Back Covers: Iron Maiden: Somewhere In Time(1986)

So I guess for me one of the Greatest Back Covers of all time would have to go to the ‘MIGHTY’ IRON MAIDEN and to the man who drew up the fabulous Back Cover as well as Front Cover the one and only Derek Riggs!

Riggs what I can I say other than the fact that he basically had me staring at Maiden Covers back in the 1980’s when I attended High School whereas I should have been doing Homework!

Job well done Mr Riggs in the form of Distraction!

Maiden’s brilliant release of Somewhere In Time was released towards the end of September 1986 so basically Maiden and the artwork took over my life for a few days as Maiden was priority and school work wasn’t! Well not quite true. I still got my assignments finished but look at this album. Every time I looked at it I would notice some other image that Riggs had drawn that I hadn’t noticed the previous hour when I last looked at it!

Riggs, man you messed me up to say the least! haha

Seriously though this is the Back Cover for me and probably for a lot of other Maiden fans  as well! Perhaps not for Riggs though as he explain’s below.

It wore me out quite severely,” Riggs states in Martin Popoff’s book Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs. “I was living in London at the time, and working on that for two months, and it took three months in all – I just had to stop, because I had enough. It got into my head and I just couldn’t see anything else. I couldn’t think about anything else. It did my head in, because there’re all these little details.”

So if you Google search the artwork for this album you will find that there are  a few articles claiming anywhere between 21 and 39 hidden references pertaining to the Front and Back Cover of the album.

No wonder Riggs lost his marbles on this album,

It’s almost like back than in 86 as there was no internet to read about or article’s for that matter to talk about this detailed album artwork you had to really check it out carefully for yourself.

The thing I love about this artwork  is the whole futuristic Blade Runner   Eddie that Riggs ran with  on the front cover but I still recall the trigger point for me to realize that this drawing  was going to feature a ton of Maiden references was the fact that Derek drew on the back cover  the Maiden guys with Bruce Dickinson holding a brain! Ah….Piece of Mind. 

From that point on I was Hooked! I started staring at all the images drawn on an album cover. All the little hidden detail’s involved like the Ace’s High Bar/L’Amours Bar(which I read in magazines as go to spot for bands when in NYC) Icarus/ Ancient Mariner Bar/Phantom of the Opera House. That’s just a couple I’m posting as there are many but one of my faves that Riggs put down was 23:58 meaning Two Minutes To Midnight! 

To be honest there were more than  a few I  missed and it wasn’t until I started searching for this post that I figured out the rest! Kudos to Mr Riggs for stumping this Fella for 33 Years! Talk about Wasted Years! haha…

So if you have a vinyl copy of Somewhere in Time kicking about do grab and take another look-see at it as I bet you see something you have been missing all this time!

If you only  have a CD copy of Somewhere In Time. Grab a magnifying glass so you don’t go cross-eyed!

What a detailed piece of Artwork and Design. Simply put one of if not the Best of all Time!

All Hail Derek Riggs! (cool first name-just saying !)







21 thoughts on “Back Covers: Iron Maiden: Somewhere In Time(1986)”

  1. I’ve only ever seen the front cover, but this is some excellent work – absolutely brilliant. I’m gonna have a search on Google, cause I’m not familiar enough with all their stuff to pick out too many references…. but man, no wonder it drove him bonkers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You still have on tape Rockstar Supa Paulie??
      HAHA…time to reacquaint yourself with it on CD or iTunes!!
      This album has become a sleeper favourite of mine in the Maiden catalogue..
      Hell I can even handle Alexander the Great now!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see I was in good company staring at this cover and driving myself bonkers at the time trying to figure it all out!
      Since I required this on vinyl a month or so ago it’s funny as I always dug Somewhere in Time bit now its getting up there as possibly my favourite ….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely got the 2 Minutes to Midnight reference when I first looked at the picture. I am not a Maiden enthusiast to pick up on too many of these references, but how cool for the die hard fan. One thing about Maiden, is they had some great covers over the years. Some of my favorites even if I am so-so on the music.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I spent hours seeking all these out while listening to Somewhere In Time. He did a similar thing in the hieroglyphs on Powerslave and in the little people in the fire on Number Of The Beast. He repeated the trick again on The 12” sleeve for Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter. It’s a shame Maiden dropped him for the newer albums

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You certainly nailed it dude! This album is a must own on vinyl for the back cover is which is a great as the front cover! How many times can you say that about an album?


  4. Another great album cover front to back . When me and my friends first bought this back in the day we all searched the cover looking for those hidden references. Riggs was the best illustrator. We always looked forward to his next Maiden cover to see what was he was gonna do with Eddie.

    Liked by 1 person

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