1 Japanese bonus track
"When you play some of our fans our first album and right after that Cryptic Writings, they might say the albums were recorded by two different bands. We would have to be fucked up in the head, not to change at all during all these years. Besides I think, that about every single newly-released album of ours, you could say that its the biggest achievement of Megadeth." (Mustaine)
"It was really about being hungry and making the best record we could. There are some songs on this record which sound like old Megadeth, but done in the '90s. I was laughing recording it, because it's fast uptempo stuff that and we haven't recorded stuff like that since Rust in Peace, so I guess the challenge was trying to play those songs now without making them sound like we had retreated some old Megadeth material." (Ellefson, 1997)
"Our music is very aggressive, very heavy, and this is just another point in time for us. This record is reminiscent of early Megadeth stuff. It's hungry and has a lot of fire on it. We're playing hard!" (Menza, 1997)
"We wanted to take four different songs from each of the different eras prior to Cryptic Writings... what we did was go back to the Rust in Peace era and take four very heavy songs - we did "FFF," "Vortex," "She Wolf" and "The Disintegrators" - then we went to the Youthanasia period, which was the most recent period, and did four very melodic songs - "Trust," "Use the Man," "I'll Get Even," and "Almost Honest" - and then we went back to Countdown to Extinction, which was the definitive fork in the road, where we went from being just another speed/thrash metal/heavy metal/hard rock band, to trying to accomplish something with proactive lyrics, with melody - that's where you get songs like "Mastermind," "Sin," "A Secret Place," and "Have Cool, Will Travel." (Mustaine)
"... And at the same time, trying to do something better than what is was before, trying to evolve from those three places. We had a lot of success with those things, and looking back on the past like that, and seeing what we can do, if we could go back and do that better, and do it with a more futuristic goal in mind, is the way we approached all these things and made them sound like they should all belong in the same world." (Friedman)
"... On this record I would probably say that "Almost Honest," "Trust," "Use the Man" and "I'll Get Even," those are some songs that are pretty good radio songs. There is stuff like "She-wolf," "Sin," "FFF" and "The Disintegrators," you know those things are like all dubbed, pull all the punches, metal tunes." (Ellefson, 1997)
"The original album title was going to be Needles and Pins. The cover was supposed to be a girl holding a Cupie doll with a bunch of pins in it... she's stabbing the doll with a syringe in the chest. That didn't fly." (Menza, 1997)
What does the symbol on the cover of the album mean?
"It's called a veve [pronounced vay vay]... It's a voodoo symbol... It means that you can enter into a premises, that it's safe and there is no poison. It's a warning telling you where you can and can not go. It's also a direction. Most of the hobos were people who practiced voodoo. They would go from building to building whether it was a shanty or it was a shack. They would go in there and they'd find chalk writings on the wall that told them if it was a safe place. It was usually done with a burnt stick... When I first got the artwork back it was littered with voodoo symbols and all kinds of stuff. I told them that it was too heavy. I didn't want anything on there that would give homage to pagan gods and shit like that. I want it to be about the music. As it is, that symbol right there, we don't really know exactly what the combination of everything is. We know pretty much what the breakdown of each symbol is but it's like crossing different kinds of medications. You take two separate medications and they have a different and combined effect. There might be something where those symbols counter another symbol and turn it into something else." (Mustaine)
"That was hung over an entrance to somewhere and signified that there was no evil inside." (Ellefson, 1997)
The Argentinean edition of Cryptic Writings featured two bonus tracks: Spanish version of "Trust" and "Almost Honest (Environmental Mix)".
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