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The 6 songs that Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine listed as favorites

Dave Mustaine


The 6 songs that Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine listed as favorites

The guitarist, singer and songwriter Dave Mustaine can certainly be defined as one of the creators of Thrash Metal, since he was originally a member of Metallica and then created his own band Megadeth. Although Metallica released their debut album shortly after Mustaine was fired by them, many of the songs composed in their first two albums were also credited to him since many of the ideas used were originally from him. So he certainly is one of the godfathers of that Heavy Metal subgenre and was a fundamental part of the movement.


But the musician didn’t grow up listening only to Metal and has a really broad musical taste. He showed that in an interview with My Planet Rocks (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) in 2023. Mustaine chose some of his favorite songs of all time and explained his choices. Rock and Roll Garage also tells you a little bit more about those tracks and Mustaine’s relationship with the bands chosen.

The 6 songs that Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine listed as favorites

Eric Johnson “Cliffs Of Dover”

“This is a guitar played that I really admire a lot. In fact, I had him introduced me by one of our previous guitar players. I had the chance to meet Eric to do a photo shoot with him. Then we got together one last time recently for the Jimi Hendrix tribute. Eric was there, Joe Satriani and he’s a great guitar player. I don’t know if you ever looked into that cat but he’s a really good guitar player,” Dave Mustaine said.

Born in Austin, Texas in 1954, Eric Johnson had his commercial breakthrough in 1990 with the release of the album “Ah Via Musicom”, which had the hit “Cliffs of Dover”. That album peaked at number 67 on the Billboard 200 charts. It also gave the musician his first Grammy Award. In 1992, the famous track was elected the Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

The Tubes “White Punks On Dope”

“I can remember we were cruising around Los Angeles at the time and I had liked The Tubes a lot. Some of their records they got a little bit weird but this song had one of the most powerful riffs in it. It just seemed to me kind of like they were like these damn and dirty street cops from New York and San Francisco. This riff just sucked you away,” Dave Mustaine said.

Formed in San Francisco, California, The Tubes are best known for their 1983 hit single “She’s A Beauty” but they also had many other tracks that became fan favorites, like the one mentioned by Mustaine. “White Punks On Dope” was featured on their self-titled debut album released in 1975, which was produced by Al Kooper.

Black Sabbath “Never Say Die”

“It’s a great song. (…) That record is just painful for the band to remember, I think. I think it was more than one time that another person sang on that record besides Ozzy, if I remember right. I think ‘Swinging The Chains’ might be a song that the drummer might have sing (Mustaine is right, it had Bill Ward on vocals).”

“But ‘Never Say Die’ for me was a great song. I did (with) the band Panic, I was in before I got into Metallica. Once Megadeth was formed we became friends with Ozzy, the guys in Sabbath and we got invited to do this ‘Nativity In Black’ tribute. Like I was saying, we weren’t the only bands that were asked to do it.”

“We did ‘Paranoid’ on the first one and ‘Never Say Die’ on the second one. We had this great idea to record it live in Denver. So our version we just spurred the moment, told the fans ‘Ok, we’re gonna do something right now. We wanted to surprise you, we’re recording this right now live’. The fans just thought that was the neatest thing ever,” Dave Mustaine said.

“Never Say Die” is the title-track of the Black Sabbath 1978, which was the last one with Ozzy before he was fired. He would only record a new studio album with the group in 2013 when they released “13”. As Mustaine said, he is a good friend of the members of the British band and Megadeth was even the opening act on some dates of Sabbath’s reunion tour that happened in 2013.

The Sex Pistols “Anarchy In The UK”

“I love the Sex Pistols, I thought Sid Vicious was a Rock star material. There’s so many people that have emulated him, you know. I don’t know if Elvis knew who Sid Vicious was, I don’t know if he was alive when Sid was playing.”

“But there was a very uncanny thing that they both did with their mouths. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, I thought Sid Vicious was a Rock star. Some of the Sex Pistols songs (are my) go to song whenever we were out partying,” Dave Mustaine said.

The Sex Pistols is another group that Dave Mustaine loves and Megadeth’s version for “Anarchy In The UK” is usually played after their live show ends. It was first featured on their third studio album “So Far, So Good… So What!” released in 1988.

Aerosmith “Rats In The Cellar”

“There’s a couple reasons (why I chose this one). Some people know about the little problem that we had with Aerosmith. My affinity for the band came when I was young. We would walk to rehearsal and there was some graffiti on the wall in this alley that we used to walk down. It was the ‘Get Your Wings’ logo and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I bought that record and I thought ‘Wow, this is a great record’.”

“Then when ‘Rocks’ came out I knew that these guys were the band that I wanted to listen to. Because they just seemed so raunchy, you know. ‘Sick as a Dog’,  ‘Rats in The Cellar’. That’s how I like to think of them, I don’t like to think about them in any other way. (They are) the band that I dug growing up. ‘Rats In The Cellar’ to me has a great riff and it’s a badass song,” Dave Mustaine said.

Written by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, “Rats In The Cellar” is the third track of their fourth studio album “Rocks”, released in 1976. That album performed really well at the time peaking at number 3 on the United States Billboard 200.

As Dave Mustaine noted, Megadeth was kicked out of the tour with Aerosmith back in 1993 due to Mustaine’s erratic behavior. They kicked the Thrash Metal band out after only three shows.

Iron Butterfly “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”

“The reason that I dig this (song) is because of its significance in the world as far as Heavy Metal tracks are concerned, you know,” Dave Mustaine said.

One of Rock and Roll’s longest classics, with more than 17 minutes, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was released by Iron Butterfly in 1968 and it became a huge influence to countless musicians. At the time it peaked at number 30 on the United States Billboard Hot 100.

It was curiously covered by Slayer, who did their version 1987 for the movie “Less Than Zero”.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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