Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)

 

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!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “Iron Maiden: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)”

  1. No matter what, whenever I listen to this album I always enjoy the hell out of it. The best 80s Maiden album in my, and probably many others, opinion

    Liked by 2 people

  2. NOOOOO! MORE!! MORE!!! GIVE ME MORE!!! Great series Deke, enjoyed it a lot. You said that sells were down, but strange because people talk about it so much. That is the same with Kiss’ Creatures, Sells were poor and tour was poor, but everyone now seems to love this album and it is a massive fan favorite…maybe the same kind of thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good point John as Creatures and 7th Son are heralded now as classics. Back in 2012 Maiden brought back the show as an updated version so they gave everyone another chance! Lol
      Thanks for reading and commenting along the way.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lyrics:

    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son
    Seventh son of a seventh son (x50)

    The seeds of chorus repeat were sewn here. Technically in “Heaven Can Wait”, but I’ll excuse that one. This is what would culminate in “The Angel and the Gambit” years later.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Was that bewilderment at my pointed criticism of the repetitious nature of several Maiden choruses going forward, or Harrison’s ludicrous justification for “The Angel and the Gambit” not sucking?

        Like

  4. The Book of Samuel states that Jesse had eight sons, however the Book of Chronicles lists seven sons for Jesse with David being the last son. David’s son Solomon was his eighth son, but as an infant the first son of David and Bathsheba died after seven days without him being named, thus Solomon became the seventh son of a seventh son, which is interesting!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Andrew. I started and finished this Maiden series back in August when I was on holidays. If I had known back than that Maiden was putting out a live on the 20th of November I would have moved this to than,
      lol
      Kev says I should do one on Judas Priest!! I might just do that as I have a few on vinyl!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This album was such a big deal for me. My first Maiden release that I bought out of the gate. The first one I bought the singles before the album. The first one I had the T-Shirt for (the prophecy as above) and the first time I saw them live. Three times on the Seventh Son Tour. Damn I love every single note on this record. It’s a frikkin’ masterpiece

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 1988 Donnington. Sad about those two young kids that died enjoying something they loved.
        I should have tried to do Donnington back than before life got serious! lol
        I always loved reading KERRANG as well. Those writers partied harder than the bands but I’m glad Rock Candy is out there with all those old guys writing.
        They still got it..

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I went to Donington in 88 and though Maiden were brilliant, as was KISS, DLR and Megadeath, I was gutted for missing Helloween and Guns & Roses. Did see the Killer Dwarfs with Maiden later on in the year and that show was fantastic.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. So funny enough, I knew all about seventh sons of seventh sons even before this album came out. How?

    1987, the year before. I am still mad for GI Joe, but it was my last year for the line. This figure was released: Crystal Ball.

    https://www.yojoe.com/action/87/crystalball.shtml

    “Born of a Romanian father (who supposedly had “second sight”) and an American mother from Bangor, Maine, Crystal Ball actually was the seventh son of a seventh son…and such men, the gypsies of old believed, were possessed of supernatural powers.”

    So when Maiden dropped this album, I was already one foot in familiar territory!

    I too remember the weather the day I bought it. Walking to the mall with Bob, each of us buying a tape at A&A, walking home looking at the booklet, and then departing to our own houses and listening separately in our homes. Then days and weeks of discussions. He liked Infinite Dreams best.

    Riggs’ artwork is brilliant but also a bit of a mindfuck for us. Because of a Bruce interview I knew that it was his “get serious” art after so many relatively silly Eddies. We studied that art and all the singles and tried to figure out narrative. Past single covers seemed to tell a story but these ones baffled us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No kidding. That’s awesome you know all of the 7th Son back story before it came out. I had no idea what any of it meant lol
      But as I read interviews with Maiden I figured it out and it was amazing how they collectively made a concept album out of this stuff was a mind blower to say the least!

      Like

    1. I forgot to add that I was with my Bro when we caught Maiden in 2012 when they redid this whole Maiden England show.
      He has paid me back twice now in seeing Maiden so all is well in the world! lol Maiden speaking of course..

      Like

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