“So Far, So Good… So What!” is the 3rd studio album by American thrash metal band, Megadeth. It was released in 1988 on Combat Records and produced by Dave Mustaine & Paul Lani. The line-up for the album was Dave Mustaine (vocals/guitar), Jeff Young (guitar), David Ellefson (bass) and Chuck Behler (drums).
Following on from 1986’s “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?”, this is the first (and only) Megadeth album with Chuch Behler, after the former drum tech replaced Gar Samuelson. Ironically, Behler was himself replaced by his own drum tech, Nick Menza. It is also the only album to feature Jeff Young, replacing Chris Poland. There is not much more you need to know about Megadeth, and this album is highly rated by many of those that have had the pleasure of listening to it. Backed by Ellefson’s insane bass playing, straight-edged drumming from Behler and the credible guitar work of Young, Megadeth put out “So Far, So Good… So What!” – and it had to be a good album to match anything Mustaine’s former band mates in Metallica went on to release in the same year, namely “…And Justice For All”. Is it any good? Let’s find out!
Into the Lungs of Hell
The album begins with “Into the Lungs of Hell”, an instrumental which grabs you by the extremities and fails to let go until the last note of “Hook in Mouth”. The former song is a dark and heavy number which has all the hallmarks of Mustaine’s capability of playing a solo, and playing another solo, and another, and so on, which sets the tone for the rest of the album and is a very early favourite for song of the album.
Set the World Afire
This song blasts in with yet more Mustaine mastery, and before you know it the album is nearly 6 minutes in until a word has been sung. The song is about the aftermath of a nuclear war, and how mankind struggles to pick up the pieces to rebuild the human race once more. It has some tight playing from the band, none other than Behler’s use of double bass drums with hi-hat and crash cymbal.
Anarchy in the U.K.
This is, as a lot of people would have guessed, a cover song of British punk rock band, the Sex Pistols. There are a few changes in the song, Mustaine sounds angrier and Behler used the double bass pedals to full effect. There is also a guest appearance by Pistols guitarist, Steve Jones on the solo. It’s not the best cover of a song, but it’s not the worst either.
This is one of the shortest songs on the album and one of the ones that some don’t really enjoy as much. It is not a song about marijuana as some would think – but it is a song about witchcraft and a girl who was buried alive by her father. The intro to the song is excellent, but then it sort of tapers out a little too much for my liking and doesn’t have that Megadeth feel to it. However, the main riff does sound very heavy and breathes some life into it.
This is a song about drunk driving and being pulled over for a DUI (502 being the code for this). The narrator has a care free existence and doesn’t care what’s coming his way, even if it does mean being arrested. It’s a fast-paced song with some killer riffs and some equally insane drumming. This track is definitely one of the best on the album.
In My Darkest Hour
This record is a tribute to Mustaine’s close friend and former Metallica band mate, Cliff Burton, who died in a bus crash on 27th September, 1986. Mustaine wrote the song after he found of Cliff had passed on. The song is actually about the love of a woman who didn’t feel the same way, and how it could drive someone to extremes. Musically, it has everything from heavy hitting riffs to monster bass lines and storming drums beats. This is not just the best song on the album, it’s also one of the best Megadeth has ever done.
This is one of the heaviest songs on the album, and is about former guitarist Chris Poland and the way he stole Mustaine’s guitars to buy heroin. Musically it’s not one of the better songs and the chorus is just horrible.
Hook in Mouth
This ends the album on a high note, and is about anti-censorship in music, especially against the Tipper Gore fronted Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). The solo guitar work is just incredible, as Mustaine and Young trade blows. The lyrics are also very clever with the main chorus spelling out ‘Freedom’.
The solos on this album are of a high standard, the tribute to Cliff Burton on “In My Darkest Hour” stands out, and the production quality is great. Sure, there are better Megadeth albums out there, but this will still be in any fan’s top 5.
- Into the Lungs of Hell
- Set the World Afire
- Anarchy in the U.K.
- Mary Jane
- In My Darkest Hour
- Hook in Mouth