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Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown.

 
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Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 6:42:15 AM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
I'm bored and have little to do so I thought I'd give this a bash. I'm going to give you my personal rundown of Maidens discography in chronological order over the next few weeks/months however long it takes really. I'm going to rate every album out of ten and I will be including the live albums although the videos/dvds may get a small mention if needed. I wont bother with the singles, B-sides and compilations as I don't own them all and we'd be here till next spring if I did. Hope you find it interesting if this is your cup of tea, or not.


# 1

Title - Iron Maiden
Year - 1980
UK Chart - # 4
Line up
Paul Di'Anno – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Dennis Stratton – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Clive Burr – drums
Tracks
1. "Prowler"
2. "Sanctuary"
3. "Remember Tomorrow"
4. "Running Free"
5. "Phantom of the Opera"
6. "Transylvania"
7. "Strange World"
8. "Charlotte the Harlot"
9. "Iron Maiden"




So we begin our journey with the first (and many think best) classic Maiden fired out there. The first thing that strikes you is the brilliant cover art by the genius of Derek Riggs (the artwork was changed slightly for the 1998 re-release) supposedly based on a picture Riggs saw in a war photography album of an American soldiers skinned head stuck on a spike by the Vietcong. Yes, meet Eddie ladies and gents. I've based the tracklisting on the '98 remaster which rightfully includes Sanctuary which until then was only available on the US version. The addition of this track I believe gives the album a bit more kick than simply going from rocking opener Prowler to the subdued power ballad Remember Tomorrow.

Many (including Steve Harris) have made a big deal about the albums production courtesy of Will Malone. According to the band Malone spend most of the recording session smoking cigars and reading the broadsheets. Harris credits the engineers for helping them out with the sound but there's definitely a raw, unpolished vibe throughout the album. I'm kind of on the fence with this, on one hand it probably helped the band, coming straight out of the Punk era and suiting their fast energetic songs. On the other hand the guitars sound like they were played through a 5 inch transistor radio, never mind a wall of Marshall's, the bass is scratchy and the vocal levels are all over the place. I'd love to hear a remix, if the original tapes still exist that is. What saves the album is the strength of the songs on offer, every track on this is a classic, not one filler to be found.

Anyway's ultimately this is Paul Di'Anno's gig, he's the star of the show and runs away with the whole album. His raunchy "couldn't give a toss" attitude blends nicely amongst the melodic guitar harmonies and time changes. Maidens 'soon to be' trademark signature sound is ever present in classics like Phantom of the Opera and the eponymous title track. With those double guitar harmonies and galloping bass line it must've sounded like Thin Lizzy on speed at the time. The great thing you notice on this is how good a songwriting partnership there was of Harris/Di'Anno. Tracks like Remember Tomorrow feature some great lines "Unchain the colours before my eyes,Yesterday's sorrows, tomorrow's white lies. Scan the horizon, the clouds take me higher, I shall return from out of fire. Tears for rememberance, and tears for joy, Tears for somebody and this lonely boy. Out in the madness, the all seeing eye, Flickers above us, to light up the sky". Interestingly this is one of the earlier metal tracks to make good use of the light verse/heavy chorus which became so prominent in later years.

This is without a doubt one of the most important rock/metal albums of all time (perhaps even more so than Number of the Beast) andpaved the way for the short lived NWOBHM which went on to influence metal bands around the globe. This was also the first and only album to feature the fretboard talents of Dennis Stratton, he was sacked shortly afterwards (presumably for having a name like Dennis) and would be replaced by the magnificent Adrian Smith, heralding one of the best duel guitar partnerships ever. Highlights have to be Prowler, Phantom of the Opera and Running Free.

9/10

Next up - Killers



< Message edited by Spaldron -- 5/12/2011 6:45:39 PM >


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Post #: 1
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 6:48:22 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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The only Iron Maiden song I know is Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I really, really like it. I might get a few recommendations from this thread.

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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 7:57:45 AM   
tommyjarvis


Posts: 6632
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From: Caught somewhere in time
Maiden

I only have seven of their albums, so will be interested to read comments on the rest..

Maiden

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Post #: 3
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 12:17:40 PM   
Rebel scum


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Awesome idea for a thread!

Up the Irons!

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Post #: 4
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 1:13:41 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
Haven't listened to this for years, might dig out my old cassette copy. The intro to Iron Maiden is still one of the coolest, meanest riffs ever written, ditto Phantom of The Opara though I still can't hear that song without thinking of Lucozade.

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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 5:18:06 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9118
Joined: 30/9/2005
Great thread idea.

Iron Maiden were one of my favourite bands growing up. I was a 9 year old when Number of the Beast came out, I was more turned on by Rigg's amazing artwork (I used to love looking for his little logo on every album and single cover) until I heard Vincent Price's voice - again Number is still one of my favourite albums.
However, I think you may have also mentioned this, but their first album is in my opinion their best. Raw and not over-produced, while Dickinson went on to be the main man for Maiden, Di'anno's vocals on this continue to be my favourite.

No Prayer for the Dying was the last Maiden album I listened to. Sadly around that time the grunge scene took over and I swapped shaggy perms and cod-piece screaming for lumberjack shirts and Converse.

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Post #: 6
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 5:35:07 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson

Great thread idea.

Iron Maiden were one of my favourite bands growing up. I was a 9 year old when Number of the Beast came out, I was more turned on by Rigg's amazing artwork (I used to love looking for his little logo on every album and single cover) until I heard Vincent Price's voice - again Number is still one of my favourite albums.
However, I think you may have also mentioned this, but their first album is in my opinion their best. Raw and not over-produced, while Dickinson went on to be the main man for Maiden, Di'anno's vocals on this continue to be my favourite.

No Prayer for the Dying was the last Maiden album I listened to. Sadly around that time the grunge scene took over and I swapped shaggy perms and cod-piece screaming for lumberjack shirts and Converse.


That was the tour I first saw them on when I was 13, supported by none other than Wolfsbane. They let a bunch of fans back in after the gig to chat and sign stuff etc and they were without doubt the nicest famous people I've ever met. Still got the denim jacket with all their signatures on, though I lost a few rock'n'roll points when I realised Janick Gers had written 'sorry mum!' next to his.
Seventh Son... was the first record I got by them and the Can I Play With Madness? single is still to this day my favourite piece of Riggs' artwork.
Never quite loved them as much from Fear Of The Dark onwards (call me old-fashioned but I want my metal bands singing songs that deal with death and destruction not about being scared to turn the bedroom light off) though I still see them live every few years and their last couple of records have been belters.
Funnily enough I was just watching the clip of Nicko McBrain on The Sooty Show the other day, still one of the more surreal moments in kids' tv history.

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Post #: 7
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 5:43:54 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9118
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


(call me old-fashioned but I want my metal bands singing songs that deal with death and destruction not about being scared to turn the bedroom light off)


I think they probably have to tone things down in todays climate. People take things like that too seriously nowadays. I can't imagine Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter being No.1 can you?
Unless some cock off X-Factor covered it.
Cool story though, I think I have a Wolfsbane album at home, Live Fast Die Fast. Sadly my enthusiasm for them died even faster.

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Post #: 8
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 6:32:02 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson


quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


(call me old-fashioned but I want my metal bands singing songs that deal with death and destruction not about being scared to turn the bedroom light off)


I think they probably have to tone things down in todays climate. People take things like that too seriously nowadays. I can't imagine Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter being No.1 can you?
Unless some cock off X-Factor covered it.
Cool story though, I think I have a Wolfsbane album at home, Live Fast Die Fast. Sadly my enthusiasm for them died even faster.


Ha, I'd forgotten about Bring Your Daughter... getting to number one. Didn't they knock Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine off the top spot? Get in!
Aye Wolfsbane weren't much cop. I remember being quite impressed by their live set simply because (at the time) it was the loudest thing I'd ever heard in my life. When I eventually got one of their records though I was gobsmacked by how piss-weak their songs were shorn of ear-blistering volume.
Got Blaze Bayley's autograph that night too, though he wasn't as pleasant as the 'Irons, in fact he wrote (in my little red book that also housed signatures from the likes of Dave Mustaine, John McCririck and Peter Beardsley) 'To David - Blaze 'Fuck Me' Bayley ie Death' (?).
Nope, me neither.
Be interested to see if Spaldron or anyone else finds any hitherto unheralded gems on the two albums he made with Maiden. And by 'interested' I mean 'fucking flabbergasted'.

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Post #: 9
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/12/2011 6:32:22 PM   
NinjaShortbread212


Posts: 4542
Joined: 26/4/2011
From: Edinburger, Scottyland
Nice work Spaldy!

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Post #: 10
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 12:25:32 PM   
lukeyboy


Posts: 1638
Joined: 11/10/2005
From: Saaaaf Laaandaan you slaaag!
Nice! Love the Maiden - can't beat this album as far as I'm concerned. Brucies never been better than he was on this one!



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Post #: 11
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 12:31:39 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy

Nice! Love the Maiden - can't beat this album as far as I'm concerned. Brucies never been better than he was on this one!




Definitely one of their more surreal album covers.
It's rather quaint now to think that back in '88 this album got slated by some for the heinous crime of featuring (wait for it) keyboards.

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Post #: 12
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 1:38:44 PM   
lukeyboy


Posts: 1638
Joined: 11/10/2005
From: Saaaaf Laaandaan you slaaag!

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy

Nice! Love the Maiden - can't beat this album as far as I'm concerned. Brucies never been better than he was on this one!




Definitely one of their more surreal album covers.
It's rather quaint now to think that back in '88 this album got slated by some for the heinous crime of featuring (wait for it) keyboards.


Well I was only 11 in 88 so I didn't read the reviews back then but I did hear that from somewhere else. I actually think that's probably why I like it over the others because I do like synthesiser to bring that extra little bit to a metal band - and I was a massive Van Halen fan as a kid!!........Aaah, who am I kidding, I still am!!

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Post #: 13
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 1:51:48 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy

Nice! Love the Maiden - can't beat this album as far as I'm concerned. Brucies never been better than he was on this one!




Definitely one of their more surreal album covers.
It's rather quaint now to think that back in '88 this album got slated by some for the heinous crime of featuring (wait for it) keyboards.


Well I was only 11 in 88 so I didn't read the reviews back then but I did hear that from somewhere else. I actually think that's probably why I like it over the others because I do like synthesiser to bring that extra little bit to a metal band - and I was a massive Van Halen fan as a kid!!........Aaah, who am I kidding, I still am!!


Me too though I became an early, voracious reader of Kerang! and Metal Hammer due to the influence of my mate's older brother who, funnily enough, was one of the metal fans pouring scorn on Maiden for commiting keyboard sacrilege. I agree, it totally added something to the sound and was perfect for the epic concept behind that album.
It's quite amusing how narrow-minded a lot of metal fans were back then, I was just getting into Slayer at the time and there were whisperings that their follow up to the universally acclaimed Reign In Blood featured, several - shock, horror - slow songs and that they'd gone all 'pop' and sold out. These ludicrous claims amazingly continued after South Of Heaven had been released, though how on earth anyone could think a record that opend with a track featuring the charming couplet 'bastard sons begat your cunting daughters/promiscious mothers with their incestuous fathers' is an example of a metal band aiming for a spot on Top Of The Pops is beyond me.

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Post #: 14
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 2:07:00 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
Joined: 23/10/2011


Can't wait till you review this Spalds. I mean c'mon just look at that cover. Fuckin awesome!!!


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Post #: 15
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 2:17:12 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken



Can't wait till you review this Spalds. I mean c'mon just look at that cover. Fuckin awesome!!!



This thread (and that pic) has just reminded me how pleased I am to have all their '80s albums on vinyl. That Powerslave cover is indeed a thing of beauty. As Piece Of Mind would be too if my copy didn't have a fucking tear in the right-hand corner. Damn you, old-school-rucsack-that-wasn't-quite-big-enough-to-house-a-record-but-I-stupidly-stuffed-it-in-anyway-to-lend-to-some-lad-who-didn't-even-like-them-anyway-and-only-pretended-to-so-he-could-join-our-gang. Bastard.

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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 2:17:19 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9118
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Just to add the rest of the Seventh Son artwork. Amazing stuff.

http://www.derekriggs.com/




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Post #: 17
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 3:51:12 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1189
Joined: 23/10/2011
quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


quote:

ORIGINAL: garvielloken



Can't wait till you review this Spalds. I mean c'mon just look at that cover. Fuckin awesome!!!



This thread (and that pic) has just reminded me how pleased I am to have all their '80s albums on vinyl. That Powerslave cover is indeed a thing of beauty. As Piece Of Mind would be too if my copy didn't have a fucking tear in the right-hand corner. Damn you, old-school-rucsack-that-wasn't-quite-big-enough-to-house-a-record-but-I-stupidly-stuffed-it-in-anyway-to-lend-to-some-lad-who-didn't-even-like-them-anyway-and-only-pretended-to-so-he-could-join-our-gang. Bastard.


Found this on vinyl used and in great condition and was amazed at the detail that cd covers never capture. I love those secret hidden messages like Indiana Jones was here. Best album cover of all time imo.

When I found it used though the shop had pretty much everything from Killers to No Prayer on vinyl for three quid each. I only had 5 quid on me at the time so I bought Powerslave and decided to pick the up the others a few days later......and you can guess where the story is going. Someone swooped in and bought the lot before me.

On another note my brother used to have The First Ten Years complete set on vinyl, until he left it in a car on a scorching hot day. The poor fucker found every record warped beyond repair.


_____________________________

Exactly six miles north of Skagg Mountain in the Valley of Pain, there lives an evil devilmonster. His name is Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger With A Side Of Aircraft Noise And You'll Be Gary Indiana.

Razzle them, dazzle them. Razzle dazzle them.



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Post #: 18
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 3:51:44 PM   
lukeyboy


Posts: 1638
Joined: 11/10/2005
From: Saaaaf Laaandaan you slaaag!

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives




Me too though I became an early, voracious reader of Kerang! and Metal Hammer due to the influence of my mate's older brother who, funnily enough, was one of the metal fans pouring scorn on Maiden for commiting keyboard sacrilege. I agree, it totally added something to the sound and was perfect for the epic concept behind that album.
It's quite amusing how narrow-minded a lot of metal fans were back then, I was just getting into Slayer at the time and there were whisperings that their follow up to the universally acclaimed Reign In Blood featured, several - shock, horror - slow songs and that they'd gone all 'pop' and sold out. These ludicrous claims amazingly continued after South Of Heaven had been released, though how on earth anyone could think a record that opend with a track featuring the charming couplet 'bastard sons begat your cunting daughters/promiscious mothers with their incestuous fathers' is an example of a metal band aiming for a spot on Top Of The Pops is beyond me.


I didn't really start reading Kerrang until the early Ninety's to be honest. At that point it was all about Guns 'n' Roses and Skid Row (who are awesome in a really cheesy but still cool kinda way), and Maiden were seen as old hat by then. Fast forward 20 years and Maiden are still churning out the albums and still getting fairly decent reviews but bands that were all the rage like 'Guns are dead and fucking buried (and after hearing Chinese Democracy - good fucking riddance!)

Yeah, I know what you're saying about Slayer and how these so called purists will hear something that vaguely resembles a ballad or even something with a coherant melody and then accuse the band of selling out. Mastodon are the latest band to get that treatment. I listened to their new album "The Hunter" the other day and IMO it is absolutely brilliant and their best work to date! But because it's a little bit slower, more chunky (for lack of a better term) and is better produced than it's predecessors, some people are now accussing them of selling out! Bloody ridiculous!

Anhow - I digress, back to Maiden. Powerslave, Piece of Mind and Fear of the Dark will be my other faves by Maiden (obviously after Seventh Son!)

I fully intend to name my first born son Bruce because it's such a great strong name! Not only do we have Bruce Dickinson, there's Bruce Lee, Bruce Campbell, Bruce Willis, Bruce Wayne, Bruce Forsyth........

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Post #: 19
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 3:52:29 PM   
lukeyboy


Posts: 1638
Joined: 11/10/2005
From: Saaaaf Laaandaan you slaaag!
Whoops!! Er,...well, you know what I meant to do!!

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Post #: 20
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 4:40:07 PM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair

quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy

Nice! Love the Maiden - can't beat this album as far as I'm concerned. Brucies never been better than he was on this one!




This is my personal favourite, looking forward to giving this a write up.

_____________________________

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

(in reply to lukeyboy)
Post #: 21
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 5:13:03 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
quote:

ORIGINAL: lukeyboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

Me too though I became an early, voracious reader of Kerang! and Metal Hammer due to the influence of my mate's older brother who, funnily enough, was one of the metal fans pouring scorn on Maiden for commiting keyboard sacrilege. I agree, it totally added something to the sound and was perfect for the epic concept behind that album.
It's quite amusing how narrow-minded a lot of metal fans were back then, I was just getting into Slayer at the time and there were whisperings that their follow up to the universally acclaimed Reign In Blood featured, several - shock, horror - slow songs and that they'd gone all 'pop' and sold out. These ludicrous claims amazingly continued after South Of Heaven had been released, though how on earth anyone could think a record that opend with a track featuring the charming couplet 'bastard sons begat your cunting daughters/promiscious mothers with their incestuous fathers' is an example of a metal band aiming for a spot on Top Of The Pops is beyond me.




I didn't really start reading Kerrang until the early Ninety's to be honest. At that point it was all about Guns 'n' Roses and Skid Row (who are awesome in a really cheesy but still cool kinda way), and Maiden were seen as old hat by then. Fast forward 20 years and Maiden are still churning out the albums and still getting fairly decent reviews but bands that were all the rage like 'Guns are dead and fucking buried (and after hearing Chinese Democracy - good fucking riddance!)

Yeah, I know what you're saying about Slayer and how these so called purists will hear something that vaguely resembles a ballad or even something with a coherant melody and then accuse the band of selling out. Mastodon are the latest band to get that treatment. I listened to their new album "The Hunter" the other day and IMO it is absolutely brilliant and their best work to date! But because it's a little bit slower, more chunky (for lack of a better term) and is better produced than it's predecessors, some people are now accussing them of selling out! Bloody ridiculous!



Ah, some things never change. I used to get stick for liking Metallica AND The Cure when I was younger. Barmy. I reckon post-Nevermind the lines became a bit more blurred in terms of what constituted metal or indie (or maybe rock fans of all hues just became a bit more open-minded), but in the late '80s when I first started meeting other music fans some of the tribalism was ridiculous.
Think my fave Maiden album would have to be Piece Of Mind, though to be honest apart from the odd dodgy track theres not much to seperate all their brilliant '80s output.

< Message edited by horribleives -- 6/12/2011 5:16:35 PM >

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Post #: 22
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 6/12/2011 5:36:52 PM   
jonson


Posts: 9118
Joined: 30/9/2005
You're right about the tribalism. I remember going to the Reading festival in 1989, wearing a T-shirt of this band I had just gotten into. Skid Row.
Yeah, cock-rock to the extreme but I nearly got filled in by a load of Pop Will Eat Itself crusties. They said I was "encouraging American shit-rock" and should stick to "listening to Bon Jovi"
I fucking hated Bon Jovi.
I could never understand the reaction. One thing I loved about msuic - and all music - is it brings together allsorts of people, with a universal love for the same thing. OK, I was prefering guitar-based music, but it's music all the same. I didn't see why I couldn't like Skid Row, Public Enemy, New Order and Neil Diamond all at the same time.
I don't think that tribalism exists so much now. My school was split between rap fans and rock fans, but once the God-like Steven Tyler and the equally God-like Run DMC collaborated, I think that made a lot of people appreciate the crossover. Plus I do remember being called racist for wearing a Guns N Roses T-shirt, so I promptly wore a Jimi Hendrix one the next day. I think that was the first time a lot of them had seen a black man playing a guitar before.

Anyway, don't mean to derail the thread, more Maiden madness please!!!

_____________________________

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Post #: 23
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 7/12/2011 2:54:17 AM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
# 2

Title - Killers
Year - 1981
UK Chart - # 12
Line Up
Paul Di'Anno – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Clive Burr – drums
Tracks
1. "The Ides of March" (instrumental)
2. "Wrathchild"
3. "Murders in the Rue Morgue"
4. "Another Life"
5. "Genghis Khan" (instrumental)
6. "Innocent Exile"
7. "Killers"
8. "Prodigal Son"
9. "Purgatory"
10. "Twilight Zone"
11. "Drifter"




Album # 2 is seen by some as an early misstep by Maiden on their way to rock stardom. Its not bad in any way (compared to some later ones its a masterpiece), some tracks on here are some of the best Maiden have put out, but it ain't great neither, its just good. What the first album was lacking in production quality it made up for with its songs. Killers has the opposite problem. Sonically its superb, the first of 8 Maiden albums to be helmed by rock producer extraordinaire Martin Birch (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow). Unlike its predecessors' messy sound quality, Killers sounds slick and tight while maintaining Maidens "live sound", a credit to Birch who's ethic was to stray away from fancy studio trickery and instead to coax the band into giving the best possible performance they could on each and every take. The result is one of the best sounding Maiden albums of the early years.

Unfortunately the songs don't live up to the excellent studio craftwork. Made up of mainly rejected songs from the first album bar one or two new tracks, the album suffers because of it. Whereas Iron Maiden features anthems a plenty, loads of complex and breakneck time changes and memorable songs from start to finish, Killers only inspires every 2 or 3 tracks. Yes, the title track and Wrathchild are live classics to this day but the rest are frankly quite forgettable to all but the most hardcore Maiden fan. Many of Killers-fillers (some fans amusingly dub the album Fillers) seem to just plod along without the inventiveness or confidence we are used to. Innocent Exile and Twilight Zone (the latter being only available on the US release until the 1998 remaster) in particular seem quite standard Rock n' Roll fare compared to the awesomeness we expect.

Unusual for a Maiden album it features two instrumentals and a track one could almost describe as an acoustic ballad in Prodigal Son (one of the highlights tbh). Of the two instrumentals Genghis Khan is the most enjoyable although it does sound like its trying too hard to be Transylvania. Album closer Drifter could've been written by any number of late 70's/early 80's rock groups and is interchangeable with half the latter tracks on the album although Di'Anno screaming "Rock N' Roll!" at the top of his voice is pretty fucking cool. Killers hits its peak with Murders in the Rue Morgue and the title track, both classic Maiden songs, Killers in particular has a superb build up and a fuck-off galloping riff, one that preceded The Trooper by a good few years. Oh and as always credit must go to the superb Derek Riggs and his iconic artwork, incidentally I believe this Eddie is the most popular to get tattooed.

Killers was significant for several reasons, it was the first album to feature Adrian Smith on guitar, beginning the classic Smith/Murray twin axe attack that gave the band its famous guitar harmony sound. It was also the last album to feature that young scallywag Paul Di'Anno on vocals, he was sacked after their '81 world tour for being to pissed and coked up all the time. To this day some consider him Maidens best ever vocalist but all things must come to an end. Thankfully this paved the way for a young, hyperactive, high pitched atomic bomb who went by the name of Bruce Bruce (no really). But that's for next time, right now spare a final thought on the album that could've nearly killed Maiden for good (it wouldn't be the last either). Its easy to forget how short lived the NWOBHM was and how many promising young groups ended up as flash in the pan by late '81 and because of this album and its relative failure in the charts, Maiden could've well ended up on that scrap heap too. Thank the devil they didn't then! Highlights are Wrathchild, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and Killers.

6.5/10


< Message edited by Spaldron -- 7/12/2011 5:32:14 AM >


_____________________________

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 24
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 7/12/2011 12:06:40 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5068
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
Totally agree with your three highlights - all classics but clearly the only decent tracks on the album.
I'd put part of that down to, as you say, a second-rate feel to the rushed and pedestrian song-writing, but I also find Di'anno's vocals quite weak throughout.

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Post #: 25
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 7/12/2011 2:21:58 PM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
This could well be my favourite thread now

Maiden are my favourite band. I fell out of love with them when Bruce left. (Saw his final show at Pinewoods Studios) then fell back in love with them again years later when I bought Dance of Death, shortly after this buying Brave New World and being very happy Bruce and the old Maiden were back.
Best band I've seen live and to be honest find it hard to pick a best song and album as I love so many of them

Agree with your Ratings so far Spaldron. Always found it hard to listen to Killers as it's so hit and miss. Killers and Murders are my two favourite tracks on the album.

As for the first album, well I love every track so hard to pick a favourite but if I had to it might be Prowler.

Look forward to the rest of this thread.

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Post #: 26
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 12/12/2011 10:13:47 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4236
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
Yeah, Prodigal Son is a top tune.

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Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

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Post #: 27
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 3:46:09 AM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
#3

Title - The Number Of The Beast
Year - 1982
UK Chart - #1
Line Up
Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Clive Burr – drums
Tracks
1. "Invaders"
2. "Children of the Damned"
3. "The Prisoner"
4. "22 Acacia Avenue"
5. "The Number of the Beast"
6. "Run to the Hills"
7. "Gangland"
8. "Total Eclipse"
9. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"




This is the big one, the album that changed heavy metal and broke Maiden out of the underground and into the nightmares of concerned American parents. Yes the religious nutters in the good ole US of A took it upon themselves to declare Maiden (based on Derek Riggs iconic artwork and the lyrics of the title track) a bunch of baby killing, nun-raping Satanist's out to corrupt the youth etc,etc.........
Copies were burned (great for sales as presumably they had to purchase them first) and concerts were picketed. Can you imagine a sea of middle-aged, beige jumper wearers singing "God is in His holy temple" outside a Maiden concert? Their manager Rod Smallwood said it was great publicity and most likely contributed to the albums success.

Even without all the publicity and controversy peaking interest, this is still, for many, the Maiden album. Often ranked a high number in any one of the dozens of "Greatest Albums etc..." and "Top 100 this and that", every track (well almost) is metal perfection and set the standard for the rest of the 80's and to this day frankly. No other British or European metal band have produced something this important and iconic since (understandable and sad at the same time, a sign of how America has dominated metal since the 90's and is not letting go). The first Maiden album to reach #1 in the UK, also managing the top ten of many other countries, TNOTB would eventually sell in excess of 14 million albums making it their biggest selling album to date.

It was one of those situations where everything came together right, a perfect combination of songs, artwork, production and timing surely. The first thing you notice is the sheer energy on display especially when compared to its so-so predecessor, the album sets off like a nuke and doesn't let up till the end. Even the slower tracks such as Children of the Damned and Hallowed Be Thy Name pick up after a few minutes and we're back to the usual frenzy. Bruce Dickinson (here in his Maiden début) makes his mark from the get go, belting out those lines ("Ruuuuuuun Foooooooooor Your Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiives!") and giving us one of the truly great vocal performances ever recorded. His Air-Raid Siren signature sound stands a galaxy away from Di'Anno's more rock n' roll style, soaring above the clouds and elevating Maidens music into the stratosphere. The difference is like night and day.

Steve Harris wrote the majority of the tracks and described it as being the "new Steve". Not using old songs that had been kicking about for years (see Killers) and instead writing a brand new batch of tunes that deliberately raised the bar and set a new ambition for the band to be more technical and theatrical sounding, separating them from the, now dead NWOBHM scene. Invaders has about four key changes in its first minute and a half (and a deliciously cheesy chorus to boot), while 22 Acacia Avenue, Children of the Damned and Hallowed all feature complex structure and time changes a plenty. The title track and Run to the Hills have two of metals catchiest hooks and remain permanent metal anthems. Beast in particular stands out as possibly the albums high point, a ball cracking whiplash of a song, with its haunting Revelations 12:12 chapter read by Thespian Barry Clayton (not Vincent Price as many believe) and telling a wild story of devil worship and ritual (Harris was inspired by a nightmare he had after watching Damien: The Omen II) it stood out from the other tracks due to the (above mentioned) misinterpretation of its lyrics.

The album isn't perfect, Gangland could've easily been a B-side, in fact it nearly was. It was a toss up between it and Total Eclipse as to which would make the final cut, Eclipse lost despite being the stronger track (the band rectified this for the 1998 remaster and inserted the song back into the album). Gangland also has that mysteriously missing guitar solo (a studio cock up I believe) but despite it being the albums weakest track its still pretty good in all. There's not really much more to say about the album that hasn't been written already (numerous articles, tv and radio documentaries) in particular VH1 featured it as part of their their Classic Albums series, the dvd of which is still available and is a must see. I also must give mention to The Prisoner, not just for being such an awesome tune but for that great little Patrick McGoohan audio sample in the intro.

Even if you're a casual fan of metal this is the album to start with (its a perfect introduction to Maidens music) and continues to inspire artists and fans around the world. Its timeless and that's a rare thing. Highlights have to be the title track, Run to the Hills, Children of the Damned and Hallowed Be Thy Name.

10/10


_____________________________

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 28
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 7:45:18 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9118
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
with its haunting Revelations 12:12 chapter read by Thespian Barry Clayton (not Vincent Price as many believe)


Fuck me I never knew that!!!!!!!! I was SURE it was Vincent Price!!! Another Urban Myth then???

Great review for IMO, the best Maiden record. The first one I bought, I had an older friend who was into Iron Maiden pretty much for the start, but the front cover had me hooked, I just had to buy it so I could look at it in more detail. I figured the music wasn't too bad either
I should think this is my Top 10 albums that have shaped my life in one way or another, I would also place it in the Top 10 albums by British bands.

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I've got all the Barbie ones!!!

Yeah but you're old. Really old. Old. Old. Old. Old.

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Post #: 29
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 8:00:56 AM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4236
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
with its haunting Revelations 12:12 chapter read by Thespian Barry Clayton (not Vincent Price as many believe)




Who the hell thought it was Vincent Price? Doesn't sound anything like him; for a start Price was American.


_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 30
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