Iron Maiden released a classic on April 11th, 1988 This slab of new music was big news in my world for two reasons!
One was the fact that when I purchased “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” on April 11th it was the first-ever “NEW” release that I bought on CD by Maiden.
Two was the fact that Bruce Dickinson was back writing tunes which was a great thing as we all know what went down two years earlier in 86!
It’s funny how I remember what the weather was like that day in April. It was a sunny day as I rode my bike to downtown Thunder Bay and hit up Kings’ Stereo. I quickly left with “Seventh Son” not only for me on CD but also a copy for my younger brother Todd on cassette tape.
I was 20 years young in April of 88. My brother was 10. Todd needed to be taught the right to rock by me. Plus I was basically working full time and Todd was beginning to get into music. So it was a no brainer really.
(It all came together in June 2017 when Todd took me to Maiden’s “Book of Souls” show as an early 50th birthday present! It all came full circle!)
How about a concept album about a 7th Son, a book written by Orson Scott. Plus add the fact that this album was Maiden’s seventh album plus it tied in with the 7th Tour of a 7th Tour which was to follow.
Once home and I put 7th Son CD in my boom box I was floored by the opener “Moonchild”. Nice move to open with an acoustic snippet that leads into some massive power riffs by Maiden as drummer Nicko McBrain leads the charge behind that kit. Maiden had not given up on the synth-like sound on the guitars and I was a-ok with it. Once again another stellar opener of a tune penned by Adrian Smith and Bruce.
How about the brilliant artwork of Derek Riggs! What a great color scheme at having all the frozen Eddie’s on the back cover. Riggs always delivered the goods on Maiden covers and this one is no different!
“Moonchild” proved that Bruce was back 100% focused on delivering some more brilliance to Maiden and what a songwriting partnership Bruce and Adrian had going!
Not be outdone Steve Harris delivers the stellar “Infinite Dreams”. Another great track that features an awesome chorus that features an even better midsection when the song ramps up right before the guitar solos.
Smith-Dickinson-Harris team up on the next two tracks that is the lead-off single which got some decent video traction on MuchMusic which was “Can I Play With Madness”.
Following “Can I Play With Madness” comes “The Evil That Man Do” which has become a live staple pretty much on many a tour after. This song has a great drive and wicked solo by Dave Murray. Speaking of which Dave and Adrian with what they have done in there two guitar relationship are still to this day the best lead combo my old ears have ever heard.
“Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”(title track) is another one of those epic Harris written tunes clocking in just under 10 minutes. The key ingredient that makes this song work is Bruce doing what he does best and that’s delivering a superb vocal.
Hey, Folk’s look! Dave Murray hooks up once again with Steve Harris and they write the pretty cool “The Prophecy.”
“The Clairvoyant” is one of those ends of the album Gems! Harris composed this tune and in his lyrics, Bruce tells us all ‘That as soon as your born your dying’. No beating around the bush with Steve’s lyrics.
If anything after the chaos of Bruce not getting a writing credit on the “Somewhere In Time” album, it was interesting to see him and Steve hook up on the final tune “Only The Good Die Young” which ends the album on a rocking note.
It’s funny as at times I consider “Seventh Son” my favorite Maiden album but overall the North American reception was kinda frosty as attendance was dropping at the shows and the album only went Gold in the U.S which is wild considering a lot of people talk about this album. But what do I know as I dug it big time and still do!
Canadian Sales of 7th Son- Platinum
U.S Sales of 7th Son-Gold
Well, Folk’s I hope you enjoyed this batch of Maiden albums. I had fun flashbacking big time on these albums especially back to the early 80s when I discovered Iron Maiden back in 1981! I hope some of you that were on the fence about getting into Maiden maybe by reading my words will help you take the gamble to see what all the fuss was about in my world!