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

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 (and Jeff Beck), 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. 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 Ass: 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.’

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.