Hangar 18 (song)

"Hangar 18" is a song by American heavy metal band Megadeth from the 1990 album Rust in Peace. UFO conspiracy theories, or possibly Hangar 18, the 1980 film based on those theories, inspired drummer Nick Menza to write the lyrics.[citation needed] Shortly thereafter, frontman Dave Mustaine composed the bulk of the music. The intro is a rapidly strummed version of the D minor arpeggio that Mustaine wrote for the Metallica instrumental track "The Call of Ktulu", which was the final Metallica song for which he was given writing credit. Hangar 18 is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, and it is speculated that an alien aircraft was brought there from Roswell in 1947. The song reached number #25 on the Irish Singles Chart,[2] also reached number #26 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

"Hangar 18"
Single hangar.jpg
Single by Megadeth
from the album Rust in Peace
ReleasedFebruary 4, 1991 (February 4, 1991)
Songwriter(s)Dave Mustaine
Megadeth singles chronology
"Holy Wars...The Punishment Due"
"Hangar 18"
"Symphony of Destruction"

The song is also particular in that the bass uses a different tuning from the two lead guitars, the bass being in Drop D[citation needed] while the guitars are in standard tuning.

A sequel to this song called "Return to Hangar" was included on Megadeth's ninth album The World Needs a Hero. It tells the fictional story of the life-forms said to be contained in Hangar 18 coming back to life and killing those inside the building before escaping.[4]

"Hangar 18" was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, but lost to Metallica's Stone Cold Crazy. It won a Concrete Foundations Award for Top Radio Cut at the 1991 Foundations Forum.[5][6]

Music videoEdit

The "Hangar 18" video is themed after the song's lyrical concept. It depicts the torture of aliens and, at the end, shows all the band members in freezing chambers. The video was shot in San Pedro, Los Angeles at a Water & Power building. Coincidentally, the band would film the video for "Crush 'Em" on this same site nine years later.[7] An edited version of "Hangar 18" is typically shown on MTV2 which has the song length cut down drastically. During the intro to the video the song "Dawn Patrol" from the Rust in Peace album can be heard in the background.


"Hangar 18" since its launch has had few covers sung by other artists, most of all, included in those tribute albums to the band. The group Fairlight covered the song on the albums of various artists Megaded: A Tribute to Megadeth in 1999 and This Is the News! The Megadeth Tribute in 2007.[8] The Metal Allstars covered the song from album Megadeth Tribute in 2007.[9] The String Tribute Players also covered the song in 2009 from album Megadeth String Tribute.[10] The band DeadXheaD has also covered the song. The bands Necropolis, Deathinition, Lateralis, Rust in Beer, Rattledeth and Dirty Black covered the song live. A cover version was featured in the video games Guitar Hero II and Band Fuse.

In popular cultureEdit

  • The "Hangar 18" video is referenced in the Duck Dodgers episode "In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock", where title character resurrects Dave Mustaine (played by himself) from a freezing chamber to play enough heavy metal to overload an evil device.
  • An Easter egg in the computer game Deus Ex: Human Revolution contains the phrases of this song along with a mention of "Hangar 18".
  • The song appeared as a downloadable track for the Rock Band series and Guitar Hero 2 in addition to appearing as a playable track in Guitar Hero Live.
  • The song was referenced in The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", where soldiers enter Hangar 18 itself, the alien inside the Hangar also references Megadeth for it is holding a green gem (named the "Prober") similar to the album cover in Megadeth's Rust in Peace, where Vic Rattlehead, the band's mascot, is seen holding the gem.

Track listingEdit

  • US CD single (C2 15662)[11]
  1. "Hangar 18" (AOR Edit) – 3:17
  2. "Hangar 18" (LP Version) – 5:14
  3. "The Conjuring" (Live) – 5:06
  4. "Hook in Mouth" (Live) – 4:28

 • Live tracks recorded at Wembley Stadium, London, England on October 14, 1990.

  • UK 12" LP single (12CLG 604)[12]
  1. "Hangar 18" – 5:11
  2. "Hangar 18" (Live) – 5:14
  3. "The Conjuring" (Live) – 5:06
  4. "Hook in Mouth" (Live) – 4:28

 • Live tracks recorded at Wembley Stadium, London, England on October 14, 1990.


Chart (1991) Peak
European Hot 100 Singles (Music & Media)[13] 83
Finland (The Official Finnish Charts)[14] 29
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 25
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 26



  1. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Megadeth-Hangar-18/release/1537429
  2. ^ "Search the Charts". irishcharts.ie. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  3. ^ "Hangar 18". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  4. ^ Kotsonis, Christoforos. "Interview with Dave Mustaine and Al Pitrelli from Megadeth". Metal-temple.com. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  5. ^ http://www.concreteplanet.com/assets/RawOct30Nov12.pdf
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhTazTDzawA
  7. ^ Rosen, Craig "Megadeth Talks About 'Crush 'Em'; Donates Horse To School" Yahoo! Music (June 15, 1999). Retrieved on April 19, 2008.
  8. ^ "Hangar 18 by Fairlight". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  9. ^ "Megadeth Tribute". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  10. ^ "Megadeth String Tribute". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
  11. ^ "Megadeth - Hangar 18". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  12. ^ "Megadeth - Hangar 18". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  13. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles (See last week's position)" (PDF). Music & Media. April 6, 1991. p. 37. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  15. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Megadeth". Irish Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Megadeth: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.