So I guess for me one of the Greatest Back Covers of all time would have to go to the ‘MIGHTY’ IRON MAIDEN and to the man who drew up the fabulous Back Cover as well as Front Cover the one and only Derek Riggs!
Riggs what I can I say other than the fact that he basically had me staring at Maiden Covers back in the 1980’s when I attended High School whereas I should have been doing Homework!
Job well done Mr Riggs in the form of Distraction!
Maiden’s brilliant release of Somewhere In Time was released towards the end of September 1986 so basically Maiden and the artwork took over my life for a few days as Maiden was priority and school work wasn’t! Well not quite true. I still got my assignments finished but look at this album. Every time I looked at it I would notice some other image that Riggs had drawn that I hadn’t noticed the previous hour when I last looked at it!
Riggs, man you messed me up to say the least! haha
Seriously though this is the Back Cover for me and probably for a lot of other Maiden fans as well! Perhaps not for Riggs though as he explain’s below.
“It wore me out quite severely,” Riggs states in Martin Popoff’s book Run For Cover: The Art Of Derek Riggs. “I was living in London at the time, and working on that for two months, and it took three months in all – I just had to stop, because I had enough. It got into my head and I just couldn’t see anything else. I couldn’t think about anything else. It did my head in, because there’re all these little details.”
So if you Google search the artwork for this album you will find that there are a few articles claiming anywhere between 21 and 39 hidden references pertaining to the Front and Back Cover of the album.
No wonder Riggs lost his marbles on this album,
It’s almost like back than in 86 as there was no internet to read about or article’s for that matter to talk about this detailed album artwork you had to really check it out carefully for yourself.
The thing I love about this artwork is the whole futuristic Blade Runner Eddie that Riggs ran with on the front cover but I still recall the trigger point for me to realize that this drawing was going to feature a ton of Maiden references was the fact that Derek drew on the back cover the Maiden guys with Bruce Dickinson holding a brain! Ah….Piece of Mind.
From that point on I was Hooked! I started staring at all the images drawn on an album cover. All the little hidden detail’s involved like the Ace’s High Bar/L’Amours Bar(which I read in magazines as go to spot for bands when in NYC) Icarus/ Ancient Mariner Bar/Phantom of the Opera House. That’s just a couple I’m posting as there are many but one of my faves that Riggs put down was 23:58 meaning Two Minutes To Midnight!
To be honest there were more than a few I missed and it wasn’t until I started searching for this post that I figured out the rest! Kudos to Mr Riggs for stumping this Fella for 33 Years! Talk about Wasted Years! haha…
So if you have a vinyl copy of Somewhere in Time kicking about do grab and take another look-see at it as I bet you see something you have been missing all this time!
If you only have a CD copy of Somewhere In Time. Grab a magnifying glass so you don’t go cross-eyed!
What a detailed piece of Artwork and Design. Simply put one of if not the Best of all Time!
All Hail Derek Riggs! (cool first name-just saying !)