13

Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track from the thirteenth studio album by American Heavy Metal band Megadeth. It marked the recorded return of bassist and founding member Dave Ellefson, who returned to performing live with Megadeth in early 2010. It was the first Megadeth studio album since 2001's The World Needs a Hero, on which Ellefson had played.
  • TH1RT3EN was recorded at Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine's Vic's Garage studio in San Marcos, California with producer Johnny K, who has previously worked with Disturbed, Machine Head and Staind, among others.
  • The song and album title has several levels of meaning, which Mustaine, who started playing the guitar at the age of 13, revealed to Rolling Stone: "I was born on September 13th; this is my thirteenth record. It just seemed like it was the right thing to do to call it TH1RT3EN."
  • Ellefson told MusicRadar.com that this song "really epitomizes the story of Megadeth." He explained: "Before starting the record, Johnny K had read Dave's autobiography, and I think that helped him understand Dave's psyche, as well as what Megadeth is all about.

    As the song was being developed musically, the words started to spill out onto the page, largely from Johnny's conversations with Dave. If you ever wanted to hear a song that summed up the arc of Megadeth as a band, 13 is it."

    He added: "The song ends on such a high. Megadeth hasn't had a big, theatrical kind of song since 'In My Darkest Hour,' so now we've got another one with 13. It's the perfect ending to a great album."
  • Ellefson discussed guitarist Chris Broderick's contribution to this song with MusicRadar.com: "Chris Broderick did a great job with the acoustic and clean-sounding electric guitars. As a bassist, I love playing to those kinds of tones. They're very open, and they let me be creative with the licks and the lines. It's like bass playing from the 1970s, or even the '60s. James Jamerson, the great Motown bassist – I definitely tried to cop some of his groove, a very flowing style."

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