Impact Albums: Iron Maiden- Powerslave(1984)

 

Monday, September 3rd, 1984, started off like any other day. Grade 11 just began for Tbone and me.  It was back to the books so to speak except by the end of that day I was totally absorbed with the new Iron Maiden release ‘Powerslave’ that I picked up after school. Let’s just say that the first week of Grade 11 was a complete write-off!

IRON MAIDEN is Gonna Get Ya!

Indeed Iron Maiden! Hell, Tbone scored a copy of Powerslave on cassette tape none the less, so we were both off to the races!

When I got ahold of my vinyl copy of Powerslave I was blown away! The cover drawn by Derek Riggs is brilliant. What a fantastic total color scheme instead of using the natural colors( Black) of Metal album covers back in 1984!

Such intricate detail in the artwork on the cover! It was crazy good as I almost went crosseyed looking at all the hidden little messages that Riggs incorporated in the cover! I posted a small gallery below so you can see why I went studying the artwork of Riggs as opposed to studying Darwin! Click the pics below and see if you can find the sense of humor that Maiden could incorporate on there covers!

Now onto the music at hand! 51 minutes plus of Maiden wizardry spread over 8 tracks!  Hows that for getting your money’s worth?

Side 1.

The one-two opening punch of Ace’s High and Two Minutes To Midnight just blew my mind (and still do) as Maiden just soars into all things Metal with Steve Harris and his galloping bass locked in with Nicko McBrain on the drums.

The guitars of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith dip n dive into all kinds of zany metal notes that are brilliant riffs of rock! (how about that opening riff of Two Minutes to Midnight?)

Bruce Dickinson like he did on the previous two Maiden albums sings for his supper and delivers in spades as he always does and still does for that matter whether it is Bruce’s solo or Maiden tracks.

Losfers Words  (Big ‘Orra) is Maiden flexing their musical muscle as Bruce gets the day off for writing lyrics and singing as the rest of the boys romp n roll all over on this track. Pretty cool groove put forth by McBrain which the others follow!

The next two tracks Flash of the Blade and The Duellists are excellent tracks that have never been played live before which is a shame as they are stellar tracks.

Flash of the Blade solely written by Bruce tells the tale of his passion for fencing and this song drives forward at a crazy clip. Harris not to be outdone chips in with The Duellists which clocks in at close to 7 minutes that features some dynamite soloing along with Bruce taking the reigns vocally!

Side 2.

Back in the Village, a tune that was written by Smith and Dickinson deals with you guessed it War! The song drives at a super rate of speed, and both Adrian and Bruce hit this one out of the park come chorus time. Such a fireball of a track!

Powerslave another Bruce only written track is simply put, Brilliant! Everything about Powerslave is classic. Creepy Creeky opening followed by Nicko launching a full out metal assault of the tune. Powerslave deals with the Eye of Horus, which mean protection. Wisdom, health, and prosperity! The song builds up and then breaks down at the solo section only to ramp up again. Nicko, like he does, plays some awesome fills as Dave and Adrian lift off some fantastic soloing. Bruce must have known he had an ace up his sleeve when he presented Powerslave to the rest of the band considering the whole album and tour was based around this song!

Powerslave ends with Rime of the Ancient Mariner which is a 13 in a half minute musical tour de force written by Harris which is based around the poem written by Samuel Taylor Coolridge back in the 1700’s! Harris had a real knack for taking stories or movies and turning them into epic metal tracks. Rime is one of them. Considering its length the song moves at a decent clip as Bruce tells the tale of the Mariner while the boys deliver some severe playing and chops throughout.

When I was just about to turn 17 about a month after Powerslaves release tracks like Powerslave and Rime blew my mind as here are the Maiden guys in there mid 20’s writing about serious life stuff, not your ‘Hey Baby’ deal that was very prominent in 1984. Rime, especially as this, was a significant number when Maiden hit the road supporting it.  Maiden liked to party I’m sure of it, but man Bruce had to remember the lyrics while the fella’s had to know their music as shit could south quickly!  Amazing is the word that pops into my noggin!

Not only did Bruce have to memorize all the lyrics night after night on the 13 month World Slavery Tour as  Steve/Adrian/Davey and Nicko had to know there parts as well but Rime was also played night after night on 1986-87’s Somewhere On Tour!

Impressive!

What a huge game-changer of a metal album in my world in September 1984!  Maiden with Powerslave grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let me go and basically derailed me for a good week in getting any serious schoolwork done!

 

 

41 thoughts on “Impact Albums: Iron Maiden- Powerslave(1984)”

  1. Massive album Deke. Musically, graphically and lyrically. I have done so many posts on this album and the Live After Death album.

    I’ve stared at the cover, I’ve sat down to learn the songs, taped the video clips from TV, watched em and I still kept staring at the cover.

    Great write up and here’s to the “Eye Of Horus”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome Peter! We both were clobbered outside the head with this album.
      The part where​ you wrote…

      ‘I’ve stared at the cover, I’ve sat down to learn the songs, taped the video clips from TV, watched em and I still kept staring at the cover.’

      This was me just​ the other day! ha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, that’s another Impact ALbum as well! Actually, all of Maidens 80’s albums impacted me like that in the 80s.
        Man, I miss the 80s!
        How many times can I type the ​80s!??

        Like

  2. I have never been in to Maiden…more casual fan. But their covers are simply amazing. So much to see and explore. This sounds like a good one and I know, I need to really get in there an listen to them. Maybe I will finally cave and move off the casual part of the fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John check em out! Stream em and go from there. I’ve made it a rule to buy Maiden albums new on vinyl! For the artwork alone as I want that mint.
      I have all of Maidens stuff on vinyl from 1980-88. I’m getting there but to get it new is pricey so I keep checking Amazon to see if the prices drop and I will pick and choose from there.

      Never too late to get into them, ​my friend!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This was the first Maiden album that grabbed me. Flash Of The Blade is still one of their best deep cuts ever and the title track is maybe my fave Maiden song. Isn’t Back In The Village a sequel to The Prisoner? It’s full of references to the TV program.

    I’ve been getting all the Maiden vinyl reissues too. Got them all up to 7th Son. I’ll probably get No Prayer and then just stop there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great call Scott on Back to the Village as you are right! At the time I had no idea that was a sequel to the Prisoner!

      I would like to get A Matter of Life and Death on vinyl and a few others as well. Have em all on CD anyways but yeah No Prayer would be a good one as well.
      That one has become to me the Sleeper album in Maiden history.

      Like

      1. I would go Book of Souls than AMOLAD. We have similar tastes there my friend!
        My brother saw them 3 nights ago in Minneapolis and Bruce told the crowd they will be back soon with new material!
        Let’s see what Bruce tells me 4 nights from now when I see them in Vancouver!

        Like

      2. Actually, I like all the songs on BoS. Empire is way too long for my liking but I like the fact that they stuck there necks out and went for it.
        Maybe its as I heard the songs live from that album that resonates more.
        Great stuff. Even Final Frontier had some good stuff but BoS was way better.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I too would agree that Book of Souls is their best post Blaze album. I would also say that it is their best album of all time. Book of Souls just has so much variety to its awesomeness that the similarity (in terms of length and style) between the tracks of AMOLAD, that AMOLAD just can’t compete in my book.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. But yeah, I ‘m of the discipline that Maiden don’t have a single bad album, and that the only ones that are not ultimate masterpieces are Fear of the Dark, Dance of Death and The Final Frontier

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I bought it for a buddy a few weeks back for his Birthday. It was $25 on Amazon but I looked just now and it went up to 31 bucks..
      Sorry, I must have spiked it,
      It’s a very solid album! Flash of the Blade is wicked!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the Duellists too, seriously underrated one that. And I agree with the artwork, although all the Derek Riggs around Somewhere In Time is my fave.

    My metal uncle, who started seeing this lot just before the first LP says they were never better than on the tour for this one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Deke. I love this one… this and Fear of the Dark were my first Maiden albums back in the 90’s. Bought them both on cassette… I couldn’t pick a favourite of them.

    Obviously I gave up listening to Maiden when I got into all the alternative bands around 94, but when I picked up again a few years ago, those two felt like old pals.

    And the artwork? That’s the reason I need this one on vinyl!

    Like

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