Megadeth: 12 Great (and Occasionally Obscure) Covers from the Thrash Kings

by Richard Bienstock
Posted Sep 28, 2015 at 6:27pm

As we wait for the release of Megadeth's 15th studio album—and first with new guitarist Kiko Loureiro and session drummer Chris Adler of Lamb of God—Dave Mustaine has been dropping clues as to what we might be hearing on the new effort.

Most recently, Mustaine announced a full track list for the yet-untitled album, which, in addition to 13 new studio tracks, also includes two covers: "Melt the Ice Away" from Welsh cult metal legends Budgie and "Foreign Policy" from Cali hardcore punkers Fear (whose singer, Lee Ving, once played with Mustaine in the mid-Nineties side project MD.45).

The two songs are in line with Megadeth's long history of tackling covers of tunes both popular and more obscure. Here, we take a look at 12 of the best from throughout the band's career.

1. “These Boots”
Perhaps the most infamous cover in the Megadeth catalog, this speed metal take on Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” was later pulled from all copies of ‘Killing Is my Business…and Business is Good!’ after the song’s author, Lee Hazlewood, charged that the alterations Mustaine made to his lyrics were “vile and offensive.” When the song was reinserted into the ‘Killing’ tracklist for an early 2000 reissue of the album, it was with long bleeps in place of the offending passages.

2. "I Ain't Superstitious”
Originally written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Howlin’ Wolf, Megadeth take plenty of liberties on their reworking of “I Ain’t Superstitious.” With its ominous lyrics and unsettling rhythm, the song, which follows “Bad Omen” on ‘Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?,’ is a perfect fit for the record.

3. "Anarchy in the U.K."
One of two Sex Pistols covers, this one is best known for Mustaine’s curious reworking of the line “I wanna destroy the passerby” into “I wanna destroy, possibly?”

4. “Problems”
Megadeth tackled this Sex Pistols number a few times in their career. One version appeared on the 1995 compilation EP, ‘Hidden Treasures,’ and another, from a session in 1988, on 2007’s ‘Warchest’ box set.

5. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
Recorded during the transition between the ‘So Far, So Good….So What!’ years and the fabled ‘Rust in Peace’ era, this Alice Cooper cover features only Mustaine, Dave Ellefson and drummer Nick Menza. It appeared on the soundtrack to the 1989 film, ‘Shocker.’

6. “Cold Sweat”
Mustaine has always been vocal about his love for Thin Lizzy. He finally took on the Irish rockers on 2013’s ‘Super Collider,’ covering their 1983 song, “Cold Sweat,” which featured shredder John Sykes on lead guitar.

7. “Paranoid”
Megadeth covered this Black Sabbath classic for the 1994 Sabbath tribute album, ‘Nativity in Black.’

8. “Never Say Die”
Megadeth returned to tackle another Sabbath song on the second installment of the ‘Nativity in Black’ series. This time, they went for a relatively more obscure track, the upbeat title track to Sabbath’s 1978 album.

9. “Out on the Tiles”
Megadeth’s version of this ‘Led Zeppelin III’ classic appeared as a bonus track on 2007’s ‘United Abominations.’ It’s a surprisingly faithful take on the tune, save for Mustaine’s vocal, which he performs an octave lower than Robert Plant’s banshee-like original.

10. “School’s Out”
Not a true Megadeth performance, per se, this cover of the Alice Cooper anthem features Mustaine and Marty Friedman joined by a host of rock and metal dudes like former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick and current Kiss drummer. It appeared on the 1999 Alice Cooper tribute album, ‘Humanary Stew.’

11. “Strange Ways”
Megadeth recorded this version of Kiss’ “Strange Ways” for the 1994 tribute album, ‘Kiss My A--: Classic Kiss Regrooved.’ It didn’t make the final cut, and remained unreleased until it appeared on ‘Warchest.’

12. “It’s Electric”
Megadeth covered this NWOBHM classic with Diamond Head’s Sean Harris onstage during the Clash of the Titans tour in 1990. It also appeared on ‘Warchest.’

Add a Comment

Similar Guitar News

Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Fires His Guitar Tech, Saying He'll "Never See His Stupid A-- Again" — Video (10/22/2015)
Megadeth's Dave Mustaine has uploaded a video message to his Periscope account in which he slams his former guitar tech. He actually calls him a "total waste of skin and life" in the video, which you can check out below. This is all the result o...
Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Discusses New Megadeth Album and Working with Guitarist Kiko Loureiro (6/16/2015)
“I think a lot of people are gonna be happy, because the music is really aggressive again,” says Dave Mustaine, discussing the sound of the material he and the reconstituted Megadeth have been recording in Nashville for the band’s upcoming 15th ...
Megadeth Premiere New Song, "Fatal Illusion" (10/2/2015)
Megadeth have premiered a new song, "Fatal Illusion," their first new track since 2013's Super Collider. The song is the first official taste of the band's upcoming new album, which features two new band members—Lamb of God's Chris Adler on dru...
Chris Broderick Discusses His Years with Megadeth, Act of Defiance's Debut Album (7/28/2015)
Being a hired gun has its advantages for a guitarist that just wants to play and doesn’t need the responsibility of writing songs, choosing what gets recorded and dealing with record label bean counters. But for ex-Megadeth guitarist Chris Brod...
Megadeth’s “Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good!” Percussive Acoustic Cover –– Video Finds (3/24/2015)
Sam Westphalen is a percussive acoustic guitar player from Australia with some seriously ferocious chops. And judging by his choice of covers, he also appears to be a huge metal fan (which we’re OK with too). We previously shared Westphalen’s...
'The Big Four' 8-Bit Video Game Featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax — Video (3/3/2015)
The crafty gang over at Loudwire have posted a new video called "'The Big Four' 8-Bit Video Game Featuring Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax." It is exactly what its title promises — and it's awesome. Here's the info posted along with the...
Harp Twins Cover Megadeth's "A Tout le Monde" — Video (2/19/2015)
Some of you out there might remember the Harp Twins, also known as Camille and Kennerly. The duo, who cover heavy metal and hard rock classics on harps, were featured on when they covered AC/DC's "Highway to Hell," Iron Maiden's ...
Guitarist Chris Broderick Quits Megadeth (11/26/2014)
Guitarist Chris Broderick has left Megadeth. Around 1 a.m. EST, Broderick posted the following statement via Facebook and Twitter: "Due to artistic and musical differences, it is with great reluctance that I announce my departure from Megadeth t...
Megadeth's Dave Mustaine Talks First Gig, First Guitar and Advice for New Players (11/5/2014)
Guitar World recently caught up with Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and hit him with these seven questions. What inspired you to pick up a guitar? My sister sucked at piano, so I just did it to drown her out. It’s the truth. My ex-brother-in-law had a...
Megadeth Vinyl Picture Discs Coming in November (9/15/2014)
On November 11, 2014, Universal Enterprises (UMe) will issue the first five platinum-selling Capitol Records Megadeth albums on limited edition picture disc vinyl for the first time in the U.S. Titles include 1986’s Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?...
Megadeth Launch 2014 World Tour, Announce Dave Mustaine Performance with San Diego Symphony (3/5/2014)
Megadeth are set to embark on a world tour in more than 25 countries across four continents starting in April. The tour follows a first-ever performance at Copley Symphony Hall on April 12, where guitarist Dave Mustaine will collaborate with t...
Megadeth's David Ellefson Discusses Altitudes & Attitude, His New Project with Frank Bello of Anthrax (2/2/2014)
Bassist David Ellefson had an incredibly busy 2013. With Megadeth he released Super Collider, the band’s highest-charting album since 1994’s Youthanasia. In October he released his memoirs, My Life With Deth: Discovering Meaning in a Life of...
Dear Guitar Hero: Megadeth Guitarist Chris Broderick Discusses Gear, Day Jobs, Learning Marty Friedman's Solos and More (12/10/2013)
He's the virtuoso lead guitarist in Megadeth and holds a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance. But what Guitar World readers really want to know is… I’m psyched for the new Countdown to Extinction: Live DVD. What was it like having ...
Megadeth Release Behind-the-Scenes Video from October 26 Mexico City Show (10/30/2013)
The guys over at MegadethTV have posted an official, behind-the-scenes video from the band's October 26 show at Foro Sol in Mexico City. Megadeth were the support act for Black Sabbath. Check it out below — and tell us what you think in the comm...
Interview: Joel McIver and Megadeth's David Ellefson Discuss Their New Book, 'My Life with Deth' (10/22/2013)
Rock and roll tell-all books are a dime a dozen. Countless rock veterans have joined forces with ghost writers and tossed band mates — former and current — under the proverbial tour bus. But Megadeth’s David Ellefson and journalist Joel McIv...