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Megadeth's career has been one of the most spectacular and musically innovative in the history of heavy metal. For nearly 20 years, U.S.-based Megadeth soldiered on under the extraordinary vision of founder, vocalist, lead guitarist and principal songwriter Dave Mustaine. Most recently, the achievements of Mustaine, bass guitarist David Ellefson, lead guitarist Al Pitrelli and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso have occurred as an integral part of the Sanctuary Records Group Roster. For the past two years, Megadeth has undertaken a grueling, worldwide tour and promotion schedule.

2001's The World Needs a Hero was Megadeth's Sanctuary Records debut, and it marked a bold return to the band's powerful style after a few albums of controversial experimentation. The successful world tour generated Megadeth's first-ever live album; the double live CD Rude Awakening was just released on March 19, 2002, and the accompanying DVD and VHS home video hits store shelves on April 9, 2002. Both the Rude Awakening CD and DVD include 24 songs spanning Megadeth's entire career, including everything from classics like "Hangar 18" and "Symphony of Destruction" to The World Needs a Hero highlights like "Dread and the Fugitive Mind" and "Burning Bridges."

Last year, Megadeth was the subject of an episode of VH1's enormously popular Behind the Music series, and an expanded edition with more than one hour of bonus footage was released on DVD and VHS. Behind the Music examined Mustaine's well-documented drug addiction, which he ultimately beat.

Mustaine formed Megadeth in 1983, after he was fired from Metallica. This would have been a setback for most people, but not Mustaine. He was determined to start his own group. The music would be uncompromisingly heavy with intricately precise guitar lines, and the lyrics would take an unflinching look at serious subjects like the dark side of humanity and politics.

Megadeth's impressive discography follows:

1985 - Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good! 1986 - Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying? 1988 - So Far, So Good ... So What? 1990 - Rust In Peace 1992 - Countdown To Extinction (reached # 2 on the Billboard album charts) 1994 - Youthanasia 1995 - Hidden Treasures (songs collected from soundtracks and tribute albums) 1997 - Cryptic Writings 1999 - Risk 2000 - Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years (greatest hits) 2001 - The World Needs A Hero 2002 - Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good! (remixed/expanded) 2002 - Rude Awakening (live)

Megadeth alumni include lead guitarists Chris Poland, Jeff Young and Marty Friedman and drummers Gar Samuelson (who has since passed away), Chuck Behler and Nick Menza.

The musical legacy Megadeth has left behind is impressive. Even mainstream music critics couldn't deny the quality of Megadeth's output, and this respect resulted in seven Grammy Award nominations for Best Metal Performance between 1990 and 1997.

These Grammy nominations include:

1990 - Rust In Peace 1991 - "Hangar 18" (track from Rust In Peace) 1992 - Countdown To Extinction 1993 - "Angry Again" (track from Last Action Hero soundtrack) 1994 - "99 Ways To Die" (track from The Beavis and Butt-head Experience) 1995 - "Paranoid" (track from Nativity In Black - A Tribute To Black Sabbath) 1997 - "Trust" (track from Cryptic Writings)

For lovers of heavy metal worldwide, the demise of Megadeth is sad, but they will have nearly two decades worth of music to enjoy for the rest of their lives, and future generations of music fans not yet born will experience the thrill of discovering Megadeth.

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