Tag Archives: Iron Maiden review

Iron Maiden/ Book Of Souls(2015)

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!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/Iron Maiden(1980)

Gotta Love The Maiden Backdrop! Good Ol Club Days!
Gotta Love The Maiden Backdrop! Good Ol Club Days!

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Hey Folks! One of my good friends Aaron from the Keeps  Me Alive Site is gonna be catching Iron Maiden April 3/2016 in Toronto Ontario! So what better time than now to Bash out a few Maiden reviews!

Today it’s the self titled debut Iron Maiden! Maiden stormed out of the gates back in 1980 with this classic piece of Raw Metal N Roll!  For myself on the Maiden purchasing depth chart I did not get this album until the summer of 1982 when I was on vacation in Winnipeg Manitoba with my family and being 15 it was Maiden Maiden Maiden! The Maiden albums I owned where Maiden Japan,Killers and the recently released Number Of The Beast(with new vocalist Bruce Dickinson) but before Maiden did the vocalist switch a Roo Paul Dianno had that punk like attitude fronting Maiden! Rough N Gruff around the edges but the guy delivered the goods for two studio albums and a live E.P so I’m not gonna knock him!

I could though as a few years later in 1985 I bought his self titled Dianno album and it was a bunch of bad Journey like tunes! I got hosed on that one folks! Should have hyped it and  sold it to Tbone! Ha!

Anyhoo the first Iron Maiden had these cast of characters on it….Paul Dianno(vocals) Dennis Stratton(guitar) Dave Murray(guitar) Clive Burr (drums..RIP) and founder of leader of all things Maiden Mr Steve Harris (bass)

I know by reading past interviews that Harris and crew had some issues of the production on this album by Will Malone. For me though I like the live go for the throat feel on this one. All For One….One For All!

FYI- enjoy the pics of this album as my daughter Lexie bought me this Maiden album for my Bday last year! Great kid!

PROWLER-Stratton and Murray lead off and someone’s dabbling with a Wah like pedal and we’re off! Even on the this album Harris and his bass are not going to mixed down and its apparent within the first 30 seconds of Prowler! Clive slams the drums forward.  The song is a real good stomper of a track. Dig how the band just rolls up their sleeves and does an all out musical ramp up before the solo and what a great solo it is! Maiden 1980 start off a long career on the right foot with a ripper of a opener! Welcome …

REMEMBER TOMORROW-Whoah! Maiden shift gears and slow it down, well for a bit that is. Remember Tomorrow is a chill out not slow burn and  that’s due to Harris and Burr who keep the boat afloat while the guitars are in relax mode until the chorus where the tempos pick up and Dianno here sings for his supper. Maiden were smart as if this was your first time listening to them two songs in two different metal styles. More great guitaring and riffing and cool shuffle of the drums by Burr! Deadly tune!

RUNNING FREE-Burr does the opening and Harris and boys join in and this is one of many Maiden Songs that are now known as Classics! “I’m Running Wild …I’m Running Free Yeah!” You Betcha Paul! I also like the duelling lead guitars between Stratton and Murray. Early  Maiden belting it out! Another great track. The Live video posted features new dude Adrian Smith on guitar as Stratton got the Harris Boot out of the band! Of course Smith/ Murray became my favourite one / two guitar duo ever! No one touches what these guys did in the 80s….

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-Well let’s make that 4 songs in 4 different style of  metal song structure. No 2 tracks soundalike. Phantom builds up and just goes wiggy all over the map with different music tempos and different horizons! How about some Clive Burr quick drumming with some more dual lead guitar ! And to boot how about 7 minutes of pure Maiden! Phantom would be the first of many signature past 6 minute song Maiden Workout Tracks!

TRANSYLVANIA-Musical Maiden no vocals allowed and the guitars carry this tune but don’t count out Clive and Steve as they hold down the fort and let Dennis and Dave do their thing. This Musical Maiden ploughs forward and toss in some tempo changes and we’re off!

STRANGE WORLD-Kinda of a trip tune here. Not really heavy and definitely not mellow it’s Maiden forging and boxing themselves into just a one trick metal pony! Nice use of guitars and Paul sings a different vibe as you don’t have to be giving it full throttle all the time.

SANCTUARY-Want a classic guitar riff to start a track. It’s all right in front of you. Sanctuary revs Maidens Musical Muscle right up and its a great foot stomper like if you were to stomp your boot thru the door that is. Adrenalin comes to mind. Dig the middle the part of the song where Steve and Clive lock up while the guitars playoff some real neat riffs. Paul ramps up and most tosses a lung by the end of the track.

CHARLOTTE THE HARLOT-Cool metal ditty here. By the way where is 22 Acacia Avenue? That was to come later but poor Charlotte The Harlot getting kicked around by life yet Steve writes a real good melody here. Catchy chorus and even some backing vocals make this song almost lite metal in some spots but don’t be fooled into that thinking as lurking around the corner is…..

IRON MAIDEN-Whoah! Wowzers! 36 years later and this is still the staple of every Live Maiden show and why wouldn’t! Love the creak of the guitars at the beginning and its a full out Maiden Ass Kicker Assault as Dianno brings it home as this song is almost Punky Metal with his attitude all over the lead vocals! Harris and Burr rock the ship and even Harris finally gets in a few bass riffs as Burr hits and runs all over his drums! A fantastic finish to a fantastic debut….

Check back tomorrow (Saturday Special) for another Maiden review as we fast fast forward 35 years!

UP THE IRONS!