1984 and talk about being pumped for new Maiden! I saw the ad in Circus Magazine a month before the release date and I just couldn’t wait for it to hit the record shops!
As per protocol I was a first day buyer of Powerslave on Sept 2nd 1984! What a great way to start Grade 12! Ha those first two weeks of school back in Sept of 84 my home work was Powerslave! Boom! The artwork done by Derek Riggs was very detailed and of course with Maiden they included pics,credits and lyrics! I was mesmerized as a teen!
No wonder these guys are my fav Metal Band they knew the deal for the fans!
Nicko McBrain,Adrian Smith,Bruce Dickinson,Steve Harris and Dave Murray just keep the classics rolling…….
Scream For Meeeeeeeeeeee!
ACES HIGH- Rollin Rollin Turnin Turnin …Do It Again…….Rollin Rollin Turnin…Maiden launches an audio assault on my senses and Aces High is a classic right off the hop! Love the drums,bass and guitars synced at the beginning and before you know It Bruce is charging the vocals and giving it his all and he commands attention and by gosh I do! Adrian and Dave do their cool super-duper co leads and man oh man after being blown away by the Piece Of Mind Album(1983) Maiden take it up a notch and does it get any better than this?
TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT-Oh yeah that riff starts the Maiden Motor running…. Adrian Smith is the riff master and he launches the assault and not before to long theres Nicko and Steve rowing the metal boat to shore. Bruce as he always does delivers it vocally and who else can sing the line of Cut Their Meat,Lick The Gravy and make it sound cool? Bruce does! Adrian and Dave fling slick powered up solo’s and instead of rocking the song to the end Maiden chills out a bit (just a bit) and Nicko and Steve lead the pack.(picture Harris with his bass up in the air pointing it like a rifle) Holy Crap when i was 17 here’s Maiden continuing to set the bar high with this being album number 4 and there’s no relief in site!
LOSFER’S WORDS(BIG ORRA)- Maiden give Bruce a 4 minute break from singing and Flex there Maiden Musical Muscle with a smattering of Nicko cymbal riding smashes along with Dave,Adrian and Steve galloping along at a fever clip with a few musical time changes to keep us interested! Maiden 84 is not slowing down….
FLASH OF THE BLADE-Real cool intro on the guitar to this song and Nicko joins and were off. Flash Of The Blade is a Bruce tune about fencing(Bruce’s passion) Maiden even double up Bruce’s vocals in the chorus and give us an almost Maiden like single. Harris and his bass lay down some serious action on this song and Man I loooooove it! Crank the video posted…
THE DUELLISTS-More fencing as this song clicks in at about 7 minutes and has a real smooth prechorus with Nicko leading the charge and Bruce tossing out some ‘Oooooooh Oooooooooh Fought For The Honor’ Adrian and Dave get into some real neat duelling(duellists) guitars during the solo. Harris writes epic songs! End of story!
BACK IN THE VILLAGE-This is one of those sleeper tracks that features a real slick riff and it’s a boogie upped Maiden looking to kick down doors at the local watering hole! Bruce almost sings the chorus faster than the band which is trying to keep up! I really like Bruce after the Dave and Adrian solo workouts when Maiden rip back into the chorus and Bruce just chills with a “Yeah Yeah” vocal line! He doesn’t have to Air Raid Siren the screams all the time. Love it!
POWERSLAVE-This song is beyond epic! it features everything I love about Maiden. 7 plus minutes of heavy riffing inter spread with some chill pieces accenting the heavy guitar action especially during the solos. Nickos a warhorse on the drums,pounding and doing some real cool rolls throughout with Steve tiding it all up with the bass. Speaking of Nicko it was Tbone all those years ago that said that Nicko had the coolest smoothest drum rolls ever and to this day it has not changed. Bruce sings for his supper here. It’s his tour de force. The pace is which all others will follow. How about a HOORAY for the Power ending of Powerslave! Big smash and crash of drums colliding with the guitars and more smash and crash with more guitar collisions. Frigg Ya! I posted the live version of this song from the Powerslave tour. I don’t think there was a bigger show than this one at the time (1984-85) Also the mask that Bruce wears in this video was bought by him at a sex shop in L.A…hahaha. Funny that when I seen this video back in 1985 I thought ‘holy crap Bruce is wearing some real cool Egyptian mask’ haha……
RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER- Just like the song this little chat about this tune is gonna be long! Ha! So Harris delivers the track of a lifetime and I recall reading about the pre hype in Metallion Magazine that Powerslave was gonna feature the 14 minute tune Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and the Powerslave album was going to clock in as a whole at over 51 minute! Now thats getting your moneys worth. That alone sold me. MAIDEN MAIDEN more MAIDEN! Impressive that Harris and company could drop a real long a roo tune at the end of the album so to speak and it could still draw me in as a listener! power of music folks! More impressive is the fact that Bruce could nail each line live and not cheat with any help with the lyrics being taped all over the place to remember the words! Rime charges right out of the gate with Maiden loading up and delivering massive epicness of a sonic delight! At the mid-point you hear creaking of the ship boards like you’re in the middle of the Atlantic with Harry and Crew. It’s amazing to me that for Maiden during there Powerslave tour would hammer out this tune every night, city after city and toss in the usual after party treats they could still deliver it at a higher rate of musicianship than some of their peers at the time! (i’m not naming names!) WATER ,WATER Everywhere and all the boards did shrink. WATER ,WATER Everywhere nor any drop to drink! HOOO BOY ….them Mariner fella’s are in deep doo doo…
Samuel Taylor Coolridge was the poet who wrote the poem while Steve Harris wrote a tune about it! Harris has always been one of my favourite lyrcists as he wouldn’t write the same ole same ole of his counterparts. Rime is the best example of this.Harris was probably in his mid 20s when he wrote this and it just boggle my mind that he had and has that kind of creativity.
1985 i’m in Grade 12 English and one of our assignments was to dissect a poem by an author and present it infront of the class. Hip Hip Hooray I raised my hand quicker than Billy The Kid drawing his pistol! I’ll never forget my teachers reaction as i had pretty much said jack shit all semester but now it was Deke’s time to shine….’I’ll do Rime by Coolridge I blurted out loud!’ All those little Duran Duranie girly fans sitting in front row of Mr Babcocks class did not see this one coming…
Come presentation time not only did I show up with my notes of the poem(thanks Mr Steve Harris for simplifying the actual poem for me in song) but I showed up to class with a ghetto blaster(courtesy of Tbone) and the cassette of Powerslave(once again courtesy of Tbone as I only had Powerslave on vinyl)
I’ll never forget those front row girls doodling and dreaming of Corey Hart and Duran Duran and I plug-in and let the sonics of Maiden and Rime take over. No,the whole song wasn’t played that day in class only snippets but man I wish I could have snapped a pic. BOOM….DONE….Mr Babcocks Grade 12 English class just got Maidenized that morning!
When the dust had settled I scored a mid 80s mark took my seat at the back of the class and went back into my Grade 12 English Coma!
FINAL YAMMER-Maiden schooled me in metal more ways than one! It’s no wonder these guys are still my faves today. Powerslave delivers in spades. Mention must be made towards producer Martin Birch who delivers a dry sound with still enough punch that doesn’t gloss out the tracks sonically. Cool artwork and the inside sleeve had pics and lyrics and as per Maiden Protocol they would give the fans 110%. Hell even Tbone lapped up this album. Powerslave keeps the Maiden train rolling …..