Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (1983)

 

So now that Iron Maiden was becoming big business in North America the magazines that I bought back then Hit Parader and Circus were printing the ads for the upcoming Maiden album titled “Piece of Mind”.

May 16 1983 was like no other day. I was a first-day buyer of the new slab of vinyl that coming from the British five-piece.

So excited by the fact that I took my copy of “Piece of Mind” right up to Tbone’s as he was laid up with a broken foot due to a soccer injury. (maybe someday he will tell the tale of how that came about. lol)

I still remember bouncing into his living room and there’s Tbone laid up with his broken foot stretched out straight onto the floor.

I bellowed with glee and quipped “New Maiden, New Maiden ” and preceded to trip over Tbone’s broken foot which he hollered out in pain( a shrill as I recall) and I went down quicker than the Hindenburg onto his carpet but the album stayed firmly gripped in my hands as If I was a running back holding a football while being tackled going into the end zone on a game-winning touchdown.

I felt bad actually. Tbone’s Mom came in the room as there was the commotion of course between Tbone screaming and me hitting the deck on his living room carpet.

Tbone being the swell guy he is told his Mom he moved his foot in an awkward position.

I said nothing! lol

So as you can tell I was psyched by the album being out of course but when I dropped the needle on the opening track “Where Eagles Dare”. You know something was up.

That something up was a drummer change.  Gone was Clive Burr and in came Nicko McBrain and off we go as Nicko kicks off the album with a flurry of drums. What an opener, all 6 minutes and 8 seconds of it. 

Piece of Mind is an album of firsts. New drummer in Nicko but also a first in which Bruce Dickinson becomes a contributing credited songwriter in Maiden.

The second track in and it’s the Bruce only penned “Revelations”, which is such a classic song that features all kinds of tempo changes and some fantastic guitar work by Adrian Smith^^ and Dave Murray.

Steve Harris of the nine album tracks has sole writing credits on four songs that are “The Trooper”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “To Tame A Land”, and “Quest For Fire”.

You can see forming on this record was the writing partnership between Adrian and Bruce. They wrote together with the first single “Flight of Icarus” as well “Sunlight and Steel” while getting a helping hand from Harris on “Die With Your Boots On”.

Dave Murray even got into the writing with Steve on the very cool “Still Life.”

I love the production of “Piece of Mind”. Martin Birch did a brilliant job on the sonics of the record. It’s dry sounding, cold sounding record. No bells and whistles. Just recorded loud. Not overproduced. So great.

I love Gatefolds Part 4-see pic below

The album itself is a masterpiece as Maiden when promoting Piece of Mind went right into headlining mode in North America^ 

The band flexes their musical muscle as well. It’s one of those albums I can listen to front to back no problem and of the Bruce fronted album’s of the ’80s at times this one may be my favorite.

Being in High School(Grade 11) I have to thank Steve Harris for helping me with a book report when I picked Dune by Frank Hebert to review. “To Tame A Land” written by Steve helped me get my paper done on time and from what I remember was a solid pass from my Grade 11 English Teacher. (whom we called the Waxman)

Thank You, Steve Harris!

Piece of Mind released May 16,1983

Canadian Sales of Piece of Mind- Double Platinum

U.S Sales of Piece of Mind-Platinum

^-Maiden never opened up for anybody in Eastern Canada or Quebec. On the Beast On The Road Tour in the summer of 1982, Iron Maiden headlined in Quebec City to a crowd of 6000 than the next night they were back in the States opening up for The Scorpions.

I bought this copy of POM in Montreal back in 2017. When I got back home I showed my daughter Lexie the gatefold picture of the band sitting at the table. Lexie got a huge kick out of Adrian’s face(below) as Lex said “He looks like he’s about to toss his cookies”. (meaning vomit) Lol.

 

 

47 thoughts on “Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (1983)”

  1. I must admit I consider this one just a tad overrated. I really hate Sun and Steel. This could have been my first Maiden album but I went with Killers instead because it had more songs on it that I hadn’t heard. I still think I made the right choice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fair enough. That’s the thing about being fans is that we all have different opinions and what our fav songs/albums bands are.
      For me I found with the first four full length Maiden albums I liked the next one a little more than the previous one.
      But that’s just me. Thanks for stopping by..

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You can settle a dispute between Harrison and I now. We both agree that there’s one weak song on this album, but we don’t agree which one. My choice is “Quest for Fire” which I think has a lame lyric about dinosaurs and is just generally underwhelming.

    He dislikes “Sun and Steel”, which I love and think is a minor melodic deep cut great from the band.

    Up to you which is the better song. Go, Deke!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t care about the lyrics, the vocal melody bounces along nicely, as opposed to Sun and Steel which has that awful overused harmony on the chorus

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Nope. Not melodic at all. Ear receptor hairs literally committed suicide the first time I heard it. “Quest For Fire” on the other hand really bounces nicely and doesn’t kill my hearing capabilities.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This is my favorite Maiden album by a smidge, just barely beating out Somewhere in Time. I think the lyrics to “Quest for Fire” a goofy, but the riff that plays during the verses is so good it doesn’t matter what he’s singing. I’m really enjoying this series, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the entries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was actually the last album I got of theirs from the 80s as my first ones were Powerslave and Live After Death and I went forward with the releases before going back after Fear Of The Dark.

    Yep it was in the early 90s when I heard this album in full. I know, sacrilege.

    I think Die With Your Boots On needs to be in setlists forever.
    Then again the first 5 tracks are a vicious combo knockout.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Main thing Pete is that you got it! DWYBO is a great track. I was hoping that when I saw Maiden back in 2012 they would dial up that track as it was played on the 88 Maiden England Tour..da,ng but you can’t please everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah Thanks Max!
      I’m glad your reading along and when I decided to do this Maiden series I wanted to review it from my perspective as a fan as how many ways can I explain that I love the singing and guitar solos without going bonkers! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice! I too love gatefold albums. In fact, I was just listening to Alice Cooper’s “Killer” that opens up to the calendar with the pic of him hanging from a noose. Classic! Hope you are well. Rock on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s a collectors item for sure Jeff. Boy the Coop knew how to stir the post back than didn’t he?
      We are well here in Tbay. Hope your staying safe and getting those puzzles done. That one you posted the other day looked impressive!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, my wife couldn’t believe I knocked it out in less than a week. Taking a break from puzzles and playing more guitar and reading lots. Just finished “Dracula” and got my post up. Check it out if you are into the goth lit. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yikes, did your friend’s mom eventually find out about why he was screaming in pain?!?!? LOL! As soon as I heard “The Trooper,” I knew this band was special. But “Revelations” and “Flight of Icarus” are great tracks too. Kudos to Steve Harris for giving you a passing grade for that paper!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember at one point there was an Iron Maiden ‘Trooper’ beer – I still want to one day enjoy listening to the The Trooper while enjoying a Trooper.
    Though maybe just one, I wouldn’t want to end up looking like Adrian!
    Glad to read Maiden was able to help with the Dune review & hopefully they helped T-Bone recover from the injury swiftly too!

    Like

  8. Great memories of this album and you’re enthusiastic excitement over its release. And also your amazement at the new drummer’s prowess. Nicko may have looked a bit like a homeless, alcoholic but he sure didn’t play like one. Lol
    Great job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great stuff as always Deke. I am loving these gatefolds. This is one where I do own the original.

    It was probably 85, summer holidays. I needed to get Bob Schipper a birthday present and the record store at the cottage and they had Piece of Mind. I remember him saying he still needed it, so I got back. Back then we hadn’t fully changed over to tapes. So I got the LP. I loved looking at the cover while I waited to wrap it up and give it to him.

    Well his birthday came and he got Piece of Mind already at some point, so I got to keep it. And I loved it — played it a lot and a lot and a lot. Memorized the lyrics to Still Life. Then, 20 years later, the year I read Dune, I fucking MEMORIZED the lyrics for To Tame A Land. I should really write this up as its own story on my own site!

    Liked by 1 person

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