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Album Review: Megadeth's so Far so Good so What!

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Dave Mustaine of the Band Megadeth in 2007

Dave Mustaine seen here during the filming of the video A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free) on March 8, 2007.

Dave Mustaine seen here during the filming of the video A Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free) on March 8, 2007.

Why is So Far So Good So What the Weakest Album Written by Megadeth in the 1980's?

American heavy metal band Megadeth was one of the big three thrash metal bands in the 1980’s and they were very successful. In 1988, the band released their 3rd studio album called "So Far, So Good So What!" This album may be the band’s weakest one written in the 1980’s in terms of musical quality. But before we get to that, let us discuss how the album begins. The album begins with the instrumental song called Into the Lungs of Hell. The song has some amplifier feedback in it. That is followed by very repetitive interludes being played. The next song Set the World Afire starts with some oldies style music in the background followed by the sound of a bomb dropping. The fast guitar picking is dirty and muted and this is one of the weak points in the album. This is an example of weak and poor production. The song is lyrically similar to the song Set the World on Fire by the band Annihilator except for the fact that the Megadeth song is about the effects of endless war on civilian populations whereas the other song is about how the citizens of a country can rise up and overthrow their oppressive leader. Then we have a cover of the Sex Pistols song called Anarchy in the UK.

Mary Jane is one of the defining songs of this album So Far, So Good, So What

Then comes the classic song called Mary Jane. Just like the song Devils Island on the band’s previous album, Mary Jane stands out to me as one of the finest songs the band has written. Dave Mustaine sings the words Mary Jane as the guitars kick in. The song is basically about someone that is asking GOD for forgiveness because they have sinned. Even more important than the lyrical themes of the song, the guitar work is VERY good! There is also a dual guitar sound in the beginning and this is something that the band Annihilator would focus on in 1993. On this album Jeff Young plays the guitars. The lead guitar work near the end of the song is fast and impressive. Dave Mustaine has had the habit of firing guitar players and drummers over the years but whether that has an effect on the songs themselves is debatable.

The Song Called "Mary Jane" (2004 version)

Songs 502, In My Darkest Hour, Liar & Hook in Mouth

The song called 502 is about someone that enjoys breaking the law by being reckless and driving fast. He is then pulled over by the police. In My Darkest Hour is a very good song and it is about someone that is going through depression and he is in his darkest hour. He is searching for a better place to escape from the pain that he is going through. He is asking GOD to send him on his way but he thinks that he has to die first. The vocals of Mustaine sound muffled and he sounds like he is drunk. The vocals are indicative of the hard times that he was going through in 1988. It was only 5 years after he had been kicked out of Metallica and he was clearly angry, frustrated, and willing to express these emotions through music. The song Liar sounds like a punk style thrash metal tune. The song describes what a con artist will do in order to get wealthy at the expense of others. The last song Hook in Mouth has a great bass line by David Ellefson that sets the tone of the song.

Weakest Megadeth album of the 1980's

How Good Is So Far, So Good, So What?

Overall, So Far, So Good, So Whatis the weakest album by Megadeth written in the 1980’s by Megadeth but it might have been the precursor for what was to follow the album. The best songs in the album are Mary Jane, In My Darkest Hour, and Hook in Mouth. As good as these three songs are it does not make the album an elite album and instead, it becomes just average.

This 3rd album by Megadeth has a few awesome hit songs such as the emotional “In My Darkest Hour” and the mentioned Mary Jane as well as the ending song “Hook in Mouth” which is described as a song that is anti-censorship. Mustaine said that the song is about those people that were interfering with people’s constitutional rights and taking away their freedom of speech.

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Final score: 70 out of 100 points (C)

Official music video for the song In My Darkest Hour

Drummer that plays on Megadeth's 3rd album

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the name of the drummer that plays on the album So Far, So Good, So What?
    • Chuck Behler
    • Gar Samuelsson
    • Nick Menza

Answer Key

  1. Chuck Behler

The song called "Liar" (2004 version)

Favorite Song on the Album So Far So Good So What

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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