The success of Megadeth's break though single, "Peace Sells", is often credited to the snarling vocals of Dave Mustaine or the thundering bassline of Dave Ellefson. However, in a new interview, former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland has claimed that drummer Gar Samuelson had more to do with the track's composition than first thought. As Classic Rock, Poland credits the drummer for turning the song from an 8 minute marathon into the shorter, punchier version that we all know today:
"I think originally it was eight minutes long, and Gar said, 'You know what? This is too good a song to drag it out like this. Let's shorten the arrangement, cut it down to size and make it a single.'
"Dave said, 'Yeah, let's do that.' I honestly think Dave respected Gar's opinion on stuff he was the only guy in the band Dave wouldn't mess with.
"He totally respected Gar, and thank God he did, If Gar hadn't talked Dave into shortening the song..."
Samuelson played drums on Megadeth's first two albums; "Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good" (1984) and "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying" (1986). He was sacked from the band in because of his drug taking. Samuelson died from liver failure at the age of 41. Mustaine dedicated the remastered version of "Peace Sells..." to him. Poland originally left Megadeth in 1987 and spent many years embroiled in a bitter feud with the band. However, his frosty relationship with Mustaine has thawed in recent years. The guitarist even contributed some playing to the band's 2004 comeback album "The System Has Failed".