Metallica: The First Four Albums – “Jump in the Fire”

The first ever writeup on Megadeth, aka 'Megadeath'

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Dave Mustaine might have had some of the best riffs on Kill ‘Em All, but he also had some of the worst lyrics. Consider his original lyrics to “Jump in the Fire”:

Sitting in my room with my head in my hands
I just can’t seem to move
I gotta get up, get out, get high
Get back in the groove
There’s a job to be done, and I’m the one
You people chose to do it
Now I tighten my belt, I’m sure you all felt
It’s time to get to it

So come on
Jump in the Fire
So come on
Jump in the Fire

Movin’ my hips in a circular way
Push forward a bit
Pull your body to my waist
Feel how good it fits
There’s a job to be done, and I’m the one
You people chose to do it
Now I take off my pants, a second chance to get down
So let’s get down to it

These must be some of the worst lyrics ever written in the history of lyrics. (See also original lyrics to “The Four Horsemen”.) If Mustaine had stayed with Metallica, would he have sunk the band with his one-track mind?

Fill ‘Em All?

The Rack Album?

OK, I’ll stop now.

Also, his solos at that time were pretty lame.

You can hear his terrible influence in various versions of “Jump in the Fire” below.

  • In the ‘82 demo from Ron McGovney’s garage, James Hetfield does all sorts of cock rock vocal affectations.
  • The Power Metal demo has Mustaine singing the song himself (I think) [Evidently I'm wrong - see comments].
  • In the No Life til’ Leather demo, Hetfield reclaims the mic, and sounds scarily at home with the lyrics. At least he pronounces “fire” “fiyah” instead of “fiawwwwwwwww”.
  • To use a phrase from Metalli-friend Umlaut, thank dog Hetfield stepped in and wrote some proper lyrics about “hell in my eyes” and “death in my veins”.

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“Jump in the Fire” (Ron McGovney’s ‘82 Garage Demo)

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“Jump in the Fire (Power Metal demo)

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“Jump in the Fire” (No Life ’til Leather demo)

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“Jump in the Fire” (album version)

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Speaking of Umlaut, check out the excerpt up top from his one-issue zine Whiplash, from 1983. (Paradise will be filled with second issues of zines.) It is the first ever writeup on Megadeth, er, “Megadeath”. More excerpts from Whiplash will appear in Murder in the Front Row, the book by Umlaut and Harald Oimoen (D.R.I. bassist), out on Bazillion Points in the fall – see details here.

— Cosmo Lee

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METALLICA: THE FIRST FOUR ALBUMS

Metallica: The First Four Albums – “Motorbreath”
Metallica: The First Four Albums – “The Four Horsemen”
Metallica: The First Four Albums – “Hit the Lights”

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