Tag Archives: Bruce Dickinson

Iron Maiden/Live After Death(1985)

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!

Maiden Men…

Losfer’s Words & Music…

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Intro: Churchill’s Speech Winston Churchill 1:09
2. Aces High” (from Powerslave, 1984) 4:07
3. 2 Minutes to Midnight” (from Powerslave, 1984) Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson 5:52
4. The Trooper” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) 3:59
5. “Revelations” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Dickinson 5:59
6. Flight of Icarus” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson 3:21
Side 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (from Powerslave, 1984) 13:03
2. “Powerslave” (from Powerslave, 1984) Dickinson 7:06
3. The Number of the Beast” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:48
Side 3
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. Hallowed Be Thy Name” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 7:17
2. “Iron Maiden” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 4:11
3. Run to the Hills” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 3:52
4. Running Free” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) Harris, Paul Di’Anno 8:16
Side 4
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Wrathchild” (from Killers, 1981) 2:54
2. “22 Acacia Avenue” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) Harris, Smith 6:04
3. “Children of the Damned” (from The Number of the Beast, 1982) 4:19
4. “Die with Your Boots On” (from Piece of Mind, 1983) Smith, Dickinson, Harris 4:51
5. “Phantom of the Opera” (from Iron Maiden, 1980) 7:01
Total length: 98:09

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!

 

 

Iron Maiden/No Prayer For The Dying(1990)

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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!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes……

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…

Side one
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
Side two
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

Woo-Hooooo!

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!

Iron Maiden/Number Of The Beast(1982)

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…

DATELINE-MARCH 1982…

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)

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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)

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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…

Side one

1. “Invaders” 3:20
2. “Children of the Damned” 4:34
3. “The Prisoner”  5:34
4. “22 Acacia Avenue”  6:34
Side two

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!

Maiden delivers…

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….

Thanks for reading…….

Iron Maiden/ Book Of Souls(2015)

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 there 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!

SPEED OF LIGHT- When I preordered this album from iTunes they dropped this tune Into my iPod! Read how at the age of 48 I still go Bonkers over these guys! …https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/iron-maidenspeed-of-light/

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 your a reader at Mikeys site you know this was my Numero Uno #1 of album releases in 2015! No one came close!

Aaron enjoy the show dude!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Maiden/Powerslave(1984)

 

1984 and talk about being pumped for new Maiden! I saw the ad in Circus Magazine a month before the release date and I just couldn’t wait for it to hit the record shops!

As per protocol I was a first day buyer of Powerslave on Sept 2nd 1984! What a great way to start Grade 12! Ha those first two weeks of school back in Sept of 84 my home work was Powerslave! Boom! The artwork done by Derek Riggs was very detailed and of course with Maiden they included pics,credits and lyrics! I was mesmerized as a teen!

No wonder these guys are my fav Metal Band they knew the deal for the fans!

Nicko McBrain,Adrian Smith,Bruce Dickinson,Steve Harris and Dave Murray just keep the classics rolling…….

Scream For Meeeeeeeeeeee!

ACES HIGH- Rollin Rollin Turnin Turnin …Do It Again…….Rollin Rollin Turnin…Maiden launches an audio assault on my senses and Aces High is a classic right off the hop! Love the drums,bass and guitars synced at the beginning and before you know It Bruce is charging the vocals and giving it his all and he commands attention and by gosh I do! Adrian and Dave do their cool super-duper co leads and man oh man after being blown away by the Piece Of Mind Album(1983) Maiden take it up a notch and does it get any better than this?

TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT-Oh yeah that riff starts the Maiden Motor running…. Adrian Smith is the riff master and he launches the assault and not before to long theres Nicko and Steve rowing the metal boat to shore. Bruce as he always does delivers it vocally and who else can sing the line of Cut Their Meat,Lick The Gravy and make it sound cool? Bruce does! Adrian and Dave fling slick powered up solo’s and instead of rocking the song to the end Maiden chills out a bit (just a bit) and Nicko and Steve lead the pack.(picture Harris with his bass up in the air pointing it like a rifle) Holy Crap when i was 17 here’s Maiden continuing to set the bar high with this being album number 4 and there’s no relief in site!

LOSFER’S WORDS(BIG ORRA)- Maiden give Bruce a 4 minute break from singing and  Flex there Maiden Musical Muscle with a smattering of Nicko cymbal riding smashes along with Dave,Adrian and Steve galloping along at a fever clip with a few musical time changes to keep us interested! Maiden 84 is not slowing down….

FLASH OF THE BLADE-Real cool intro on the guitar to this song and Nicko joins and were off. Flash Of The Blade is a Bruce tune about fencing(Bruce’s passion) Maiden even double up Bruce’s vocals in the chorus and give us an almost Maiden like single. Harris and his bass lay down some serious action on this song and Man I loooooove it! Crank the video posted…

THE DUELLISTS-More fencing as this song clicks in at about 7 minutes and has a real smooth prechorus with Nicko leading the charge and Bruce tossing out some ‘Oooooooh Oooooooooh Fought For The Honor’ Adrian and Dave get into some real neat duelling(duellists) guitars during the solo. Harris writes epic songs! End of story!

BACK IN THE VILLAGE-This is one of those sleeper tracks that features a real slick riff and it’s a boogie upped Maiden looking to kick down doors at the local watering hole! Bruce almost sings the chorus faster than the band which is trying to keep up! I really like Bruce after the Dave and Adrian solo workouts when Maiden rip back into the chorus and Bruce just chills with a “Yeah Yeah” vocal line! He doesn’t have to Air Raid Siren the screams all the time. Love it!

POWERSLAVE-This song is beyond epic! it features everything I love about Maiden. 7 plus minutes of heavy riffing inter spread with some chill pieces accenting the heavy guitar action especially during the solos. Nickos a warhorse on the drums,pounding and doing some real cool rolls throughout with Steve tiding it all up with the bass.  Speaking of Nicko it was Tbone all those years ago that said that Nicko had the coolest smoothest drum rolls ever and to this day it has not changed. Bruce sings for his supper here. It’s his tour de force. The pace is which all others will follow. How about a HOORAY for the Power ending of Powerslave! Big smash and crash of drums colliding with the guitars and more smash and crash with more guitar collisions. Frigg Ya! I posted the live version of this song from the Powerslave tour. I don’t think there was a bigger show than this one at the time (1984-85) Also the mask that Bruce wears in this video was bought by him at a sex shop in L.A…hahaha. Funny that when I seen this video back in 1985 I thought ‘holy crap Bruce is wearing some real cool Egyptian mask’ haha……

RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER- Just like the song this little chat about this tune is gonna be long! Ha! So Harris delivers the track of a lifetime and I recall reading about the pre hype in Metallion Magazine that Powerslave was gonna feature the 14 minute tune Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and the Powerslave album was going to clock in as a whole at over 51 minute! Now thats getting your moneys worth. That alone sold me. MAIDEN MAIDEN more MAIDEN! Impressive that Harris and company could drop a real long a roo tune at the end of the album so to speak and it could still draw me in as a listener! power of music folks! More impressive is the fact that Bruce could nail each line live and not cheat with any help with the lyrics being taped all over the place to remember the words! Rime charges right out of the gate with Maiden loading up and delivering massive epicness of a sonic delight! At the mid-point you hear creaking of the ship boards like you’re in the middle of the Atlantic with Harry and Crew. It’s amazing to me that for Maiden during there Powerslave tour would hammer out this tune every night, city after city and toss in the usual after party treats they could still deliver it at a higher rate of musicianship than some of their peers at the time! (i’m not naming names!) WATER ,WATER  Everywhere and all the boards did shrink. WATER ,WATER Everywhere nor any drop to drink! HOOO BOY ….them Mariner fella’s are in deep doo doo…

Samuel Taylor Coolridge was the poet who wrote the poem while Steve Harris wrote a tune about it! Harris has always been one of my favourite lyrcists as he wouldn’t write the same ole same ole of his counterparts. Rime is the best example of this.Harris was probably in his mid 20s when he wrote this and it just boggle my mind that he had and has that kind of creativity.

1985 i’m in Grade 12 English and one of our assignments was to dissect a poem by an author and present it infront  of  the class. Hip Hip Hooray I raised my hand quicker than Billy The Kid drawing his pistol! I’ll never forget my teachers reaction as i had pretty much said jack shit all semester but now it was Deke’s time to shine….’I’ll do Rime by Coolridge I blurted out loud!’ All those little Duran Duranie girly fans sitting in front row of Mr Babcocks class did not see this one coming…

Come presentation time  not only did I show up with my notes of the poem(thanks Mr Steve Harris for simplifying the actual poem for me in song) but I  showed up to class with a ghetto blaster(courtesy of Tbone) and the cassette of Powerslave(once again courtesy of Tbone as I only had Powerslave on vinyl)

I’ll never forget those front row girls doodling and dreaming of Corey Hart and Duran Duran and I plug-in and let the sonics of Maiden and Rime take over. No,the whole song wasn’t played that day in class only snippets but man I wish I could have snapped a pic. BOOM….DONE….Mr Babcocks  Grade 12 English class just got Maidenized that morning!

When the dust had settled I scored a mid 80s mark took my seat at the back of the class and went back into my Grade 12 English Coma!

FINAL YAMMER-Maiden schooled me in metal more ways than one! It’s no wonder these guys are still my faves today. Powerslave delivers in spades. Mention must be made towards producer Martin Birch who delivers a dry sound with still enough punch that doesn’t gloss out the tracks sonically. Cool artwork and the inside sleeve had pics and lyrics and as per Maiden Protocol they would give the fans 110%.  Hell even Tbone lapped up this album. Powerslave keeps the Maiden train rolling …..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRON MAIDEN/Speed Of Light

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!

Request Of Vinyl….Iron Maiden/Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

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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……

Now go and crank this Bad Boy!