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Old 11-12-2017, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trollheart's Comprehensive Guide to Iron Maiden


You all know I'm a huge Maiden fan; first metal band I ever listened to and I've loved them ever since. It's predictable, I guess, for a guy who got into metal in the eighties to be a fan of Maiden, but there it is. I'm going to use this thread, then, to waffle on at length about my favourite metal band, and how I'm going to do that is as follows: I'm putting all my Maiden albums into a playlist and shuffling them, and as each track comes up in random order I'm going to write as much as I can about it. Some will be of course songs I know - and probably you know - very well, but others may not be so familiar. I'm not that well up on the albums after Brave New World, so it could be interesting.

Feel free to join in, laugh at me, write snide comments, add Nazi gifs, whatever takes your fancy. I might add the solo albums later, though at the moment I'm concentrating on the rather large discography the band has created over thirty-odd years.

Back with whichever track comes up first later!
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Watch as TH sucks out every last ounce of fun left in Iron Maiden!
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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following. Maiden 4eva.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Track title: “Journeyman”
Album: Dance of Death
Year: 2003
Written by: Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Adrian Smith
Subject: Not entirely sure here to be honest
Type: Acoustic ballad
Length: 7:03
Familiar? A little but not much
Rating: 6/10
Now this is an interesting one to kick off with. Maiden's one and only (so far) acoustic song. They don't do many ballads, but this is the only one performed entirely on acoustic instruments, and it closes their thirteenth album, Dance of Death, which is, incidentally, where I stopped listening religiously to the band. I've heard this album a few times only, and nothing on it has ever particularly impressed me, but as this thread goes on and I get to hear and dissect more tracks from it, perhaps that will change.

As usual, Steve Harris's thick pulsating bass is heard prominently, even from the beginning of the song, and it has a nice kind of swaying, almost waltzy feel to it (sounds like there might be violin in there, but surely that would be keyboard? Don't think Maiden ever used violins) and Bruce is in fine voice on the song, not having to push himself as on classics like “Aces High”, “Run to the Hills” or even “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Even acoustic, it's still unmistakably an Iron Maiden song: there's just something about their music that instantly identifies a song as being theirs. I suppose that can be viewed as a bad thing, too. Still, this one certainly steps away from their usual bombast and it's nice to hear them stretching and doing something new. It's also interesting that they kept it for the last track on the album, a surprise when you first play it.

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Old 11-12-2017, 03:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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First and foremost, I'm dying to know what you think of this one...



I listened to it all the time in the late 90's.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First and foremost, I'm dying to know what you think of this one...



I listened to it all the time in the late 90's.
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)....
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Track title: “Can I Play With Madness?”
Album: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Year: 1988
Written by: Steve Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Adrian Smith
Subject: Insanity and magic
Type: Fast rocker
Length: 3:30
Familiar? Yeah I know this one well
Rating: 7/10

Note: although most of you will know many of these songs, I'm going to write as if the reader does not. So if I go into too much detail about “Run to the Hills” or “Phantom of the Opera”, just suck it.

Soooooo.......

If you're any kind of a fan of Maiden you know this song. It was the lead single from the concept album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and reached number three in the UK charts, making this one of the most commercially successful of Maiden's albums, with no less than four singles hitting the top ten. There's a real hammering feel about this, a juggernaut of a track with warnings about messing about with forces you can't understand. It's perhaps not unique (I'd have to check) but certainly unusual in being a song from Maiden that opens on an acapella vocal before the music pounds in, and indeed ends the same way. It's not, to be fair, my favourite off this album – I prefer “Moonchild”, “The Evil That Men Do” and “Only the Good Die Young” - but it certainly is a fan favourite, and probably inadvertently helped to give ol' Tipper Gore and her buddies lots more ammunition in their glorious fight against the corrupting influence of heavy metal, with its allusions to madness, never mind the fact that the song specifically warns against dabbling in the black arts.

Something that this song has, that all Maiden songs up to about the Fear of the Dark era have, and don't really seem to have any more, is a real hook in the melody. It's a song you can sing easily, whereas (allowing my caveat in the OP, when I admitted I am not that familiar with the albums post-BNW) it seems the later ones don't. It could be because they became exponentially longer and more involved, more progressive metal really, became too intricate and involved, but something like “Can I Play With Madness” really puts the “play” into the title. A real fun song.

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Old 11-12-2017, 05:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Track title: “If Eternity Should Fail”
Album: The Book of Souls
Year: 2015
Written by: Bruce Dickinson
Subject: Uh, not sure. End of the world?
Type: Epic progger
Length: 8:28
Familiar? Not really
Rating: 4/10
See, this is what I was talking about in the previous entry. Can anyone sing this song? Does anyone even remember it? I bet, the fact that it kicks off the latest Maiden album while running for nearly nine minutes (okay, eight and a half) probably turned a lot of headbangers off. It's not that I'm saying we metallers have short attention spans, it's just that ... that ... um ... where was I? Well anyway, it's a pretty atmospheric intro to the opener of their first album in five years, and there are ****ing FLUTES in it! Yeah, I know they're on Harris's keyboard, but still. It's not quite “Aces High” now is it? Talk about teasing. It's nearly two minutes into the track before the first proper guitar riffs kick in and the drums make their appearance, and that familiar Iron Maiden chug-a-long beat makes itself evident, and we can relax: this isn't a Dream Theater album after all! Phew!

The point I'm making is that this is nowhere near as immediate an impact as, well, just about any track that opens any of the classic albums. Hell, even Killers kicks bottom from the very first note. We shouldn't be waiting for Maiden to rock out, but we have to. Admittely, once it gets going it's a decent song, but even now, I can't find a hook in it that will make me remember it, much less sing it. Is this down to Dickinson's solo writing? I don't think so: most of this album is a co-authored affair, and there's only this and the epic-beyond-epic “Empire of the Clouds” that are solo compositions by Bruce. Still, that one is a little hard to stay with too, so maybe. I don't know. At least this gets a kick up the arse in the fifth minute with some good ol' solos, but doesn't that riff sound familiar? Anyone recognise it? I don't think it's a Maiden song.

Anyway, I won't say it's a bad song by any means, but it just doesn't feel like the killer punch the first track on the new Maiden album should be delivering. Too long, takes too long to get going, not limp but not going for your throat so much as asking you to get the **** out of the way. I need more aggression from my Maiden, thanks. Oh, and it fades out on the last minute with some sort of mad vocal thing. What the blue jumping ****, lads?
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:56 PM   #9 (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.
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Track title: “The Man of Sorrows”
Album: The Book of Souls
Year: 2015
Written by: Dave Murray/Steve Harris
Subject: ****ed if I know
Type: Kind of mid-paced
Length: 6:28
Familiar? Not really
Rating: 4/10
Ah, so randomness brings us back to the same album as last time. There's something really odd about this track. On Bruce Dickinson's 1997 solo album, Accident of Birth there's a song he penned called “Man of Sorrows”. This one only differs in the use of the definite article at the start, but it is a different song. It's written without any input from him, as you can see, and yet, you have to wonder why he didn't say, when Dave and Steve were coming up with a title, “Uh, guys? I have a song called “Man of Sorrows” on one of my albums. Given that mostly or only Maiden fans are going to have heard that, don't you think you should come up with another name for this track?” Maybe he did. Maybe they waved him down and told him to shut up and get back to writing “Empire of the Clouds”. But it's weird, Or at least, I find it weird. Maybe nobody else does.

It kind of reminds me of “Strange World” from the debut when it starts. Not completely, but it just gives me that feeling, with the slow jangly guitar. It soon punches in as Nicko's drums set the pace, and it seems like it's going to be what I term a slow cruncher, but then it gains a little speed as the twin guitars kick in, however I couldn't really call this a typical Maiden rocker. At least, not yet: there are six-plus minutes of it. Nice little solo there as it comes near a close; not the sort of thing we've been used to with Maiden, but still nice to hear. Sort of an odd little ending though.


FYI, here's Bruce's “Man of Sorrows”, just in case you're interested and want to compare the two.
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