So today at work on my coffee break as I was scrolling my timeline on FaceCrack out of nowhere comes direct from Iron Maiden HQ’s the news that Maiden is releasing a live album to coincide with the recently finished Book Of Souls tour. Here comes the live album!
That was my first reaction. My second reaction was to show my pal at work Deaner the Maiden posting as well! This came out of nowhere and what a pleasant surprise as the studio album and tour were stellar!
November 17th 2017 is when this bad boy drops and I CAN’T WAIT!
The packaging looks spectacular! Check out the pics below!
Must also mention that Maiden is going to stream the Concert Video of this album for free at a date to be determined.
The full show recorded at various points round the globe!
The track listing is as follows!
01. If Eternity Should Fail – Sydney, Australia
02. Speed Of Light – Cape Town, South Africa
03. Wrathchild – Dublin, Ireland
04. Children Of The Damned – Montreal, Canada
05. Death Or Glory – Wroclaw, Poland
06. The Red And The Black – Tokyo, Japan
07. The Trooper – San Salvador, El Salvador
08. Powerslave – Trieste, Italy
09. The Great Unknown – Newcastle, UK
10. The Book Of Souls – Donington, UK
11. Fear Of The Dark – Fortaleza, Brazil
12. Iron Maiden – Buenos Aires, Argentina
13. Number Of The Beast – Wacken, Germany
14. Blood Brothers – Donington, UK
15. Wasted Years – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Posted the live version of Speed Of Light at the top of the page that Maiden dropped today as the lead single from Live Chapter!
So my Brother Todd back in January of this year received an email saying that Iron Maiden would be playing the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St Paul Minnesota on June 16th.
Todd was working up in the area of Hudson’s Bay(Manitoba) back in January when the pre sale happened so with crappy WiFi where he was working he drove 60 miles to get a decent signal and viola grabbed us two tickets which was good as all 15,000 tickets sold out in less than a few hours!
Todd was pumped that not only Maiden was showing up but they were bringing Ghost as an opener. Todd vouched for them but I was on the fence with Ghost as I tried watching some of their live stuff on YouTube but for some reason I could not grasp the concept of the whole Ghost shtick! Would they convert me?
So the day of the show we took off bright n early and headed to St Paul Minnesota which is right next door to Minneapolis Minnesota(Twin Cities the locals call it) and Todd was on the ball and got us a hotel within a 10 minute walk to the Xcel Center.
So about 3 hours before show time we headed towards the Xcel Center (where there was a bunch of Maiden fanatics hanging out by the doors a good 3 hours before door’s would open. We realised later why as the floor was general admission)which has a bunch of Burger N Booze establishments so we picked one and had a few beers and you knew Maiden was in town as there were a ton of Maiden shirts everywhere. Let me clarify that. A ton of dudes wearing Maiden T’s with a handful of woman wearing some as well…Kinda like being at a Rush show!
It was funny as once as we headed back to the Xcel Center on the entrance side of the building that we were going to enter into I counted 7 poh poh cars and one K-9 Unit sitting right beside the Arena. Ha! Guess they were calling in extra’s for the Maiden show thinking there was going to be trouble! Strong Arm Of The Law!
Once inside and tickets scanned it was off for me to the Merchandise tables and there must have been about 12-14 different Maiden T’s (One T was an Xcel exclusive in which we snagged a few of those stat) There was another table set up that was selling a bunch of silk screen covers of albums. All the bases were covered! Todd was talking to a guy who drove in from Des Moines Iowa for the show and he bought a couple of these Maiden only Minneapolis T’s and told Todd that he puts a couple up on eBay and gets about $150 U.S per shirt as Maiden fanatics will pay for rare shirts!
At 730 pm sharp Ghost hit the stage opening with Square Hammer and I was hooked! What a great opening song and let’s for a second talk about these guys.
Ghost consists of 6 members with the Lead Singer going by the name of Papa Emeritus while the 5 other fella’s names or well they call em Nameless Ghouls. Papa looks like during the first three numbers an anti Pope. Seriously but I will say he has a wickedly good voice that with an excellent band of musicians around him whoever the Ghouls in real life are. Opening number Square Hammer is a great track but it was the tune Absolution that made me really take notice. This tune blends heavy and melodic rock with a smattering of Alice Cooper vocally mashed with the Keys of Deep Purple. The two Ghouls on guitars are a show upon themselves getting the crowd into it with their demonic like silver masks.Papa after awhile ditches the Anti Pope deal and goes for Think Andrew Loyd Weber with a mix of Phantom Of The Opera. He even has quite a bit of humour at times between songs when addressing the crowd. Good to see these guys don’t take themselves that seriously except when it comes to the music its taken very seriously! I posted a clip of Ghost from St Paul playing the track Cirice. You can see how they have that edge throughout but can snap into a real melodic bit and snap right out of it. Great stuff.
I don’t think I have ever seen an opening act get this much stage space and a real good use of lights(purple and green dominated the set ) from a headliner. Than again it’s Maiden!
The crowd was stoked as this was Maidens first appearance in the St Paul/Minneapolis area in 17 years!
At 8:55 pm the opening keys of UFO’s Doctor Doctor filled the arena and you knew once this song was over it was time for Maiden.
I have to say the whole Mayan like themed stage is very slick-looking and as it filled with smoke out appears Lead Singer Bruce Dickinson perched above Drummer Nicko McBrain’s Drums and does his Capella opening to the first song of the night If Eternity Should Fail for a few minutes than the rest of the Maidens hit the stage amidst a blast of pyro it is definitely show time.
It’s official I lose my shit!
Speed Of Light is up second and everyone is at the front of the stage with Bruce handling his mic stand like a Fencer swinging his sword. Guitarist Janick Gers is a show upon himself. Doing a bunch of wind mill’s on his guitar like Townsend. The dude is a throwback to the late 70’s early 80s look complete with the bullet belt around his waist. Flinging his guitar around his neck/back,legs stretched out over the PA and at times tossing in a solo for good measure. Must mention I dig Bruce’s stage attire for this show. Cargo pants/Hoodie and Boots. The dude is hanging with Mayan’s!
Great to hear Nicko and Bassist Steve Harris lock in at the start of Wrathchild. Bruce lets off his patent Air Raid Siren scream and wow man the guy is so good! Childern of The Damned is played this night and right before Children, Bruce addressed the crowd and asked how many people at the show where born after 1982. (The year COTD was released) The response was pretty loud as this is what Maiden wants to hear. Kids getting into Maiden from their parents and plus it keeps Maiden themselves from becoming a straight nostalgia act! Case in point there was Dad sitting beside me with his two young teenage son’s.
Death or Glory and The Red And Black from the current album Book of Souls are front and centre and Death And Glory is a great track with Bruce “Climbing Like A Monkey” as he gets the crowd into it(watch the video below) and Adrian Smith plays some real slick slide guitar during the solo. The Red And The Black is epic and clocks in at over 10 minutes with spectacular lights and a boatload of guitar solo’s!
1983’s classic The Trooper complete with Bruce in a red war jacket jostling a Union Jack Flag cranked up the crowds even more as this is one of those tracks that you will always be played. My brother who plays guitar says that Dave Murray is one of the smoothest Soloists out there as you don’t hear his picking and he flawlessly goes up and down the fret board during his solo’s. Todd also mentioned on the drive home between Ghost and Maiden we heard probably over 60 guitar solo’s between the act’s. An exhibition in axemanship I would say!
Powerslave encompasses everything I love about Maiden. Ripping verse’s huge chorus/total chill out in the midsection of the tune and the solos of Smith/Murray bring the song back up and Nicko does those crazy rolls right before the song goes back into its final verse! Told Todd that this track takes me right back to when I first bought Powerslave the day upon its release back in 1984! Must mention as well the huge wall of fire upon Bruce’s entrance…Impact!
The Great Unknown with its melodic opening and ramps up and ends with an extended melodic jam with all three guitarists getting there shot at playing some bluesy like riffs while Bruce works the crowd( all night Bruce was pointing to the front/back/upper deck’s all sections were acknowledged throughout the show)
Bruce soars vocally on the track Book of Souls and basically is a 13 minute Maiden Metal Masterpiece especially when Nicko lifts the tune off into a crazy tempo during the solo and here comes at least a 12 foot Eddie swinging at Janick before Bruce takes Eddie’s heart out and chucks it into the crowd! Steve Harris has written many classic tracks but this tune is one my fav’s. Like Powerlsave (song) it encompasses everything I love about Maiden!
Fear of The Dark has Bruce running back and forth behind Nicko on and not missing a line vocally. Endurance the man has! Janick throws down a great solo on FOTD. Love the last verse as the band just rip it up and just like that it’s time for …
Iron Maiden! The classic tune from the self titled 1980 release is performed and there’s Eddie behind Nicko rising up and Bam out comes the fire/pyro off of Ed’s noggin and just like that …the show is over!
The stage goes red and The Number of The Beast is dialled up and you want a ton of fire set off look no further than this track complete with another round of Bruce’s Air Raid Siren wail at the start of the track. Love Smith/Murray’s solo’s and Harris when he razzle dazzles with that bass riffing after the guitar solo’s…
Blood Brothers is next and I’m going to post the video and Bruce actually thanks Dekes and Todd for showing up(kinda thanks us..check it out it’s at the beginning of the song about the minute and half mark)
Wasted Years closes the show and it’s a great Adrian Smith track complete with A Plus solo. Maiden end things on a high!
First of thanks to Todd for making this trip happen! Maiden is still the best live act around and considering Nicko just turned 65 it’s crazy that these guys are still playing at this level! The solo’s/vocal’s it’s like its 1985 again! No dip in anything folks!
Bruce mentioned that there putting this show to bed at the end of July and they will go away for a bit but will be back. So it’s not quite the end yet.
Umm… yeah when they come back…..Myself and Todd will be there again!
Yes folks today I’m cheating with a repost of this review from April 2016! The reason? Well I’m off to see Maiden Live in Minneapolis tonight(June 16th) and that’s thanks to my brother Todd who got us tickets on a presale as the show sold out in 2 days back in January! So thanx to Todd I’m outta here but fret not…Full Live Review….ASAP!
It wasn’t for the fact that Maiden after 35 years of albums would release a double studio album too psyche me out! Nope! It also wasn’t for the fact that Maiden as per protocol would have some tunes that clock in at 13 minutes and one at over 17 minutes! Nope…
It was the fact that in the credits as it listed the bands names their’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson credited with both vocals and piano!
Scccccreeeeeeech…..HALT! Yep my fine readers at Stick It In My Ear that is the difference between Maiden 2015 and Maiden 1985!
If you’re looking for Maiden speed metal in Aces High from yesteryear just keep on trucking. They can still hold down the Metal Fort thank you very much but their sound has advanced proggy,epic in spots,a different kind of recording beast in 2015!
Just like how Rush stepped up and delivered a classic in Clockworks Angels back in 2012. Iron Maiden step up and deliver what I would say is there best album since Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(1988)
Rush and Maiden have nothing left to prove but how they managed to step up and release such majestic epic recordings pushing the age of 60 years young is mind-boggling but yet for us Lovers of Hard Rock its a win win…..
Bruce Dickinson(vocals) Dave Murray,Janick Gers,Adrian Smith (all guitars) Steve Harris(bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums) are still alive and kicking into The Final Frontier(Ha!) ….No slouching around at Maiden HQ when Commander Harris is at the controls!
IF ETERNITY SHOULD FAIL- Ahhh so the proceedings begin with Bruce and some Voodoo Hoodoo Mayan like vibes. Yep all is fine with the Air Raid Siren and at age 57 his vocal pipes are as strong as ever and why wouldn’t they be? Before too long the rest of Maiden shoots out of the gate and I like the production courtesy of Kevin Shirley who keeps things dry in other words he doesn’t overproduce Maiden he keeps things sonically balanced. First thing is that I notice is Harris bass is mixed down and not that twangy vibe like some sonic beef was added to the grill. Great chorus and Bruce’s vocals just sail over and Frigg his voice is outstanding. Dig how the song shifts into a Steve/Nicko mashup before the solos are launched by the Three Amigos on guitar. What a powerhouse opener as Maiden always deliver on the first song on each of their albums! Stand up and take notice Fokkers! Must also mention that I dig Bruces old creeper voice at the end of this song where he talks…”Good Day My Name Is Necropolis…….” Love it! Also a round of Hip Hooray for a close to 9 minute opener!
FYI- I posted a live clip of this tune from Mexico a few weeks back! Check out the crowd at the beginning as you see now nutty the crowd is with beer flinging through the air people just flat-out Rockin! Well done people of Mexico! Plus you see how a frontman aged 57 named Bruce has not lost a step like the frontman he was at the age 27!
THE GREAT UNKNOWN- It starts off chill with some nice electric picking along with Bruce’s voice and then builds up into a heavy kick of Maiden Prog as Nicko sets the tempo with his driving Sonor drums and the chorus here is the money shot. Bruce soars vocally (Shocker! Not!!) and lifts the song as only he can do. Nice guitar work and as the song wraps up its back to where it began with some nice electric picking and Bruce’s voice!
THE RED AND THE BLACK- How about a 13 minute plus Maiden Attack as Bruce and Steve lead the charge from the get go and now about that guitar that cruises along with Bruce’s vocals during the verses. The Red And The Black has a bunch of music and it gets heavy proggy at the end and when you think it ends it keeps going and why not? Stop? Naaaa when the riffs are rolling keep em rolling! Nice interplay between all three guitars and I’m sure this song will go down a storm when played live! As per protocol the song ends as it started!
WHEN THE RIVER RUNS DEEP-Kinda could have been on the Somewhere In Time album from 1986 me thinks! The song super charges ahead and theirs Nicko riding that Paiste Cymbal like no ones business. When the song crashes into the verse Maiden slip gears and crank it up with a slower doomed pace with some slick backing vocals perhaps Bruce doubling up but regardless When The River Runs Deep is a great track! Freight Train Maiden Full Steam Ahead!
THE BOOK OF SOULS- 10 minutes of the title track and if you want tempo change look no further! This track sweeps through all kinds of musical landscapes meshed with the Maiden Synth firmly entrenched in the background but not overstepping the boundaries of the guitars of Dave,Adrian and Janick. One of the things I love about Maiden is right around the 5 minute mark the song does indeed shift gears and that’s thanks to Nicko as he does his smooth as silk drum n tom rolls and Maiden go into the zone and blast off with solos and its back to the Prog but Maiden Heavy Prog!
DEATH OR GLORY-A nice little ditty that kicks ass! It launches right out of the Maiden Gate with all hands on deck! Nicko is smashing the cymbals while the guitars play off each other and man oh man there’s the Air Raid Siren stretching his tonsils and laying down a great vocal. Believe it or not it’s a Maiden tune under 6 minutes! Video is posted so play it please!
SHADOWS OF THE VALLEY- The beginning riff is straight outta Wasted Years kinda and this tune would have fit nice and snug on side 1 of Somewhere In Time! Tons of Maiden synth fill the backspace along with Maiden ensemble! Great tune and better solos. Nice pace as well!
TEARS OF A CLOWN- A song inspired by Robin Williams (RIP)and its a fabulous piece of musicianship,lyrics and voice! It’s all here. Love the Crispy Crunch sound of the guitars and the amped up Maiden Synth during the chorus. One great track but I have been saying that all along this review haven’t I!?
MAN OF SORROW-A mid tempo track that is paced once again by Nicko and the features a ton of Maiden triple guitar combo attacks and also features some real slick bass playing by one Mr Harris! Nice Cymbal riding at the end of this tune!
EMPIRE OF THE CLOUDS-And Here It Is …Piano! Ha! But well done and played by Bruce(what can the guy not do!) Cellos sweep across the backing of Bruce’s Piano playing and it’s a great hook! Nicko does his marching snare to Bruce’s vocals! Amazing that Bruce composed this tune about a Military Airship ( to understand the scope of this the Titanic could have fit in this Airship!)pre Hindenburg and can keep the song and more importantly us the listener interested as the song clocks in at 18 minutes! Yep 18 minutes! It’s a journey it’s not Metal but Maiden keep it moving as for the first time ever in Maiden History the piano drives the tune! Epic comes to mind! I know people were going on about Bruce only writing a couple of tracks for Book Of Souls. This qualifies as about 3 plus tunes! Give the guy a break! Ha! Fantastic song! It ends how it started with Bruce at the piano!
Holy Heck Maiden show up yet again and knock me on my ass! A double bubble epic album release. If you’re a reader at Mikeys site you know this was my Numero Uno #1 of album releases in 2015! No one came close!
Live After Death is in the upper echelons of my all time favourite Live Albums Period! Still to this day!
Shall we rewind back Somewhere In Time?
A week after my 18th Birthday in October of 1985 Iron Maiden drop on my senses this Double Whopper Of A Live Album. The Double Whopper being its a Double Album.
Live After Death was released on Friday October 15th 1985 to be exact and I remember this day well as I had seen the ads in Circus Magazine pre hyping it’s release a month or two before and I was chomping at the bit to go and fetch this upon its release which I did after the school bell rung on that Friday. Basically barricaded myself in my bedroom with this album for the whole weekend! Frigg ya as Maiden as per their protocol went all out on this album. Cool artwork by Derek Riggs Double Gatefold Sleeve/Tons of Pictures/All the tour dates/Lyrics/Pics/Stats (like how many guitar strings and pics were used and how much booze was consumed) you know the important stuff involving suds! Even the Road Crew schedule was posted!
I drooled as here I am in Tbay with my head fried from my Grade 12 Sociology Class yet Maiden and band mascot Eddie made me forget the hard trials of school that day and well….
So here it is Iron Maiden recorded over 4 Nights in Scream For Me Long Beach( California ) on there very successful World Slavery Tour 84/85. Plus a an added kicker they released this on VHS Video as well. A few years back as Maiden released this on DVD with a bunch of extras…. They still know how to package their product!
“22 Acacia Avenue” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
“Children of the Damned” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982)
“Die with Your Boots On” (from Piece of Mind, 1983)
Smith, Dickinson, Harris
“Phantom of the Opera” (from Iron Maiden, 1980)
YUP! Just over 98 Minutes of Maiden! Now you know why I locked myself in Bedroom with my stereo blasting this album on that cold October weekend! Special mention must be made to my parents who never ever once told me too turn it down but at times they must have wondered what the hell was going on in my bedroom! No worries Folk’s I was on the Flight Of Icarus!
Basically you have the first three sides recorded in Long Beach and man oh man did Bruce trademark the “Scream For Me Long Beach!” If he hadn’t he should!
Of course with Maiden on this tour was the stages of all stages with a Mummified EDDIE leading the way! Massive is what I would call it!
The album opens with Churchill doing his War Speech and about never surrendering and Bam! Here’s Maiden ripping into Ace’s High and tons of rolling/rolling turning/turning through out! The songs are crisp and clear. The Musicianship is second to none! Bruce’s vocals soar through out the whole album.
This is just one rock solid album from start to finish! The songs all stand on their own merit! It’s basically a Greatest Hits set done live while spreading throughout songs from the current Powerslave album that had walloped me outside the noggin the previous year!
Adrian Smith and Dave Murray in my opinion are the best two lead guitar duo’s ever in the business of Music! There playing is friggin unbelievable even up till this day (Along with current sidekick Janick Gers) The solos’ are slick/well thought out and are hammered into our skulls as epic riff’s. Nicko the lunatic playing the drums does all the drum rolls and you want epic crash n smash style but keeping it smooth look no further than the track Powerslave after the Dave/Adrian solo’s man he just is so smooth as in making it look easy. Steve Harris being the main songwriter and he is the leader(much to Bruce’s chagrin at the time I suppose) as this was his vision put forth by him and manager Rod Smallwood.
So if you want an epic Harris track look no further than Rime Of The Ancient Mariner as it weaves over it’s 13 minutes of tempo changes and keeps you the listener entrenched and no boredom ever sets in with this track. Pure Greatness!
Course the big end of the set tune Iron Maiden pulls out all the stops! Just watch the clip below and see for yourself!
Side Four is recorded in England at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon and if my memory serves me correct this side was for the diehards across the pond as Maiden would mix up the set list as to keep the hardcore fans happy as America hadn’t caught on as quickly as Europe. I may be wrong here ….
22 Acacia Avenue rips accordingly and I love how Bruce drops the line of ‘Speak For Me Hammersmith!” over the guitars of Davey and Adrian before Bruce ramps back up vocally on the second verse!
Die With Your Boots On is another kicker of a track. Great everything about this one as well! Love the guitar playing on this track as Nicko drives the bus with his drums and keeps it all together!
Phantom Of The Opera always fascinated me back than as did the other tracks that were sung by original singer Paul Dianno on the studio versions before he got tossed and Bruce took charge. Of course now in 2017 it’s nothing new when Bruce sings the Paul tunes but back in 1985 other than hearing a B-Side of Bruce singing Remember Tomorrow you had no idea how the Dianno songs would come across with Bruce singing them!
Well the answer after listening to Live After Death was that Bruce basically took them over and made him his own.
Don’t get me wrong folks I love Dianno’s singing style on the debut Maiden album/Killers and especially Maiden Japan but the Air Raid Siren just belts it out like there is indeed no tomorrow!
Live After Death was the bridge gap between 84’s Powerslave and 86’s Somewhere In Time albums but this live audio/video showcase features a band showing everyone else in the Metal Spectrum how it’s done!
Maiden 1990 is a different animal than the band that released what I consider their best album ever 1988’s Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son!
Gone is Guitarist Adrian Smith who already had contributed a ton of Classic Tracks to the Maiden albums of years before. Case in point check out my review of Somewhere In Time as Smith is the MVP of that album in my eye’s. So when he bailed on Maiden I was disappointed but I knew Bassist and Maiden Creator Steve Harris would carry on as that’s Maiden’s tendency! Replace and move on!
Gone are the elaborate stage shows that came with each album release in the 80’s. A more stripped back stage with the backdrops and Eddie of course but more Marshall Amps added and yada yada. This did not bug me in the least as it’s the tunes that count right?!
So Harry and Crew recruit Janick Gers (playing guitar at the time in Lead Singers Bruce Dickinson solo band) and keep the Maiden Juggernaut heading into new frontiers. But are we ready for it?
1990 was a great year not only did we get like I mentioned earlier the fantastic Bruce solo album Tattooed Millionaire but along with it a new Maiden album as well.
October 1st 1990 is when No Prayer was released and SHOCKER I was not a first day buyer of it! I had purchased Peace OF Mind/Powerslave/Live After Death/Somewhere In Time and 7th Son all on their release dates. My first day Maiden purchase streak ended at 5!
Reason you ask? Simple a little less than a week later myself and Tbone were gonna be in Winnipeg going to see ZZ Top and per our protocol on road trips was to load up on discs! Tbone especially as he would drop coin on say 20-25 discs on a given road trip! So with this in mind I thought i would hold out and at least purchase 1 for myself! Haha….
Still recall unwrapping the plastic from No Prayer in out hotel room in the Peg and scanning the lyrics/pics as Maiden always delivered in the cd department!
Course when I got back to Tbay the first order was to listen to No Prayer….
The Verdict! Good not Great. Not a let down either but a band that I had thought was maybe trying to ditch a bit of the past(80’s) and move into the 90’s with a new kinda look and new Metal like sound.
Maiden Men …
Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Steve Harris – bass guitar
Nicko McBrain – drums
No Prayer Maiden Mix…
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Tailgunner” Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson 4:13
2. “Holy Smoke” Harris, Dickinson 3:47
3. “No Prayer for the Dying” Harris 4:22
4. “Public Enema Number One” Dave Murray, Dickinson 4:03
5. “Fates Warning” Murray, Harris 4:09
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “The Assassin” Harris 4:16
2. “Run Silent Run Deep” Harris, Dickinson 4:34
3. “Hooks in You” Dickinson, Adrian Smith 4:06
4. “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter” Dickinson 4:42
5. “Mother Russia” Harris 5:30
Total length: 43:42
Couple of things you may notice right away about the track listings! Steve and Bruce team up on three tracks. Dave Murray even steps up with 2 contributions as ex member Smith is featured in a co write with Bruce. Second of all the album clocks in at 43 minutes. Not only are Maiden cleaning house but there also doing away with the Epic Long Tune’s. All tracks are under 5 minutes except for album closer Mother Russia.
Let’s Do This…
Tailgunner has Maiden beginning studio album Number 8 with Harris and Nicko along with the guitars of Janick and Davey usher in Tailgunner! Tailgunner what a great name for a late night establishment don’t you think? I could picture it now with Tbone dialing his phone circa 1990 and a voice on the other end answering with a “Good Evening Welcome To Tailgunners How can I Direct Your call?” hahaha…oh wait this isn’t it a Dance Club? Gah! Sorry lost my trail of thought there! Maidens Tailgunner is a song about World War 2 Pilots…..Bruce as always delivers a great vocal “Nail That Fokker Kill That Son” ahh clever writing fella’s! It doesn’t take long to realize that Maiden to my ears is making a Street Sounding Album. The production by Martin Birch is dry sounding which kinda suits the vibe of the album.
Second song Holy Smoke is bona fide classic in my humble opinion! Loved it in 1990 and still love it 27 years later! This song takes charge and at the time with all the corrupt TV Preachers goings on Steve and Bruce nail out a Gem writing about it. Super Duper catchy chorus! Super Duper Metal Slop Rock Solo from New Boy Janick and Wow Man! Gem! Posted the video to this song and look at those Brits! They are a funny bunch! Great video!
The title track No Prayer For The Dying almost sounds like at some spots like a Maiden Jig! A little slower tempo but like all Harris written tunes it’s gonna speed up and go into overdrive and lift off at which it does. Real cool leads from both Davey and Janick as they just do what they do.
Whoah! Another Gem in the form of Public Enema Number One. Janick and Dave take charge with those cool dual leads right out of the gate with Steve and Nicko taking charge in the rhythm department! Bruce as he always does take charge in his vocal delivery and man oh man another Great Track! Watch the live video! Actually I’m pasting the last verse in the tune which features my favourite paragraph of Bruce written lyrics on this album…
A million network slaves
In an advertising new age
I don’t need a crystal ball to sell ya
Your children have more brains
Than your drug infested remains
California dreaming as the Earth dies screaming
Fates Warning is a straight forward no frill’s Metal Track. It’s a decent enough one for sure and it was interesting to revisit this one as on any other Metal Release at the time this would have been a great song but with this being Maiden they set they set the Bar High. Pretty good actually….WTF am I going on about?
The Assassin builds and builds with Harry and Nicko doing their quick snare and bass riffs. One of those tracks which is ok not great. The Verses build and build and the chorus is for me a little on the lacklustre side.
Run Silent Run Deep has Bruce singing in that sinister style vocal and man oh man after the last two previous songs kinda lagging things pick up with this track. Love the pace of it. Great chorus as well and love the guitar work and bass on this tune. Nicko man plays like only Nicko does and that’s awesome! Love how the tune ends with just Bruce and bit of guitar!
Speaking of Nicko you want Cowbell? Hooks In You leads off with a slick riff with added cowbell. Pretty good track nothing spectacular but still a decent round of Metal. Maiden man set and drank the bar high n dry.
Ok. Bruce is the only singer in the world who could sing the chorus to Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter and making it oh so catchy. Case in point when this album was first out I found myself singing it at work in a moment of pure unconsciousness except I wasn’t! Some one near by said “Pardon me” and snapped me back into reality and I mumbled away …. Great track actually and as an added bonus a real cool guitar solo! Bruce as always delivers in spades.
Mother Russia is your end of the album Harris concept piece as it’s another one of those epic pieces but for me I dunno I kinda missed the Metal Boat on this one. The playing/singing is all there of course but I just don’t get this one at all.
Maiden enter the 90’s with more of a street vibe and it’s a pretty decent album with some standout tracks and some not so standout tracks. Something has to give after a while really. I mean 8 studio albums over 10 years including tours it’s impressive to say the least.
So although Harry & Crew did not hit one totally out of the park No Prayer is still a decent album with a real couple of good standout tracks!
Faithful Stick It In Your Ear reader Robbo likes stories attached to the reviews….
Let’s Do This..
Summer of 1981 and I’m 14 years young and have basically become a Music Junkie(spending all my Allowance on Magazines and Records) So one Hot July afternoon I along with my good pal Muc headed into a local Record Shop ( Record On Wheels which was a cool shop but only lasted a few years in Tbay).
As per protocol a few times a week we would cruise on down to all the record shops and check out the Record Action going on in the Racks.
So that July afternoon on the Racks was two albums that caught my eye right away and that was Def Leppard’s High N Dry and Iron Maiden’s Killers. Both albums I wanted but I only had enough cash for one. I must have flipped each album over a 100 times as I couldn’t decide which one to buy that week! ( I would only have to wait a week until I could muster up more dough to go back and buy the other album that I didn’t buy)..
Muc made my choice much easier and he grabbed Leps High N Dry! Thank you Dude…So off it was to home with Killers and talk about a Game Changer in regards to my Young Musical Mind.
Look at the cover(if you recall from my Number Of The Beast review the importance of Marketing). Here it is the name of Iron Maiden in bright read lettering. I would find that the Band had a mascot named Eddie. He’s the one holding the Axe. In other words this cover is Bad Ass! Look for yourselves…
The back cover had the cool Live action shot of Maiden and you can see it’s Maiden putting on a show and by this pic you can see how quickly they progressed from Bars/Clubs/Arenas to Stadiums! This Picture on the back shows the band going for it and below it there are pictures of each of the Maiden Dudes and even a picture of the Producer Martin Birch as well! How many album sleeves or even CD Booklets could you recall seeing a picture of the Fella who produced the album your listening too?
Once the needle was dropped on my stereo. Mind Blower! How about the titles of these tracks! You want M-E-T-A-L look no further than Killer’s!
The Tunes…Even the titles to these tracks Sound Heavy…
1. “The Ides of March” (Instrumental) 1:48
2. “Wrathchild” 2:54
3. “Murders in the Rue Morgue” 4:14
4. “Another Life” 3:22
5. “Genghis Khan” (Instrumental) 3:02
6. “Innocent Exile” 3:50
1. “Killers” Paul Di’Anno, Harris 4:58
2. “Prodigal Son” 6:05
3. “Purgatory” 3:18
4. “Drifter” 4:47
First thing you notice when you look at the tracks is that Bassist Steve Harris wrote the whole album solo except for the title track which vocalist Paul Di’Anno had a help in shaping.
This kinda blew my mind at the time as the bands I was listening to at (1980 On) like Van Halen/KISS/Queen/Cheap Trick and AC/DC had multiple songwriters in the band well except for Cheap Trick who had guitarist Rick Nielsen who basically wrote the Trick songs’ solo. As an 13-year-old at the time I understood the guitar player writing all the tunes solo but how the hell does the Bass Player write all the songs himself on just 4 strings? Haha….Silly Me!
So once I got home and dropped the Needle In The Groove(Mama’s Boy’s Name Drop!) I was forever Blown Away and became an Instant Lifer Maiden Fanboy!
Let’s Decipher Shall We?
1:48 Seconds of a Musical (no vocals )Stomp to my Noggin and it’s Steve and Crew Sonically laying down the Foundation with big Power Chords Guitar while the Late Great Drummer Clive Burr with his galloping drum rolls take charge and we call this ditty Ides Of March.
Welcome To Maiden Ville …….
Harris and Burr lock up musical chops in Wrathchild with Bass An Drums and here comes the Guitar Dual lead Attack in Dave Murray and his new Sidekick Adrian Smith( Dennis Stratton who played guitar on the self titled debut in 1980 got the Heave Ho from Harris and manager Rod Smallwood) lay down some serious ax work and if it means anything to you’s out there to this day they are still my favourite Dual Lead Dudes! That’s saying something after what? Listening to Maiden for 35 years! Whut?! Di’anno’s voice blew me away as he sang with a cool vibe, had a different aurora about him. In 81 Paul had a cool thing going but he too would face the Boot from Harris and Smallwood and be replaced by a fellow named Bruce Dickinson less than a year later.
Maiden shift gears and the beginning of Murders In The Rue Morgue is Metal as I never heard. The opening bit is just bass and guitar and before long Burr bashes his snare into submission and we are off. Paul with his Punky Metal like Voice that comes at you like he’s in your face singing while pointing his finger right at you! It’s so good and Maiden don’t play it safe! No sirree as time and tempo changes rule the Morgue and Maiden have kicked my Arse Hard! The solo’s between Dave and Adrian just take this band to the next level….
Burr as he does so well leads the Troops here at the beginning of Another Life. It’s only a matter of seconds before the song lifts off with some A+ Riffing that leads into Paul’s snarky drawl. This song is an instant classic. Another Life is Another Great Maiden Track and with Murray/Smith riffing along were what? Four songs’ in and Davey and Adrian are telling all Guitarists out there ….Watch Out!
Ok. Let’s get this straight! Genghis Khan is the 5th song on Side 1. Remember this is my first time hearing Maiden in July of 1981 when I was 13 and here’s Steve-O and Posse throwing down a second musical only tune as Paulie gets another break! We are only 5 tracks in! Who does this kind of stuff upon first impression? Maiden ….! By Golly they have already smashed my brains to smithereens with the heaviness of a sound. A sound I have never heard and it took less than 15 minutes!
Innocent Exile begins with some out of control Bass Work by Harris and before long everyone is on board and Innocent Exile is METAL. Love the last-minute of this tune as it ramps up and just goes into a whole other level! What better way to finish off Side 1 with a big galloping ending as all instruments mash-up….
Killers begins with Harris and Burr leading the charge and before long Davey and Adrian roar in and set the world on fire. Not to be outdone Paul steps up and Killers is a bona fide classic! “Scream For Meeeeeeercy” sings Paul and this song soars! Attack of the two mad axemen as Murray just shreds on the Strat while Smith matches Dave lick for lick in the solo Dept. Burr is a beast on his Kit on this tune… Just watch the video posted below for some Excellent Maiden Ass Kicking! Kinda cool that there’s different lyrics that ended up on the album than this live version! LIVE METAL FOLKS!
Prodigal Son is a slower like tune well by Maidens standards. Nice use of acoustics along with the electrics blended in with Burrs drums keeps the song pushing forward without losing steam. Dianno can even slow down his Punk Mentality Delivery and sing chill. Great tune that even though it doesn’t Roar like Murders In The Rue Morgue it can still pack a decent punch!
Purgatory is Maiden at it’s punkiest and once the guitars start it’s Maiden taking off yet again. Purgatory has a real awesome chorus witness for yourself the real clever wording of a Mr Harris. Speaking of which it boggles my mind that Steve was in his early 20’s writing this kind of stuff Lyrically and Musically. Genius that Dude is!
Oh another time, another place.
Oh another smile on another face.
When you see me floating up beside you,
You get the feeling that all my love’s inside of you.
Yes siree it does not get any better than that ..Heck I’m posting the video below as well.. Lyrics are posted so my pals Rockin Roberts and BMellis can sing along….
Drifter ends Killers with a stomp. Love the sync of the Guitars and Bass at the beginning and then Drums and Paul Screaming “Walk Away!” Great vocal by Paul in which he keeps pace with the band. Drifter is a Gem especially when the song breaks down and then ramps up with Burr once again reducing his snare drum to shreds. What a Finish…
Maiden! What an introduction from just being hooked by the red logo and Eddie with his bloody dripping axe and that s just the cover! The Back cover with the live action shot just won me over that day! I actually bumped into Muc the other day at work and mentioned to him that I was going to be posting about this album and our Trip that day to the old Record On Wheels Store here in Tbay! Muc still remembers it as well as he took home Def Lep’s album.
Killers hooked me as a fan from that day on. It’s really a shame that Di’anno came unglued personally and professionally and this was his Maiden Studio Swan Song. Than again we all know who Governor Harris and Smallwood recruited to replace Paul and Maiden than really took off. For some like fellow reader and Great Blogger Mr 1537 says he prefers Killers over anything else Maiden has done. Fair enough … I think he said that!
Crazy that it’s been 35 years! Time does indeed Fly!
Stick It In Your Ear Reader Robbo likes the stories that are added to my reviews of albums! Look no further Robbo today its Storytime…
Little less than a year earlier in the summer of 1981 a young Deke’s discovered Iron Maiden whom just had put out there second album Killers. I was blown away by it as i had never heard Metal played this way (back in the summer of 81 I was 13 ) I was hooked by the fury of the music. Guitarists Dave Murray/Adrian Smith were like Glenn Tipton/KK Downing(Judas Priest) except Murray/Smith were on speed but man the riffs were huge. Bassist Steve Harris not only walloped me outside the noggin with his Bass playing but the dude was writing most of the tracks! Drummer Clive Burr (RIP) kept the beat looked cool and played drums even more cooler!Singer Paul Di’anno had a Punky like vocal delivery that had a tinge of Metal in his vocal range which back than made his vocals sound cool and fit the format with what Maiden was doing…..
Maiden a little later in 1981 released the 5 song Live EP Maiden Japan which only solidified my young mind in hitching a ride on the Maiden Juggernaut! ( for those wondering I have not reviewed Killers yet but I have reviewed Maiden Japan).
Maiden was getting some press in the American Music Mags(Hit Parader/Circus) at the time not much though( course that would change) so when March of 1982 rolled around and I ventured into one of my usual Saturday check out the record shops hunt. On the racks there before me was this cover…(see pic below)
My first thought was” WHUT???!!”. I quickly grabbed it and well look at that artwork! I was Psyched Out/Pumped. What a total score and here I am on a cold March Saturday hanging around downtown and the first record shop I saunter into(Music City was the store’s name) and BAM! New Maiden! So after I come to terms that I’m holding new Maiden I quickly turn over the cover to see whats on the back but before I even looked at the song titles whose the dude holding the torch?? (see pic below)
Second thought was “Ummmmm…Where’s Di’anno?” There on the back album cover was the new Lead Singers Name. Bruce Dickinson is his name and becoming Deke’s all time favourite Metal Singer and Performer was going to be his game! I was shocked. So now I really couldn’t wait to get home and spin this for the first time…….
The Song titles themselves are even cool…
1. “Invaders” 3:20
2. “Children of the Damned” 4:34
3. “The Prisoner” 5:34
4. “22 Acacia Avenue” 6:34
1. “The Number of the Beast” 4:25
2. “Run to the Hills” 3:50
3. “Gangland” 3:46
4. “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
Maiden knew the deal and that was captivate the minds of youth (I was now 14 when NOTB came out). Include great artwork on the front and back cover. Include lyrics and pics on the inside vinyl sleeve. Speaking of which. My copy of this album had the pics as well as the lyrics on the inside sleeve of the album. Tbone actually bought this album on Vinyl at around the same time ( he was always a cassette tape kinda guy) and his copy came with nothing! Haha…Just a clear see through sleeve. We had a laugh it was no biggie to him if it was me I woulda been pissed! Ha!
Packaging and Presentation was huge for me back than like i had just mentioned. I would stare for hours at Maidens album covers(no I wasn’t baked) as artist Derek Riggs would add so much dynamic to his artwork of Eddie. (1986’s Somewhere In Time being the prime example of this). Maiden knew how to do it. Another fav Metal album of mine Judas Priests 1981 album Point Of Entry had squat for packaging. Nothing..no pics/no lyrics just the songs who was on them/who produced the album and that was it! C’mon Priest toss me a bone! Ha! I will say that by the time Priest released in July of 82 the classic Screaming For Vengeance they redeemed themselves and included cool artwork/lyrics etc. Hmmmm wonder where they got that from?
Being 14 other than AC/DC I don’t recall to many acts at the time flipping out or in Maidens case firing Lead Singers! So it didn’t shock me as much as it did when Bruce said he was quitting 11 years later in 1993. That shocked me but in 82 it was new music. No make that New Metal Music! I was too young to care about ‘Musical Differences/Drug Problems/Divorces’ Give me Tuneage!
It took of all but 20 seconds to have Maiden shoot up Deke’s popularity pole(Ha!) and secure forever the Number 1 Spot of Greatness in the Metal Field!
Opener Invaders is a stomping good track. Harris and his bass are jacked and talk about first impressions as Bruce comes out with his Air Raid Siren like wail and I’m hooked! What a set of pipes this guy possesses! I’m on board. Burr plays a metal like shuffle and Smith/Murray lay sonic sweeps of metal riffs with there 6 strings! What an opener!
Children Of The Damned slows it right down but man guitars both electric and acoustic push the tune and Maiden knows not to sap out the track. Burr pushes the tune along at a nice clip and Bruce goes from singing quick like shots of Metal(opener Invaders) to actually singing at a slower clip and proving without a doubt that he is a worthy successor to Di’anno..
The Prisoner. Wow! This is one of my fav Maiden tunes EVER! From the voice over from The Prisoner Tv show to the launch of Clives drums this tune is a down right classic! Adrian Smith does the co write thing with Harris and the chorus is ohhhh so good! Catchy with a hook. The guitar solos are off the charts. It’s all here man! Clip is posted below complete with Dickinson’s arm apparel! Proceed with caution!
Charlotte are you taking me to 22 Acacia Avenure. You know this tune is gonna be Evil with that opening riff. Another epic tune and another super-duper chorus! Big time guitar action with some real cool drumming and vocals especially the middle part when Bruce and the music mash-up before the solo..
Beat her mistreat her do anything that you please
Bite her excite her make her get down on her knees
Abuse her misuse her she can take all that you’ve got
Caress her molest her she always does what you want
Wowzer’s no messing around with these lyrics. But there is always hope for Charlotte…
You’re running away don’t you know what you’re doing
Can’t you see it’ll lead you to ruin
Charlotte you’ve taken your life and you’ve thrown it away
You believe that because what you’re earning
Your life’s good don’t you know that you’re hurting
All the people that love you don’t cast them aside
All the men that are constantly drooling
It’s no life for you stop all that screwing
You’re packing your bags and you’re coming with me
After hearing this for the first time. I’m 14 and my mind is blown! This is just side 1!
Side 2 begins with the classic title track Number OF The Beast. What can be said about this track that hasn’t! It’s evil based on a dream Harris once had! Creepy opening voice followed by 4 minutes of Bombastic Metal! Charged up Lead Singer (what an opening wail)! Amped up band …I can’t really add to this! Another all time great!
Maiden actually got some decent video play on Muchmusic(Canada’s Music TV Channel) with Run To The Hills. Burr sets the pace with this track and the guitar’s just rip along at a galloping clip in sync with Steve-o’s Bass. Another fantastic wail and scream from Bruce when the solos are done and Maiden put the throttle down and lead the charge in telling all bands that if you’re in our way we will boot you all into next year!
Gangland also takes off with Burr( who cowrote this with Smith) leading the way and Gangland features a heavy yet kind of melodic chorus as the drums lead the way. Maiden themselves never really took a shine to this tune but its a very good track. Well,I think it is!
You want epic(seems to be a theme on the album) this is it! Hallowed Be Thy Name would be the one! This tune features Maiden all over the musical map! Power Riffs! Big Drums! Sweeping Lead Vocals! Crazy Ass Tempo Changes! YUP! It’s all here! Just a bona fide end of the album Gem which has been played on every Maiden Tour except the 2012 updated 7th Son Tour! ( I know as I attended one of these shows!) If that doesn’t give you an example of a classic nothing will!
Whoah Folks this ended up being an 1600 plus word review! How could I not tell you all the tales of Maiden Folklore through the mind of an 14-year-old!
Maiden blew my mind and still do to this day. Adrian Smith really stepped up on this album with 3 co writes(The Prisoner/22 Acacia Avenue and Gangland)and solidified himself as a strong writer. New Boy Bruce delivers and blows the doors off of everything around a singer change. (Give Di’anno his due though with the two albums and Ep he recorded with Maiden are top-notch) Always heard that Bruce had more to do with this album but wasn’t credited due to a previous contractual obligation that had to be worked out with a record company. Never heard him or Maiden say this. I read it years ago but I could see it being true….
So our local University (LakeHead) had a record sale with local businesses and people selling used/sealed Vinyl,Cds,DVDs,T Shirts basically that kind of stuff so me and my wife Sue along with our 5 month old dog Fender (the wonder dog!) sauntered on down (Saturday Sept 19th) to look for some vinyl for our daughter Lexie as she had to work and as it turns out I scored……
Lemme tell Ya about it….
Muc was the fella who basically got Maiden Japan(recorded May of 1981)the day it came out in late 1981(Muc bought it in Duluth!)and when i first heard Maiden Japan for the first time I friggin drooled all over my Kiss Dynasty Tour T …I mean geesh this was my first time hearing Maiden Live as just a few months earlier in the summer of 1981 I joined the Maiden ranks in purchasing Killers and becoming a lifer forever!(Yep even thru the Blaze years!)
I was blown away when I heard Maiden Japan for the first time ever! WOWZERS! Iron Maiden was on full audio assault on my young noggin! Live they brought it big time and delivered ….
I was hooked…..
Clive Burr(RIP),Adrian Smith,Dave Murray,Steve Harris and soon to be punted out lead singer Paul Dianno deliver a 5 song Live Ep that just flat out rocks!
RUNNING FREE- Dianno asks The Japanese faithful ‘wanna hear Ya sing!”Maiden punch the gas fast and furious on Running Free! I have heard a lot of versions over the years with Bruce but this one is played at a quick clip and Dianno delivers this tune lyrically (sounds almost autobiographical)and vocally. Too bad his career totally hit the shitter after 1981 but on Maiden Japan there are no quams about his performance! Smith And Murray are in synch on there dualing lead guitar bits whereas Harris and Burr drive the rhythm bus to the finish line “puller here at bottle top,whiskey dancing,disco hop now all the boys are after me,that’s the way its gonna be! Yup Crank The Vid posted!
REMEMBER TOMORROW-this song like Running Free is from the debut album called well,Iron Maiden! Remember Tomorrow starts off real chill and it builds up as it goes along and just unleashes when Dianno and the guitars go “aaaaaaaaargh”. Looking back you could see Harris had the vision of wanting to write epic numbers and Remember Tomorrow is a fantastic start! Brooding dark guitar bits during the verses,cranked power chording metal licks during the chorus with Burr playing a metal type shuffle on his drums. This is epic Maiden and after two full albums(debut and Killers) Maiden is kicking some serious Ass! This ends Side 1….Say Whaaaaaaa?
WRATHCHILD-here comes the first of three from Killers! Burr smashes the hi hat and Steve-o slaps da Fender Bass while Murray and Smith launch there riffs and we’re off and this this is soooo good! Amazing that Harris being the young chap and composer back in 81 didn’t fall into any cheese schlop metal rock and kept his noggin focused and wrote deadly friggin metal tracks! WrathChild is one of the best from Killers and I love the bass during the guitar solos it just thumps and thumps and Harris riffs on his bass like a madman! Dianno lays down the law with ‘I’m comimg to getcha!” I believe him! I really did back than!
KILLERS-Killers is a wicked wicked song! This is Maiden creeping around those shady streets of London! Big time bass and drums start with Dianno throwing out some “yah yah yah!” And different lyrics which would end up on Killers! While Mr Murray and Mr Smith lay waste on there guitars and Killers rocks the grooves of the vinyl heavy! “Scream For Mercy” Watch the live vid from 1981 and guess what kids it’s from Japan! Case in point Murray and Smith are just sick on there solos! Hoooooooly Sheeeeit!
INNOCENT EXILE-Steve starts off Innocent Exile with some bass riffing and the Maiden fellas all join in! Cool that Innocent Exile was released on the Maiden Japan albums in Canada only! Ha who woulda thunk it right?! Maiden and especially with the guitars they would have little certain melodic samplings and than it all goes out the window with Murray and Smiths soloing! Innocent Exile ramps right up towards the end! Clive does some real slick power drumming and we’re done…..Say WHAAAAAAA …
IN CONCLUSION- Maiden drops down a 5 song live Ep and leaves us all wanting more! They were smart man..I was like More More More…Harris and smart manager guy Rod Smallwood go Nope Nope Nope! Leave them wanting more and hell it worked! Maiden solidified with me the fact that they were becoming one of my favs quickly! Murray and Smith the dynamic guitar duo basically were making major strides as a quick one two punch to the throat in the dual lead guitar school. I mean there playing is unbelievable here! Steve Harris not only played bass but he was the main songwriter as well! Dianno sings awesome on these tracks and too bad he combusted his whole career after Maiden booted him and hired the Air Raid Siren!
Also give Maiden credit they even put it bold white print on the back of the record that a few studio overdubs were done but who gives a shit! Ha good on them! Imagine if Gene And Paul put that on the back of there Live Albums! Hahahaha ……like that would ever happen! Silly buggers those Kiss fellers are…
I’m comimg out of my vacation blog sabbatical to talk about this new ass kicker Maiden Track Speed Of Light( written by Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith) from the forthcoming Maiden album Book Of Souls! Just announced a World Tour starting in 2016!
Speed Of Light has been on high rotation on my iPod since the pre order on iTunes dropped Speed Of Light on August 14th 2015! I babbled some comments I believe at the great HMOs site along the lines of ” Yep no ITunes on this one,I’m buying the physical product(cd) ,Blah Blah,Blah!” Umm. Well I caved! Ha! ITunes has done the right thing and that’s include the booklet when the full album drops on Sept 4 2015.
It was off of Robbo’s(Arena Rock Faithful reader) iPhone that I first heard Speed Of Light! The Internet in our city pooched on Aug 13th and our house didn’t get it back Til supper time Aug 14th. Robbo had downloaded it already so I basically swiped his iPhone from his hands at work held the phone to my blown out earlobes and the first thing I said to Robbo was “Holy Shit!! There’s Cowbell!”
Speed Of Light is a great track in my opinion. A few comments that I have heard say it sounds like Guns N Roses. Too be honest I don’t hear Gunners in the song I hear Maiden! Since summer of 1981 when I first purchased Killers I have always bought all of Maidens product the day of release! (First day buyer Folks!) so Ya call me Fanboy! Ha! Book Of Souls will be no exception!
Speed of Light starts off with Maiden Boogying out of the gate with the three Guitars of Dave Murray,Adrian Smith and Janick Gers along with Nicko McBrains cowbell, Steve Harris bass and here’s the Air Raid Siren the one and only Bruce Dickinson doing his patent howl and we’re off !
Kevin Shirley the producer of this song and album has given the album a big live bassy feeling. Shirley on this song anyways toned down Harry’s galloping bass and cranked up everyone else around to make it sound like one big live jam!
The song has a strong verse and the pre chorus into the chorus is the meat and potatoes of this song Bruce at age 55 plus can still belt it and come solo time here’s the 3 Amigos on guitars doing there thingy by each having a slice of the solo!
As the song heads to the finish line with another tip to the the chorus Maiden with about 25 seconds left goes into there big power ending. Drums a smashing,guitars a crashing….I love Maidens end of songs blowout endings the best ever being Powerslave (studio track) …Wowzers that’s how you wrap up things folks!
Great song Sez I! Do you agree with me? Feel free to discuss!
As Usual Iron Maiden has hands down the coolest swag ever!
Hey Folks….fellow reader Robbo has requested Maiden …..
SCREAM FOR ME ……LONG BEEEEEEEEEACH!
May 1988 and Maiden release which what I consider their masterpiece and that would Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son! It’s funny how some bands put out product that at that point in time will still have a Impact on you as a listener( HOLY SHIT!! are you kidding me??)27 years later!
Basically after Killers was released in 1981 I became a first day buyer of all Maiden Albums even to this day and I don’t say that about many artists well I guess along with the Iron boys it would be Van Halen,AC/DC,perhaps a few others but that’s about it. So yeah back to spring of 1988 and that year Dave Roth released Skyscraper,AC-DC with Blow Up Your Video,Van Halen with Ou812 and now Maiden!
Backing up a few years earlier into 1986 and Steve,Nicko,Bruce,Adrian and Dave monkeyed around with the use of guitar synth and the result was the great Somewhere In Time album! (The title track Caught Somewhere In Time is one of my fav tunes ever! )
So it came as no great surprise when Maiden dropped Seventh Son that the synths would be prominent well that might be stretching it now how about enhancing the metallic sound that is Maiden? Yeah that’s it…ha!
7th Son also was the first new release that came out on cd,cassette and vinyl the same day! So Cd it was for me and for my younger bro Todd cassette and for my sister Kristen,well she was musically a lost cause! Ha!
MOONCHILD- ok off the start I have to say this is one of Metals greatest openings ever! Moonchild begins with a little acoustic piece sung by Bruce Dickinison. 7 deadly sins…7 ways to win…. sings the soon to lift off Air Raid Siren and once Bruce is finished here comes the swirl of the metal synths getting lambasted by Adrian and Daves guitars, Steve and Nicko on bass and drums and viola like I said one of the best openings to metal man kind! Bump bump bump bump ( that’s Steve And Nicko locking gears ) and here comes Maiden going 120 mph and Bruce leading the way! Moonchild delivers in many ways! Great song to begin with! Maiden stomp on the synth Davey and Adrian rip the solos apart and Nicko and Steve smash a roo every thing in site! What a opener …….and hey 3 cheers to Bruce when he does that metal screech at the end of Moonchild……! Crank the vid posted!
INFINITE DREAMS- little snappy quiet intro as Dave And Adrian’s guitars are mixed in the back but as the seconds progress and Bruce joins in the sonics are raised and man Bruce he nails down the vocals as usual and uses his register to great use! The prechorus is great it’s the band cranking in unison and boom here comes the Maiden titl a whirl and Bruce nails down another ‘yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah’ like only he can do and The two Amigos on guitars duel the tune and the song ploughs out to the end! I still recall how pumped I was with this tune and Moonchild when I first head them back in May of 1988! Tbone was Rocking to Poisons Your Mama Don’t Dance back than while Deke was cranking 7th Son!
CAN I PLAY WITH MADNESS- we all know this one correct? Bruce and boys lead the charge acapella with the line Can I Play With Madness and crash band wallop here comes the rest of the fella’s leading the charge! This was the first single from 7th Son and what a keeper! Bruce as he always does takes charge in the verses and the boys keep up! I always dug how Maiden used the synth in this album mixed with their guitars! Judas Priest must have been pissed as they tried this on their Turbo album from 1986 and well I’m calling a spade a spade here! Turbo has some good moments and some not so good moments! I’m not saying as I’m gonna review Turbo at some point but back here folks! Love the solo nailed down by Adrian on this track and the chorus is real catchy! Maiden can write singles! There singles just boot you in the ass! Hard! The video I have posted is Maiden from 2012 recorded in Tbone and bros favourite playpen the Bell Centre in Montreal! Watch Bruce at the 2 minute 40 mark! This is what makes him not only a great vocalist/lyricist but the BEST frontman in my book in Rock! Don’t believe me! Shame on Ya!
THE EVIL THAT MAN DO- Maiden synths mashed up with Nick’s drums mashed up with Steve’s bass intro The Evil That Men Do and as Nicko smashes the count in with his hi hat were off. Steve’s galloping bass and the guitars lead the sonics and Bruce takes charge and sings in a lower sinister like tone during the verses and once into the prechorus there’s the Bruce will all know vocally! This tune is Maiden galloping along down the highway leading the charge and kicking some serious ass! When Bruce chirps the line ” living on a razors edge!” You fuckin believe him!
SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON-epic title track! This has all the metal trimmings! Big introduction with new-found synth! Bursts of artillery sounds from Nicks snare drum with Dave and Adrian powering down some heavy power chords and that’s the first minute only! Bruce leads the charge as he always does and just gives her and when the chorus comes its….”7th Son of a 7th Son!” The song just ramps up and were off and once the song breaks down were back to just down to Steve and Nicko. Bruce gets a breather for a second as he tells us all about the 7th Son in a narrative tone and as per protocol by Maiden here the song shifts Into metal mode and Adrian and Dave lay down some wickedly cool solos and this is pure Maiden epic clocking in at 9 minutes 54 seconds!
THE PROPHECY-as is the theme with this record synth and guitars are on tap at the start and this song has a real cool verse and Bruce carries this tune but when doesn’t he carry the tune right!? I just love how it just moves at a pace of real cool metal decent nothing to crazy and nothing to light. Just a great song thru and thru! Watch the video need I say more?
THE CLAIRVOYANT-Steve and Nicko lay down the beginning groove and then guitars and wham slam thank Ya mam into the verses which is another snappy happy Maiden Single! Dare I say it! Yeppers! Bruce throws down in the chrous”there’s a time to live and a time to die,a time to make your maker!” Holy Crow this is getting heavy and not just in the music area of Maiden!
ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG-A firecracker Maiden tune that brings the album to its finish. This song is a great song and well I’m starting to repeat myself about 8 times over as well 7th Son is a Masterpiece! Only The Good Die Young stomps along or as in Maidens case Gallops along and as a send off features a real cool chorus and Dave and Adrian do what they do best! British Metal gets no better than this!
IN CONCLUSION- This album is still perched high in all time ranks! Maiden knows it and I know it! I recall reading Mick Walls bio on Maiden called Run To The Hills and in it Harris says they thought it would outsell Somewhere In Time in America(it didn’t) so Harry said that the Americans didn’t get it! Whatever that meant? But to me and many we did get it and still do!
Martin Birch brought the production end of it whereas Maiden deliver everything else! End of story……