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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown.

 
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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 8:08:58 AM   
jonson


Posts: 9004
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


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?


Well me above, for starters.
And probably quite a few people as well. How can you say it doesn't sound like him? It might not be him, but I think Barry Clayton is certinaly trying to impersonate him.
Unless I've just got fucked up hearing.

< Message edited by jonson -- 13/12/2011 8:09:17 AM >


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RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 8:32:45 AM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
Okay, he does sound a bit like Vincent Price. If Vincent Price had been English.

I actually quite like 'Invaders', if only for pure silliness.

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Post #: 32
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 11:46:55 AM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1186
Joined: 23/10/2011
I always assumed it was Price too. Can't remember where I heard it was him though.

Anyway great review for an excellent album. Children of the Damned is the highlight for me.


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Post #: 33
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 1:35:48 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

Okay, he does sound a bit like Vincent Price. If Vincent Price had been English.

I actually quite like 'Invaders', if only for pure silliness.


To be fair, he did an english accent once or twice in his career
Cool review anyway, though not having listened to the album for years, I was looking at the tracklisting trying to remember what the hell Total Eclipse went like 'til I read the bit about it only being on the re-issue and realised I'd never actually heard the bloody song.
I didn't get into Maiden 'til a few years later but I remember in the space of a few days seeing a poster for TNOTB in the local chemists's (anyone else remember when they sold records?) and the video for the title track on Top Of The Pops and not being able to sleep for the next week. Bastards.



< Message edited by horribleives -- 13/12/2011 1:36:35 PM >


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Post #: 34
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 1:37:25 PM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
It just shows how good NOTB is when Run to the Hills, NOTB and Hallowed are still regular songs on the setlist after all these years and that Children of the Damned, Prisoner and 22 Acacia Avenue all miss out being on the setlist despite being top songs.

NOTB is just a awesome album that still sounds so good today.

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Post #: 35
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 1:48:39 PM   
garvielloken


Posts: 1186
Joined: 23/10/2011
quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

Okay, he does sound a bit like Vincent Price. If Vincent Price had been English.

I actually quite like 'Invaders', if only for pure silliness.


To be fair, he did an english accent once or twice in his career
Cool review anyway, though not having listened to the album for years, I was looking at the tracklisting trying to remember what the hell Total Eclipse went like 'til I read the bit about it only being on the re-issue and realised I'd never actually heard the bloody song.
I didn't get into Maiden 'til a few years later but I remember in the space of a few days seeing a poster for TNOTB in the local chemists's (anyone else remember when they sold records?) and the video for the title track on Top Of The Pops and not being able to sleep for the next week. Bastards.




The video used to freak me out as a child too. When I look at it now it's absolutly hilarious.


_____________________________

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.



(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 36
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 13/12/2011 11:35:17 PM   
Spaldron


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


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?


Well me above, for starters.
And probably quite a few people as well. How can you say it doesn't sound like him? It might not be him, but I think Barry Clayton is certinaly trying to impersonate him.
Unless I've just got fucked up hearing.


Maiden originally wanted Price to do it but they couldn't afford his fee. I think that's where the confusion started.

_____________________________

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.

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Post #: 37
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 22/12/2011 6:08:37 AM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
# 4

Title - Piece Of Mind
Year - 1983
UK Chart - # 3
Line Up
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Nicko McBrain – drums
Tracks
1. "Where Eagles Dare"
2. "Revelations"
3. "Flight of Icarus"
4. "Die with Your Boots On"
5. "The Trooper"
6. "Still Life"
7. "Quest for Fire"
8. "Sun and Steel"
9. "To Tame a Land"




Shortly after the Beast on the Road tour, Maidens long time drummer (and all round good bloke) Clive Burr departed leaving space quickly occupied by all round lunatic (and friend of The Sooty Show) Nicko McBrain formerly of Trust and thus completing the "classic 80's line up". Nicko makes his presence known from the off, opening the album with the famous drum fill to Where Eagles Dare, taking no prisoners. This is a (slightly) slower album than its balls-to-the-wall predecessor, finally throwing off those post-punk shackles and taking more time with its arrangements, Maiden maturing if you want.

The songs are more technicality structured here with more emphasis on intricate duel guitar work and dynamics than just relying on pure adrenaline. Also we are given a taste of the more theatrical and big concept direction Maiden were heading in with songs based on literature and films. To Tame A Land is based on the novel Dune, The Trooper is based on Charge of the Light Brigade to name a few. First thing that you really notice is the prominence of the legendary Murray/Smith guitar work and how much it has evolved over the last three albums. No more is this on display than The Trooper's classic duel harmonised main riff. Most bands would have just opted for straight power chords but Maiden took a risk here, sacrificing heaviness for the sake of heaviness in favour of an awesome melody. We also get to hear 'arry's brilliant (and practically trademark) galloping bass line.

There's also more co-songwriting going on with Dickinson writing several tracks including the epic Revelations and Adrian Smith making more contributions. The pair wrote first single Flight Of Icarus which was accused of "plodding" by the rock press at the time but is now considered an all time classic. Seriously there isn't a bad track on this album (a feat Maiden would manage through the rest of the 80's) even if Quest For Fire remains slightly filler. Nicko's funny backwards message spoken at the beginning of Still Life was a big fuck you to the loony American fundamentalists who were continuing to label Maiden as Satan worshippers and were making a big deal at the time, accusing metal bands of hiding subliminal messages in their music (famously Judas Priest were dragged into court over this).

This was the first of many Maiden albums recorded outside the UK at the now famous Compass Point Studio's in Nassau, Bahamas, preceded by rehearsals on the island of Guernsey (hint they were dodging the taxman). Again produced by Martin Birch the album does slightly suffer when compared to The Number of the Beast in terms of sound quality. Perhaps this was due to the new surroundings or equipment but the guitars and bass are definitely weaker and have a tinny sound to them. Interestingly the drums sound fine. This got them into the Billboard Top 20 for the first time and, building on the momentum created by its predecessor, Piece Of Mind and the subsequent World Piece Tour made the band huge, bagging them their first arena shows and festival headline appearances. The next one would be their biggest of the 80's.
Highlights; The Trooper, Revelations, Flight OF Icarus.

9/10


< Message edited by Spaldron -- 12/1/2012 3:10:23 PM >


_____________________________

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 Spaldron)
Post #: 38
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 22/12/2011 6:55:39 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
Still Life and Revelations are my top two Maiden songs. When I was a kid everyone hated Sun And Steel 'cos it was 'too pop' but I love it now for that very reason.
Can any guitarists reading play a flawless, up-to-speed rendition of The Trooper? I know I'm fucked if I can.

_____________________________

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Post #: 39
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 22/12/2011 7:26:53 PM   
tommyjarvis


Posts: 6632
Joined: 2/11/2005
From: Caught somewhere in time

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

Still Life and Revelations are my top two Maiden songs. When I was a kid everyone hated Sun And Steel 'cos it was 'too pop' but I love it now for that very reason.
Can any guitarists reading play a flawless, up-to-speed rendition of The Trooper? I know I'm fucked if I can.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1WKYmx4i1Q

Of the classic five Maiden albums (i.e. Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time and SSOASS) this would probably be my least favourite. It's still not bad though, Where Eagles Dare, Die With Your Boots On and The Trooper are all kinds of awesome.

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Post #: 40
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 22/12/2011 7:46:43 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: tommyjarvis


quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

Still Life and Revelations are my top two Maiden songs. When I was a kid everyone hated Sun And Steel 'cos it was 'too pop' but I love it now for that very reason.
Can any guitarists reading play a flawless, up-to-speed rendition of The Trooper? I know I'm fucked if I can.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1WKYmx4i1Q


I want to be him.
How the fuck does he manage the solo?

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Post #: 41
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 23/12/2011 1:32:07 AM   
Spaldron


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

quote:

ORIGINAL: tommyjarvis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1WKYmx4i1Q


I want to be him.
How the fuck does he manage the solo?





_____________________________

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.

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Post #: 42
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 23/12/2011 4:47:29 AM   
NinjaShortbread212


Posts: 4542
Joined: 26/4/2011
From: Edinburger, Scottyland
quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

quote:

ORIGINAL: tommyjarvis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1WKYmx4i1Q



I want to be him.
How the fuck does he manage the solo?








I'm totally stalking this guy on YouTube right now! He also does a great rendition of the Super Mario Bros theme.
Very cool.


EDT: Also, nice work on the thread Spaldy! I'm learning thing's I never even knew about the glorious Maiden.


< Message edited by NinjaShortbread212 -- 23/12/2011 4:50:03 AM >


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Art

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Post #: 43
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/1/2012 4:47:58 PM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
Another great Album, when younger I never really likes the first 2 tracks on the album but now as I've gotten older I do. Revelations is now one of my favourite Maiden songs.

_____________________________

GAMERTAG: hothtrooper

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

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Post #: 44
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 25/1/2012 11:14:28 AM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
Bump. Next album please Spaldron

_____________________________

GAMERTAG: hothtrooper

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

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Post #: 45
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 28/1/2012 2:43:02 PM   
Spaldron


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: jediwarrior

Bump. Next album please Spaldron


Sorry been meaning to get round to it but been busy. Powerslave coming 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.

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Post #: 46
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 28/1/2012 4:40:04 PM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
# 5

Title - Poweslave
Year - 1984
UK Chart - # 2
Line Up
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Nicko McBrain – drums
Tracks
1. "Aces High"
2. "2 Minutes to Midnight"
3. "Losfer Words (Big 'Orra)"
4. "Flash of the Blade"
5. "The Duellists"
6. "Back in the Village"
7. "Powerslave"
8. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"




Maidens first album to feature the same line up as before (a feat in itself) represented the bands commercial peak in the 80's. Sending them off on a mammoth world tour that the band would never top again, and for good reason, its release in late '84 was timely, coming in just before American hair and thrash metal began its ascendance (Maiden would somewhat respond to this new wave in their follow up album).

Recording once again in the Bahamas the band brought a new emphasis on keeping the album tighter and more focused than Piece Of Mind, with a stronger collection of songs and a more ambitious attempt to widen their scope into more proggy territory. A risky move for the time with the emergence of MTV and when record companies were demanding more 3 minute singles. Maidens "fuck you" response was to close the album with their first (and finest) in what would become a long standing tradition of "the Maiden epic". Rime Of The Ancient Mariner clocks in at over 13 minutes (still their longest song), is broken up into three sections and is based on epic poetry (courtesy Samuel Taylor Coleridge) about sea faring and superstitions. Proper nerd stuff! The song is a work of genius no doubt, made all the more astonishing when you consider that Harris wrote the whole thing in just a few weeks!

The track is the icing on the cake on what is probably Maidens third best album of the 80's imo. Flying in like a Spitfire with the breakneck (and with a cool as fuck title to boot) Aces High, based on the Battle of Britain dogfights told from the perspective of an RAF pilot. Not the first or the last Maiden track to be set around WW2 or indeed warfare in general, its followed up by one of their earliest pseudo-political songs 2 Minutes To Midnight. Dealing with the subject of nuclear Armageddon (highly prevalent at the time) and the hypocrisy of self serving world leaders it remains a live staple of any show featuring possibly Maidens best chorus ever and some iconic riffs from Adrian Smith. Powerslave also brings back the good old instrumental not seen since Killers with Losfer Words (Big 'Orra) with its Steve Harris bass led rhythm.

The album also resurrects The Prisoner somewhat with Back In The Village, a sequel of sorts to its Number Of The Beast predecessor, The Duellists is probably the albums weakest track (although still features some great vocal work) but of the four tracks not frequently performed live anymore its Flash Of The Blade that is the albums hidden gem of sorts, with some great riffs and Dickinson clearly displaying his love for swords n' sorcery (and fencing). Dickinson writes a hell of a lot of lyrics on this album, even grabbing a full songwriting credit for the albums title track Powerslave. "Into the Abyss I'll fall - the eye of Horus, into the eyes of the night - watching me go. Green is the cat's eye that glows - In this Temple, enter the risen Osiris - risen again."

The title track with its lyrics provided Maiden with the excuse to go into an ancient Egyptian theme (which all rock bands seem to do in the end) culminating with Derek Riggs' iconic (and decade best) artwork, a brilliant and powerful image which the band incorporated heavily into their 'World Slavery Tour' of the same and following year. This album and the mega tour that followed (that very nearly killed the band) would see Maiden reach the height of their popularity in America, although they wouldn't yet peak in the UK for another few years. Indeed the massiveness of Powerslave would convince the band to release their first (and arguably best) live album, more on that later.

Highlights, 2 Minutes To Midnight, Flash Of The Blade, Rime OF The Ancient Mariner.

9/10


_____________________________

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 Spaldron)
Post #: 47
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 28/1/2012 10:00:18 PM   
tommyjarvis


Posts: 6632
Joined: 2/11/2005
From: Caught somewhere in time
Powerslave

Probably on balance my favourite Maiden album. The Duellists is pretty good I reckon, I love the lengthy guitar soloing in the middle.

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Post #: 48
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 29/1/2012 12:19:07 AM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
Losfer Words is simply awesome.

Wasn't it on the World Slavery tour that the infamous 'Mission from 'Arry' argument was immortalised?

< Message edited by DancingClown -- 29/1/2012 12:24:00 AM >


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"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

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Post #: 49
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 29/1/2012 1:55:08 AM   
Spaldron


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

Losfer Words is simply awesome.

Wasn't it on the World Slavery tour that the infamous 'Mission from 'Arry' argument was immortalised?


Hell yeah! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q0bGH8ScxE

_____________________________

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 #: 50
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 30/1/2012 12:33:17 AM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron


quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

Losfer Words is simply awesome.

Wasn't it on the World Slavery tour that the infamous 'Mission from 'Arry' argument was immortalised?


Hell yeah! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q0bGH8ScxE


Ha, haven't heard that for years - 'fuck my old boots!' indeed.

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Post #: 51
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 5/3/2012 8:22:32 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughsomewhereintimecoughcoughcoughcoughcough

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

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

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to horribleives)
Post #: 52
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 8/3/2012 7:58:04 PM   
Spaldron


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

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughsomewhereintimecoughcoughcoughcoughcough


Ah, bollocks I completely forgot this damn thread. Will post a few more albums up at the weekend.

_____________________________

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 #: 53
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 11/3/2012 6:09:03 PM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
Live Album # 1

Title - Live After Death
Year - 1985
UK Chart - # 2
Line Up
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Nicko McBrain – drums
Tracks
CD 1
1. "Intro: Churchill's Speech"
2. "Aces High"
3. "2 Minutes to Midnight"
4. "The Trooper"
5. "Revelations"
6. "Flight of Icarus"
7. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
8. "Powerslave"
9. "The Number of the Beast"
10. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"
11. "Iron Maiden"
12. "Run to the Hills"
13. "Running Free"

CD 2
1. "Wrathchild"
2. "22 Acacia Avenue"
3. "Children of the Damned"
4. "Die With Your Boots On
5. "Phantom of the Opera"




"Scream For Me Long Beach!" Bruce Dickinson's famous call to arms isn't the only memorable quote (see Mariner) from this, Maidens first and arguably the finest live metal album ever, released back in the days when live albums actually meant something, a showcase for the bands performing skills and to hear your favourite tracks bigger and louder, not hindered by studio polish. In those days you needed truckloads of equipment to record these things, using the stone-age gear they had back then compared to today when you can record an entire set on a laptop. The chosen venue for the main disc (basing this review on the 2 disc 1998 re-release) was L.A.'s Long Beach Arena where Maiden were booked for 4 sold out nights, the highpoint of their World Slavery Tour, a tour which they would never top again in terms of sheer numbers (nearly 300 shows in all).

Opening with Churchill's famous "fight them on the beaches" speech complete with Spitfire sound effects before launching into Aces High and 2 Minutes To Midnight, you get a clear impression of how tight the band were at their peak, not a bum note to be heard despite the complex Smith/Murray guitar work straight from the get go. Next up the power three'o from Piece Of Mind, being The Trooper, Revelations and Flight Of Icarus have a new energy to them, especially the latter two which were admittedly a little plodding in their original versions. Its telling that Maiden have long strived to capture their live power in the studio, and have occasionally succeeded (and sometimes not so much). Of course the two titans of this album that everyone remembers are a stunning version of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, with Bruce's brilliant summary of the songs message ("and this is what not to do if a bird shits on you") and the albums closer, an 8 minute version of their first hit single Running Free, complete with full audience participation.

The rest of the album features the usual classics, Number Of The Beast, Iron Maiden, Hallowed Be Thy Name and the rest. Disc 2 incidentally was recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon and features 5 lesser known, but still classic tracks including 22 Acacia Avenue and Die With Your Boots On. The sound quality on the second disc is actually an improvement (possibly due to the Hammersmith's superior acoustics). If there's any gripe I have is that Dickinson's vocals are a little knackered on some tracks, especially on the higher notes (see, Run To The Hills) but this can be forgiven when you think about the brutal touring schedule the band put themselves through. Its also clear that some of the audience cheers and swells have been deliberately beefed up to make it sound bigger but in their defence that's what all the bands did back then (and still do tbh). Overall though, of all the live albums and videos Maiden have released over the years (and there are a lot) few have managed to equal this one in terms of sound quality and tracklist, and none have topped it in terms of pure iconic status. The accompanying VHS and subsequent DVD re-release will be mentioned later as it ties in with the other DVD releases from 2000 onwards which I will be reviewing in a block after I've finished the albums.

Highlights - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Running Free, Iron Maiden, Children Of The Damned, Phantom Of The Opera.

9.5/10


_____________________________

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 Spaldron)
Post #: 54
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 11/3/2012 7:16:30 PM   
Spaldron


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

Title - Somewhere In Time
Year - 1986
UK Chart - # 3
Line Up
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Nicko McBrain – drums
Tracks
1. "Caught Somewhere in Time"
2. "Wasted Years"
3. "Sea of Madness"
4. "Heaven Can Wait"
5. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"
6. "Stranger in a Strange Land"
7. "Deja Vu"
8. "Alexander the Great"




Somewhere In Time presented Maiden with "difficult sixth album" issues (if there is such a thing). After the mega world tour supporting Powerslave the band took a good year off to recover, with Bruce being more burned out that the others. Indeed he decided to spend the time off writing a whole bunch of new songs for the upcoming album which were less Maiden and more acoustic 80's rock. It was clear that Dickinson had gone mad and was quickly vetoed by Harris who had a bunch of proper Maiden songs on the burner (as did Adrian Smith with two song writing credits to his name). This decision clearly caused some tension and possibly resentment in the band although speculation will remain as to whether this planted the seed of Dickinson's eventual abandonment of HMS Maiden 7 years later.

The album also brought us something new to the Maiden sound, Synths! AAAAARRRRRRRRGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! "You cant have Synths in heavy metal" the fans bellowed, tearing their Maiden patches off their Gumby jackets and going to Anthrax concerts instead. Of course the idea that Maiden were suddenly going down the Def Leppard road was ridiculous, Somewhere In Time is by all means a Maiden album with Maiden songs, it just sounds a little cleaner, less rough around the edges (whether or not that is a good thing is up to you). And it should be pointed out that these were guitar synths on the album, the band wouldn't commit to full keyboards until Seventh Son.

This album also features by far the most elaborate artwork Derek Riggs ever produced for the band, there's so much in there you don't know where to begin, its futuristic Blade Runner-inspired theme is chock full of references to the bands career, literature, movies, pop-culture and general sci-fi (spot the TARDIS). You can view the full artwork here. As mentioned above the sound is super slick, Martin Birch now his fifth studio album with Maiden clearly allowing some of the super-produced 80's sounds to influence his style, which would be expanded on in the follow up album. It was also their most expensive album, recorded and mixed in three separate countries no doubt contributing to the less live and more studio polished feel of the music.

As for the songs its definitely a mixed bag but more good stuff than the average (there aren't any crap tracks on the album but there are some fillers). Caught Somewhere In Time opens the album with promise with its elaborate riffs and structure, followed up by chart hit and live staple Wasted Years written solely by Smith. Heaven Can Wait and Stranger In A Strange Land are terrific tracks which make good use of their new synth sound. On the other hand Déjà vu and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner are very forgettable (and rather Maiden-by-numbers) with generic riffs and uninspiring lyrics. The album closes on what was intended to be a follow up to Mariner with the equally epic Alexander The Great (356 - 323 B.C.) with its big chorus, weird time changes and historical basis its easily up there with Maidens big epics although it never quite reaches Mariners genius. Famously the band have never performed the song live, something which the fans have been complaining about/calling for ever since. Despite the albums drawbacks the band continued their success with the subsequent Somewhere On Tour world tour despite the rise of 80's American hair rock and thrash metal and even if this isn't one of their best efforts of the decade they would soon make up for it in the follow up.

Highlights - Wasted Years, Caught Somewhere In Time, Alexander The Great.

7/10


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Post #: 55
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 11/3/2012 7:56:09 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
Nice one, Spalds. Alexander the Great is indeed a top track, I just love the guitar work. Although my personal favourite song is possibly Stranger In A Strange Land, mainly for the lyrics.

I have to say though, I doubt many others would disagree if I nominate Deja Vu as one of the, erm....crappier Maiden songs, if only for its somewhat banal subject matter.

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Post #: 56
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 12/3/2012 7:03:05 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North
I'm a huge fan of Sea Of Madness (one of Smith's tracks if I remember correctly) - the eerie bridge and chorus has probably the most effective use of keyboards on the whole album for my money (though bear in mind I haven't heard it in years so these days it could sound like bloody Marillion for all I know).
Best track is Wasted Years by a country mile though.

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Post #: 57
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 12/3/2012 9:29:28 PM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
I think Somewhere in Time is a very under rated album. I must admit I used to be one of the people who thought it wasn't great when I was younger but have certainly grown to love it more.
I think the only let down of a song on the album is Deja Vu and it ain't the worst song ever.

As for Live after Death I love the album cover and the album is just awesome. Would have love a whole album from Hammersmith as Disc 2 does sound like a great concert as well.

Saw them do the Somewhere back in time concert at Twickenham 2 or 3 years ago and it was great to see the stage set from Live after Death after watching it on a old video for many years during my youth. 

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Post #: 58
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 27/3/2012 3:24:44 AM   
Spaldron


Posts: 10485
Joined: 6/10/2006
From: Chair
Seventh Son coming 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 jediwarrior)
Post #: 59
RE: Spaldy's Iron Maiden Album Rundown. - 4/4/2012 2:25:32 PM   
jediwarrior


Posts: 20016
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: At home eating twiglets
*cough*

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GAMERTAG: hothtrooper

The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

(in reply to Spaldron)
Post #: 60
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