Youthanasia is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Megadeth, released on November 1, 1994. A remixed and remastered version, featuring several bonus tracks, was released in 2004.
The title is a pun on euthanasia, implying that society is euthanizing its youth, which would be consistent with bandleader and principal songwriter Dave Mustaine's views.
Youthanasia continued the band's trend toward slower, more melodic hard rock songs which began with Megadeth's commercial breakthrough album, Countdown to Extinction.
Lyrically, the album displays a variety of influences: mythology ("Elysian Fields" and "Blood of Heroes"), rape and incest ("Family Tree"), nuclear war ("Black Curtains"), gambling ("Train of Consequences"), and a hit that is about the last moments in life, "À Tout le Monde".
Megadeth's previous album, Countdown to Extinction, was tremendously successful and the band was faced with the daunting task of making an album to follow it. It was a time of problems and conflicts for Megadeth, in that every two weeks or so according to Mustaine, there were "outrageous emotional interventions" in order to make the group a democracy. Many band meetings during this period concerned Mustaine's creative control over a "successful formula", so that the band could better exercise their creativity.
Another problem was the indecision on where the recording would take place. Mustaine did not want to record in Los Angeles, so the band eventually decided to record in Phoenix in the home state of the majority of the band, Arizona. They began recording in Phase Four Studios (the studio in which the 2004 remaster was remixed), but due to problems they left and decided to find another studio. There were no likely choices in Phoenix, so producer Max Norman suggested building a studio of their own. The construction process was recorded on Evolver - The Making of Youthanasia. As of 2007, this is the only Megadeth album recorded in E-flat guitar tuning (guitar strings tuned down half a step). Most preceding and all subsequent albums are in standard tuning, (the exceptions being Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! and Peace Sells…But Who's Buying?). Live performances of the songs from the album are also played in standard tuning.
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