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.