Megadeth set the standard for technical thrash excellence almost from the outset. Formed by Mustaine after he was fired from Metallica, an embryonic version of the line-up also featured Slayer's Kerry King for a short time before jazz musicians Poland and Samuelson were drafted into the line-up. The first two albums certainly lived up to the reputation that had preceded the band due to Mustaine's pedigree, but hideous drug problems plagued them and entire recording budgets were blown on massive binges. Line-ups came and went practically at the whim of Mustaine but by 1990 the band was solid and sober enough to create Rust in Peace, arguably one of the finest metal albums of all time. Megadeth conceivably peaked at this point. Record company pressure to produce a hit album caused their output to become increasingly bland and uninspired and by the release of Risk Megadeth had been reduced to a radio singles band. Gar Samuelson formed Fatal Opera and died of liver failure on August 14, 1999.
A change of label in 2000 seemed to breathe an element of life back into Megadeth and the resultant album displayed vestiges of earlier glories but a short time later Mustaine announced he was quitting the band due to an arm injury that restricted his playing. Megadeth ceased to be at that point; some two years later however, Mustaine began work on solo material that has since led to the revival of the band, although not without some controversy as Ellefson launched a massive law suit alleging contract breaches and loss of earnings, among other complaints. All was settled in early 2010, when Ellefson rejoined Megadeth.
Current (or Last Known) Lineup
|Musician||Instruments||Currently Also In||Used To Be In||Guest Appearances|
|Chris Broderick||Guitar||Jag Panzer, Nevermore||Warrel Dane|
|David Ellefson||Bass||Avian, F5||Tim "Ripper" Owens|
|Dave Mustaine||Vocals, Guitar||M.D.45, Metallica||Diamond Head|
Past Lineup (Members Who Never Appeared on an Album)
|Musician||Instruments||Currently Also In||Used To Be In|
|Gregory L. Handevidt||Guitar||Kublai Khan|
|James MacDonough||Bass||Iced Earth, Oracle|
|Jay Reynolds||Guitar||Malice||Metal Church|