
Paid assassin
Working after dark
Looking through the night
Using infra-red
My target on you
Aimed at your head
$10.000 up front
$10.000 when I’m through
And I know just what to do
And ya know I’ll do it too
Then I’m coming back for you
Back for you!
I do the “getting rid of”
Don’t tell me why
Don’t need to hear the truth
Don’t need the lies
Now pay me quickly
And now we’re through
It brings me great pleasure
To say my next job is you
Don’t you know that
Killing is my business
And business is good [repeat]
You’d better believe it

[solo: Poland]

4. The Skull Beneath The Skin

[D. Mustaine]

[solo: Mustaine]

Mean and infectious
The evil prophets rise
Dance of the macabre
As witches streak the sky
Decadent worship of
Black magic and sorcery
In the womb of the devils dungeon
Trapped without a plea

[solo: Mustaine]

See thing in agony
Necrosis is the fate
Pins sticking through the skin
The venom now sedates
Locked in a pillory
Nowhere to be round
Screaming for your life
But no-one hears a sound
Help me
Prepare the patients scalp
To peel away
Metal caps his ears
He’ll hear not what we say
Solid steel visor
Riveted cross his eyes
Iron staples close his jaws
So no one hears his cries
The skull beneath the skin
Now your drawn and quartered
Your bones will make the x
Symbol stands for poison
And it’s chained to your head
And as we fold your arms
To make the holy cross
We cross the crucifix
Religion has been lost
The skull beneath the skin

[solo: Mustaine]

5. The Boots

[l. hazelwood – D. Mustaine]

[solo: Poland]

You keep saying you got something for me
Some things you call love, but I call sex
You’ve been kissing when you ought-a-be-a
Screwing and now someone else can kiss your ass
These boots are made for walking
That’s just what they’ll do
And one of these days these boots
Are gonna walk all over you
[solo: Poland]

You keep lying and there ain’t no believing
And you keep same’n when you ought-a-be-a leaving
Now what’s right is right but you ain’t been right yet
These boots…

[solo: Poland]

You’ve keep dressing ways you shouldn’t be dressing
And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burned ha!
I just found me a brand new box spring mattress
What you know bitch you got a lot to learn
These boots… are you ready boots

[solo: Poland]

And you think I’m kidding, dont’ya?!

6. Rattle Head

[D. Mustaine]

Here I come
Stand up and plant your feet
Listen I’m letting off steam
Now throw your hands in the air
Let it loose I don’t fucking care

[solo: Poland]

Rattle head
A dose of metal you need
To bang your head til you bleed
It’s time for snapping some neck
Slashing, thrashing to megadeth

[solo: Poland]

Rattle head
You, your head is pounding with pain
You shake loose parts of your brain
Winning, sinning, beginning
Feeding, the needing for bleeding
Bashing, smashing, crashing
Frying, annihilating you!

[solo: Poland]

There’s someone back in the shadows
You feel though you can’t see his eyes
He’ll bash your head if you cross him
Ain’t quite your average guy
Don’t wear no leather to “fittin”
Don’t wear no spikes to be “cool”
Don’t want no woman beside him
Just make it fast, loud and rude
Rattle head

[solo: Mustaine]

I’m a rattle head
Rattle your goddamn head!

7. Chosen Ones

[D. Mustaine]

You doubt your strength or courage
Don’t come to join with me
For death surely waits you
With sharp and pointy teeth
An animal so vicious
No others fought and won
So on the field of battle
We are the chosen ones
Human bones blanket the dirt
Of the heathens lair
That we must pass this den of death
The only path from here
But I walk in the light
The time to die has come
No-one shall take my life
I’m of the chosen ones
Black shadows fill the sky
As the creatures eyes grow near
Raise the shield of the holy pilgrims
High into the air
Heavens powers fill my arms
Onward now to fight I’m sent
Oh the beast is coming
To put you to the test

[solo: Mustaine]

Now this land is mine to pillage
Rape, and steal, and take at will
Never let you cross this path
I reign for now I stay to kill

8. Looking Down The Cross

[D. Mustaine]

[solo: Mustaine]

Now before they take me
And my blessed life
Now you’ll know why death
Was summoned here tonight
I’ll recall my perils
They’ll kill me in pride
No, I can’t run away
There’s no place to hide
Though too much to live for

I owe enough to die
Ask not for salvation
My death shall mean their lives
Hatred and guilt the alter they’ve built
High priests of sun
Destiny, fate the wicked ones gate
Beckoning you in

Down the walkways
Through the blood stained town
Looking down the cross
Bleeding from the crown
Led to stay
To die besides the thieves
Kill the king
Of the world to be

And now to you, this will come
A putrefying pestilence
More noxious than the serpents breath
Malevolently destined
More corrupt than the malice of
More disease than the wind
Of the moonlight sun

Putrefaction you’ve caused
No need for confession
Now you wish you had a god
To stop your demolition
Crushing the bones of the hundred folds
Swinging the judgement hammer
Man, woman, child no-one is safe
The heads of the dead are the banner

And this was all you got
So down these broken wings
Sands of time run out
Bells of hades ring
Is this a nightmare
To unhallow thy name
Smell of brimstone
Dancing in the flames

No help now
As you fulfill his task
Chief of evil
Has got you by the ass
St free
To shaken the throne
Just a dream?
Your weeping all alone

[solo: Mustaine]

Looking down the cross
(speak no evil)
I’m looking down the cross
(speak no evil)

9. Mechanix

[D. Mustaine]

Imagine you were at my station
And you brought your motor to me
Your a burner yeah a real motor car
Said you wanna get your order filled
Made me shiver when I put it in
Pumping just won’t do ya know luckily for you
Who ever though you’d be better
At turning a screw than me
I do it for my life
Made my drive shaft crank
Made my pistons bulge
Made my ball bearings melt from the heat
We were shifting hard when we took off
Put tonight all four on the floor
When we hit top end ya know it feels too slow
I’m giving you my room service
And ya know it’s more than enough
Oh one more time ya know I’m in love

[solo: Mustaine]

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