Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Dave Mustaine usually gets all the credit for creating Megadeth's fierce guitar attack on their classic early albums. But guitarist Chris Poland was an integral part of Megadeth's guitar tandem on what is considered by many to be two of thrash metal's first-wave classics (and an obvious influence on countless bands to follow), 1985's Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good! and 1986's Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? Born on December 1, 1957, in Dunkirk, NY, Poland was more influenced by jazz-fusion bands than heavy metal acts early on, which resulted in a relocation to Los Angeles during the late '70s to play in a jazz-fusion band with fellow New York transplant/drummer Gar Samuelson. By 1984, Poland and Samuelson had crossed paths with Mustaine, which resulted in the formation of what many consider the definitive Megadeth lineup (which was rounded out by bassist Dave Ellefson). Along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, Megadeth was one of the trailblazers of the thrash metal genre (which were heavily influenced by Motörhead and early Iron Maiden, and served as a reaction of sorts against the then-thriving hair metal scene). Judging from the aforementioned Megadeth releases, it appeared as though the Mustaine-Poland-Ellefson-Samuelson lineup would go on to become one of metal's all-time greats. This turned out to not be the case, however, as Poland and Samuelson would exit the band in 1987 under less than rosy circumstances (allegedly brought on by rampant drug abuse by all the bandmembers). Poland would resurface briefly as a bass player for punk rockers the Circle Jerks before launching a solo career, with the release of 1990's Return to Metalopolis. Poland would continue to issue sporadic solo albums over the years, as well as one-off releases with such bands as Damn the Machine and Mumbo's Brain, while also working with Megadeth in a sporadic, studio-only capacity (playing on demos for 1990's Rust in Peace, and on 2004's The System Has Failed). Poland continues to work with other acts, including OHM, and has appeared on a pair of releases by Lamb of God (2003's As the Palaces Burn and 2004's Ashes of the Wake).