To say that I wasn’t pumped about Maidens Piece Of Mind would be the understatement of the 80s. If you don’t believe me ask TBone. Poor guy was in a foot cast (soccer injury)the day I bought Maidens new release and I boogied up to his house zipped right into the living room bumbling with excitement about the new album in hand and tripped over his casted foot!! He squirmed and i peeled off a quick apology and bellowed out loud “NEW MAIDEN … NEW MAIDEN!!’ Good thing Tbones mom was not around she would thought a lunatic was rampaging thru there house! We still on occasion will talk about this and have a chuckle about it!
So there we are May of 1983 and finishing up grade 10 and what a Better way to kick It into overdrive with some new Maiden. I mean the build up for Piece Of Mind was huge. Circus Magazine,Music Express and Kerrang were all talking about it in print form and once I seen the adds that were in the magazines a month before the actual street date I was pumped/psyched you name it I had it! And had to get it!!!!
For me the first Maiden I ever bought was back in the summer of 1981 at Record On Wheels here in Tbay. I had enough money to buy one album that day and that one album was Maidens Killers. Although i came real close to buying Def Leppards On Through The Night( that would come shortly later). This was metal I had never heard before and every song was like a punked up metal tune due to Dianno’s vocals these songs cooked! Of course the following year in 1982 here comes Number Of The Beast with a new singer in tow (Bruce Dickinson) and Maiden is everywhere with the video(Run To The Hills) and in print and copies are flying out of the stores even Tbone joined the ranks with purchasing Number Of The Beast! Atta boy!
So back to 1983 here comes Maiden down the chute with Piece Of Mind and a new drummer in tow(Nicko Mcbrain) and well the hype was delivered !
Let’s see what Eddie the Ead is doin?!
WHERE EAGLES DARE- Maiden says we got a new drummer! And Nicko leads the charge with a song based on the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name! This is over 6 minutes of downright cool heaviness! The solos are wickedly good and well up to that point I thought the two Priest Guys(Tipton&Downing) were the dual lead guitar champs but here comes Davey and Adrian with a one two punch. Shit these guys are crazy good and of course with Harris and Dickinson delivers the song like he’s going into battle! Man this is only the first song of the album and Maiden is taking no shit from no one!
REVELATIONS- word on 22 Maiden Avenue was that Bruce contributed co writes on the Number Of The Beast but due contractual issues they had to keep his cowrites in house and not revealed to the public. Wether that’s the truth or not it doesn’t matter but man if Revelations is his first actual writing submission into the Maiden camp than WELCOME. Holy crap what a tune! Starts heavy…moves into melodic metal material than shifts back into metal than fires straight into some wickedly good soloing! Followed back into melodic metal mode! Whoosh! This is blowing me mind!
FLIGHT OF ICARUS- the single/video off of this and Muchmusic would play it weekly on ther Powerhour broadcast! Harris gallops along and drives the Maiden single well why did they call Maiden singles,singles? They’re like epic stories . This song is a very good track ….Fly on your way……
DIE WITH YOUR BOOTS ON-Maiden blasts off right at the gate and this is one of my fave tunes! Great vocals/ musicianship / great song and wow there’s backing vocals. Since this song is about war I wish Steve Harris woulda been my history teacher! I perhaps would have paid more attention!
THE TROOPER- this is epic Maiden. This song has been played on every tour since 1983! I think there would be a backlash if they forgot about this tune on a tour! Dickinson with his horse down bellows to the skies(what a great set of pipes)….Dickinson takes the reigns vocally on this album. Air Raid Siren they called him.
STILL LIFE-Maiden sticks it to the preachers and throws down some backward masking at the beginning with sumthin to the effects of “don’t meddle with things you don’t understand” hahaha. Good for you Maiden having a sense of humour as well! This song shuffles into a real snappy Chrous and well Still Life is just that.
QUEST FOR FIRE- don’t be late for history class as Mr Harris is taking us in the Maiden time machine back to the caveman days. I could picture a bunch of cavemen cruising around the earth looking for fire wearing there Piece of Mind tour shirts!
SUN AND STEEL-Maiden after the mid range tempo of Quest For Fire Maiden shoot off at a ton of speed right into super sonic Metal mode(would you not expect it??) this is Maiden making sure your senses aren’t letting down ! When Brucey sings ‘ break you both in two’ you know he’s not fooling!
TO TAME A LAND- this is about the book Dune and it’s amazing that Harris could take a 400 page novel and condense it down to a 7 minute epic track! This track has all the ball and whistles of prog rock! But Maidenized! So blown away was I by this track that I bought the book Dune due to Steve Harris. History 101 is now open!
IN CONCLUSION- Maiden kicked down all the barriers with this album and I kicked TBone! Seriously though Maiden separated themselves from all the party rock bands with this masterpiece(of mind )! The production it must be noted is awesome. It’s produced and mixed heavy. Well done Martin Birch! The sonics still hold well even today.