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Old 11-12-2017, 07:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Can I Play With Madness is like an easy 8/10 maybe 9. Seventh Son is the best Maiden album afaic.
Oh I do like the track, it's just maybe a little commercially/poppy to a degree that you just knew it was going to be taken as a single. There are better tracks on SSoaSS. And no, it's not the best Maiden album imo. Powerslave, Brave New World, Killers, Piece of Mind and Number of the Beast all beat it out easily in my own particular book. I do like the album though, but it would not be a top three for me. Definitely top ten though.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I hate it, though not as much as X Factor. I think there's one song on it I like ("The Angel and the Gambler") but other than that it's ****. But I'm sure something will come up from it in the course of this thread. Maybe I'll change my mind (not bloody likely)....
Kill yourself. X Factor is great.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Three things I remember from when I listened to The Book of Souls back in 2015. It is 92 minutes long and suffers badly from a lack of editing. Bruce's voice is almost entirely shot on this album and he sounds like grandpa Simpson. That epic album closer, Empire of the Clouds, is one of the least interesting songs Maiden has ever written, but it's also the longest.

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Kill yourself. X Factor is great.
Sign of the Cross alone makes it worth it.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Track title: “Rainmaker”
Album: Dance of Death
Year: 2003
Written by: Dave Murray/Steve Harris/Bruce Dickinson
Subject: Not a clue
Type: Fast rocker
Length: 3:48
Familiar? No
Rating: 6/10
A short, snappy song for once. As Maiden's career winds on it becomes harder to find shorter songs and it's nice to have one here that doesn't go through multiple changes or stretch out beyond endurance. “Rainmaker” also has that missed element in so many of Maiden's later songs, a singable chorus, a hook, and of course there's a nice solo in there too. The twin guitar sound Maiden became so famous for is evident here too, great harmony between the two guitars. I wouldn't say Bruce's voice is too overstressed on this, though there's plenty of energy in the song. To be honest, this could have been on Piece of Mind or Somewhere in Time; it almost stands out as an anachronism among the later Maiden tunes. Good stuff. Don't ask me what the **** it's about though!


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Old 11-13-2017, 05:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Kill yourself. X Factor is great.
X Factor is **** and every copy should be buried in a swamp and forgotten about.
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Originally Posted by MicShazam View Post
Three things I remember from when I listened to The Book of Souls back in 2015. It is 92 minutes long and suffers badly from a lack of editing. Bruce's voice is almost entirely shot on this album and he sounds like grandpa Simpson. That epic album closer, Empire of the Clouds, is one of the least interesting songs Maiden has ever written, but it's also the longest.
Apart from the lovely piano intro, yes, it does struggle to maintain the interest, rather like the whole album. I think Maiden seriously should consider going back to the shorter songs. They're not a progressive metal band, though they seem determined to try to be one.
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Sign of the Cross alone makes it worth it.
No. No it doesn't. "Sign of the Cross" is like am eleven minute borefest. I think the only song I can rate at all on X Factor is "Lord of the Flies", and even that's stretching it.

(Cue X Factor song coming up next! )
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Track title: “Alexander the Great”
Album: Somewhere in Time
Year: 1986
Written by: Steve Harris
Subject: Um, Alexander the Great?
Type: Epic cruncher
Length: 8:38
Familiar? Yes, a little
Rating: 5/10
Again, Somewhere in Time, though I like it, is not one of my favourite Maiden albums. I feel it suffers from some very weak tracks (cue argument with MicShazam) and this is one of them. This is not to say it's a bad album at all, but compare it to any of the previous ones and it's hard not to feel that the boys were beginning to slip slightly on this one. Well, it's hard for me not to feel that way. **** you: I don't care what you think. Odd enough for a proghead to admit, but I'm not really a fan of the long, epic Maiden songs, with the obvious exception. I just prefer their snappier, more immediate, more metal songs, in general. I find their epics, especially after Brave New World, seem to wander about a little aimlessly, and it makes it hard to remember them, for me anyway, and so harder to enjoy them.

One thing Harris has been very careful about through Maiden's career is to try to integrate his love of history into their music. Maiden don't tend to sing drinking songs, or songs about women (much), or riding motorcycles (all that often), and you'll find in their lyrics more references to battles, gods, historical figures and events than you will with most metal bands. This of course focusses on the Macedonian general whose empire had stretched across most of the known world by the time he was thirty years old. There's that long introduction we'll end up becoming used to in the future: almost two minutes of it, including a quote from King Philip II of Macedonia, and the intro sound a little Powerslave-y to me. Anyway, once it gets going it's a decent rocker but I always felt it was a little stilted; some of the lyrics don't seem to scan very well and I find the ending a bit meh. Good buildup in the middle to a decent solo, but is there not too much of the main theme to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in the melody here? No? **** you, then.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Track title: “The Clansman”
Album: Virtual XI
Year: 1998
Written by: Steve Harris
Subject: Scottish warrior clans
Type: Fastish rocker
Length: 9:08
Familiar? A little
Rating: 4/10
Oh lordy! Thanks MicShazam! Only speak the name of the album and it shall appear on the playlist! Well, I don't hate Virtual XI (pronounced “Virtual Eleven”, for the uninitiated) as much as I loathe The X Factor, but it's definitely second-last on my list of favourites, even Maiden albums I have only heard once, like The Final Frontier. One of the two from what I like to term “the wilderness years”, when Bruce Dickinson had left the band to pursue a solo career, and would not return till the new millennium, I mentioned there was only one song I really liked on this album, and this ain't it. Another Steve Harris epic, it opens on a by-now familiar guitar riff (I think I can remember it first being used on “Afraid to Shoot Strangers” off Fear of the Dark, but again I'd have to check). It's about a ninety-second intro before the voice of the man who would replace Dickinson comes in, and to be fair, I've nothing against Blaze Bayley and he does a competent job. No, my contempt for these two albums has not as much to do with the absence of Bruce as it does with the terrible songwriting and the just general lack of effort on both.

It kicks up on the word “Freedom!” and we're off rocking, and yes, it does possess a hook, though whether you would feel inclined to sing it or not is another thing. Kind of a retread in some ways, lyrically if nothing else, of “The Trooper”, but not really a terrible effort. Absolutely way too long though for the type of song it is, and you can hear them trying to stretch it out, even moreso than my actual favourite – or I should say, only song I don't dislike – on this, “Angel and the Gambler”. This album also suffered, I believe, as did The X Factor, from the loss of Adrian Smith, who was always such a perfect foil for Dave Murray. Janick Gers is a great guitarist, don't get me wrong, but I prefer the original team. And while he may be a decent vocalist, Bayley ain't got the presence or character of Bruce. Good refrain in the last three minutes or so, though it does go on for a little longer than necessary and then is filled out with the classic “Whoa-oh-oh-oh” chorus. Not the worst Maiden song by any means, but it can't hold a candle to any from the classic years.

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Old 11-13-2017, 03:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Track title: “Running Free”
Album: Iron Maiden
Year: 1980
Written by: Steve Harris/Paul Di'Anno
Subject: Man on the run from the law
Type: Bouncy rocker
Length: 3:16
Familiar? Oh yes
Rating: 5/10
All the way back to the beginning we go, and the debut album, released over thirty-five years ago now, can you believe? Back then, Bruce Dickinson was singing with Samson and had no intention of, nor idea that he would be, joining Maiden, and the lead singer was a guy called Paul Di'Anno. You can hear the difference between him and Bruce here clearly; Di'Anno is much rougher, more raw and visceral in his singing. His style therefore suits the early Maiden music perfectly, when it was kind of a synthesis of punk and the emerging heavy metal with dashes of hard rock thrown in. Di'Anno tends usually to snarl the songs rather than sing them, and nowhere does he do this better than on the title track to the second album. But more of that when it comes up.

“Running Free” was, I believe, the first single from the band, and unsurprisingly it made little of a dent in the charts, though did better when re-released years later, presumably on the then growing fame of the band. Di'Anno says it was mostly autobiographical, and looks back to his time as a skinhead. The first thing you hear when the song begins are the bouncing drums of Clive Burr, who sadly passed away in 2013. It's quite a sparse song really, with the chorus really weak, although that could be due to the production. Harris's bass begins its desire to always be upfront in every Maiden song, as it has more or less remained to this day, Harris being one of the most conspicuous bassists since maybe Phil Lynott. There's good punchy guitar too, but Dave Murray is here partnered with Dennis Stratton, who would leave after this album, and there's just not quite the same spark about it, I feel. A decent song, and if I remember correctly, actually the very first Maiden song I ever heard, though at the time I hated it. I do have to admit, when he takes this on live onstage, Bruce can't seem to do the same justice to it that Paul does here. It's just more his type of song. It was a different time, a different style, almost a different band. Di'Anno would eventualy be dismissed from the band and go on to form his own eponymous outfit.

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Old 11-13-2017, 03:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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**** you, "Running Free" is amazing! That song has so much ****ing bounce that I can't handle it.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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**** you, "Running Free" is amazing! That song has so much ****ing bounce that I can't handle it.
**** you right back. I said it was bouncy, didn't I? But "Phantom of the Opera" pisses all over it, as does just about any track on the debut.
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