42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2007
The first time I heard this record,I was about thirteen. It had already been out for about four years,and in that time its acclaim had grown to the point where it was already widely regarded as a classic. Once I heard the brief drum solo that opens lead track Where Eagles Dare, it was easy to hear why. There was something so fierce about Piece Of Mind. Perhaps it was the production of Martin Birch, or the primal screams and powerful wails of Bruce Dickinson. Maybe it was nine-round axe duel between Adrian Smith and Dave Murray or the masterful rhythm section of Steve Harris and Nicko McBrain at work. I think it was all of those, but most importantly, it was the songwriting that made this album the highlight of metal's most creatively stellar year,1983.
Listen to the aural acrobatics of the aforementioned Where Eagles Dare which features one of the best examples of daring riffery and acrobatic melody the metal genre has to offer. Even the album's weakest track, Quest For Fire, thrusts, dodges, lunges, and parries with proud cunning. Every composition on Piece Of Mind broke ground, and the album as a whole could not have been written by any other band. Piece of Mind is one of those records that always seemed to be not unlike an anthology of self-contained, yet vaguely related stories. When reading the acknowledgements, it comes as no surprise that the band thanks Alistair MacLean and Frank Herbert for the inspiration that their novels brought to their work. My young mind was engrossed in the richly British escapism of the lyrics and still is to this day. Where Eagles Dare sent us on a mission to infiltrate a castle in the Austrian Alps. The intricate dirge Revelations told a tale of Biblical intrigue. Flight Of Icarus brought the myth of one who tempts fate with man-made wings to a whole new generation. Die With Your Boots On gave us warnings from Nostradamus. The Trooper, with its rousing, galloping twin-lead riff, put us right onto a battlefield during the Crimean war. Still Life told us a ghost story. Quest For Fire took us back to a prehistoric time that never actually was. Sun And Steel took us into the mind of Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi, and finale To Tame A Land thrust us far beyond our universe to Frank Herbert's desert planet Arrakis. Never before or since has a album taken me to so many fantastic realms in such a short period of time. This, combined with everything else I have written, is what makes Piece Of Mind the definitive Iron Maiden experience. All in all it remains a swashbuckling thriller of sound and fury that has withstood the onslaught of Father Time long enough to become my favorite album ever.
81 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2004
Given how musical tastes change over the years, it's not uncommon for people to find that the music of their youth isn't quite so appealing anymore. Yet for me, even as I become absorbed by avant-garde, Rock-in-Opposition, 20th/21st century classical, modern jazz, and other wild n' crazy stuff, Iron Maiden remains very endearing. And it's not just nostalgia (distorting the past to fit the sensibilities of the present). Iron Maiden is just a great, great band, and _Piece of Mind_ remains my favorite album in their considerable catalogue (followed by _Seventh Son..._).
Although it will probably pain a lot of hardcore Maiden lovers to hear me say it, but I think Iron Maiden's music has always had a certain metal-pop quality to it. I do NOT mean that Iron Maiden should in any way be associated with pathetic pantywaists like Poison or Warrant (such bands justify the repeal of the First Amendment). But in addition to insatiable metal energy and carnivorous, immortal metal riffs & solos, Maiden has always placed an immense emphasis on vocals, hooks, melodies, and tight songs. Yeah, they're cheesy, but Maiden is comfortable with their intrinsic metal cheesiness, so it works for them rather than against them. (A worse crime than cheesiness is to be completely oblivious to your cheesiness -- for an empirical illustration of this theory, I refer you to the legions of horrible European power metal bands like Stratovarius and Helloween.)
_Piece of Mind_ is an amazing album with not a single weak track. Of course, some songs are still better than others, and those are veritably deserving metal classics. There's "Where Eagles Dare", with its choppy, spitfire riffing; "The Trooper" with its unforgettable, evocative metal gallop and lyrics; and "Flight of Icarus", with its classic chorus and anthemic reach. "Revelations" is an epic that surrounds lyrical moments of beautiful imagery with memorable metal riffing. There is also "Still Life", one of the most tragically underrated Iron Maiden songs, with a mysterious opening that kicks into one of the most infectious and catchy songs in their catalogue. Apparently a lot of people think "Sun and Steel" and "Quest for Fire" are crap or at best inconvenient filler, I really like those songs ("Sun and Steel" especially!). The final epic, "To Tame a Land", suggests the direction the band would take with _Seventh Son_, carefully building until its monumental, epic guitar harmony at the end -- it remains one of the highpoints of their formidable songwriting genius.
It's a classic, and it doesn't really need me saying so. But another positive review never hurt anyone.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2000
In the spring of 1983 I heard a song on the radio that introduced me to a world of dueling guitars, screeching vocals and pounding rythymns. The song was "Flight of Icarus" and the album from which it came quickly became one of my all-time favorites. THIS IS CLASSIC IRON MAIDEN. The album immediately grabs onto you with the crunching "Where Eagles Dare", from there Maiden concert staples such as "Die With Your Boots On" and "The Trooper" explode one after another. The closing number "To Tame a Land" has one of the best outro's of any Maiden song. Maiden's sound on this album took a major step forward with the inclusion of ex-Trust drummer Nicko McBrain, after originally drummer Clive Burr left after 1982's Number of the Beast tour. The production is hot and the songs are alive with aggression and fire. This album set the table for Maiden's metal dominance of the 80's that has been recaptured again with the recent release of "Brave New World" Any Maiden fan would be remiss without a copy of this classic album.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2004
Following an icon album like The number of the beast is not easy but, with Piece of mind, Iron Maiden succeed and produced an album, even though that doesn't have classics like Number of the beast, Run to the hills or Hallowed be thy name, proved to be more complete and, as the years go by, simply better than TNOTB. This album also features the arrival of drummer Nicko McBrain who completes marvelously the rhythm sections with his mate the God Steve Harris.
1-Where eagles dare : Greatest drum intro ever. Welcome Mr. McBrain. Bruce Dickinson voice is over the edge and there's a great instrumental part. Awesome overture. 9,5/10
2-Revelations : A very progressive song in the style of Iron Maiden. The more you listen to it the more you like it. The live version on Live After Death is something else. 9,5/10
3-Flight of Icarus : Introduced as the 1st single of the album. This very good and catchy song was meant to be one of the top songs on the album...and she's not. That shows how much Piece of mind is a strong album. 9/10
4-Die with your boots on : Killer rock song. Great chorus and solo. When you listen to this song you understand why Iron Maiden is so good. 9,5/10
5-The Trooper : Even though I heard this song way too many times in my life, it's still a classic of metal. Everything in this song is perfect. 10/10
6-Still life : One of Iron Maiden's hidden treasures. A smoother song with a killer chorus. Every Maiden song is different but you can always recognise the style underneath it. With Still life, it's different, there is a new structure and a new feel. 9,5/10
7-Quest for fire : This song was probably destined to be a filler (remember the B-sides on the vinyl records ?). Well, if it is, they missed the target. This is a very good song that deserves to be on the album. 8,5/10
8-Sun and steel : Same as above. A very catchy chorus. 8,5/10
9-To tame a land : The Steve Harris epic that you can find on almost every Maiden album. With the years we can say that Harris wrote this song in preparation for his best effort ever, Rime of the ancient mariner. Just perfect ! 10/10
Not as known as TNOTB, Piece of mind is proving, with the years, to be a better album than his predecessor. A definite must have for every metal fan.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2006
Iron Maiden released "Piece of Mind" in 1983 and the big change this time was a new drummer. Nicko McBrian replaced Clive Burr and although I personally liked Burr better, McBrian is still pretty excellent. Bruce Dickinson of course returns and is as excellent as ever. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray do the epic dual solos. Finally Steve Harris has some of the best bass work in metal! There are many Maiden favorites found here like "The Trooper" being the most famous song on this album and one of the best Iron Maiden songs ever! There's also the epic 7-minute long "To Tame a Land". "Die With Your Boots" on is another awesome track as is the classic "Where Eagles Dare". This might come second to "The Number of the Beast" which is still my favorite Maiden album. Awesome work!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2001
In a collection of over one thousand CDs, cassettes, and records spanning just about every genre of music, this is the one I will forever call my "Favorite Album Of All-Time". This album bursts with themes and technique most other bands just can't grasp the way Iron Maiden has throughout their entire existence. Running through the album, topics include: mythology ("Flight of Icarus"), prehistoric history ("Quest For Fire"), dual-sword wielding sumarai Musashi ("Sunlight And Steel"), fantasy/horror ("Still Life"), military history ("The Trooper"), a Clint Eastwood WWII film ("Where Eagles Dare"), the Holy Bible ("Revelations"), prophecy ("Die With Your Boots On"), and classic Frank Herbert science fiction ("To Tame A Land"). It's a dark album yet it never sounds oppressive. Every song has the trademark dual harmony guitar solos of Murray & Smith, superb bass playing from 'Arry, drumming perfection from Nicko, and the superior operatic/dramatic vocals of Bruce Dickinson - All cylinders firing and all at their creative peak. This is simply the best recorded example of what heavy metal should sound like.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2005
WoW! Where to start? This album is just so darn good. Piece of Mind is it for me, it is the album that I cherish and listen to the most. I listen to Piece of Mind on a consistent basis and it still doesn't get old. Every song in Piece of Mind is great, but in different ways.
Where Eagles Dare opens up the album, and wow, what a way to kickoff a great album. The song opens up with nice but short drum intro. Where Eagles Dare is mostly instrumental and has some very catchy "spitfire" riffs that neatly match the song.
Revelations comes next, and it is one my favorite songs. I especially love the soft peace in the middle where Bruce sings with passion. Revelations also has some great guitar solos towards the end. Perhaps the best song that Bruce has ever written (with Powerslave closely behind).
The next track is Flight of Icarus, which was one of the big hits off of the album. The pace is slowed down a tad for FLight of Icarus, but nontheless, it's a great song that has a very catchy chorus and some great riffs that stick in your head for a long time.
Then comes Die With Your Boots on, which has one of my favorite intros to the song that consist of some catchy riffs with great bass work. The song then goes into a nice fast rocker. I especially love the two guitar solos in Die With Your Boots On, and I also love the backing vocals that are present during parts of the song, (they come from Adrian Smith I believe).
The Trooper. WOW! This is the song that got me hooked to Maiden a few years back. The dual guitar riff/harmony that is played throughout the song was stuck in my head for days. Everybody in the band shines in The Trooper. Nicko's drumming is great, Steve's bass is phenomenal as always, Dave and Adrian compliment each other really nicely, and Bruce sounds really great.
After The Trooper, comes Still Life which is sadly one of the most underrated maiden songs ever. After the opening backwards message, the song goes into a nice soft ballad-like feel. Bruce comes in and starts singing with a nice whisperish-soft tone, but then the song kicks off, and off we go! Still Life is yet another great song in a great album.
Well, next comes Quest for Fire, which is perhaps the maiden song that is ridiculed the most for having some silly lyrics. I torally agree, the cavemen lyrics are quite comical, but the instrumental aspect of the song is actually good. It's still a good listen and is not a bad song by any means necessary.
Then comes Sun and Steel, which is also a nice fast tune. It has a nice catchy sing-along chorus with great guitar work. Sun and Steel is yet another great song.
The album closes off very strong with the epic To Tame a Land. This song is quite underrated when compared to masterpieces such as Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but it's still one heck of a good song that is up there with other great Maiden epics such as Phantom of the Opera, Hallowed be thy Name, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
To conclude, Piece of Mind is a great album and is definetaly worth a purchase. The 15$ I spend on this album has to be on the best investments I've ever done. If you haven't purchased Piece of Mind yet, then there is huge void in your music collection. If you haven't done so yet, purchase Piece of Mind now!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2005
These guys must have had so much energy to keep putting out quality metal. Here we have the most popular Maiden lineup of Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Dave Murray (guitar), Adrian Smith (guitar), Steve Harris (bass), and Nicko McBrain (drums). Nicko is the newest addition here, coming from the french band Trust. This album also stands out because of the production. Songs like 'Flight of Icarus' and 'To Tame a Land' have an epic nature about them that is brought out by the professionalism of the recording. For example, when you hear the line "When the sun breaks above the clouds/an old man stands on a hill," you can actually picture this environment in your mind. I feel like the three Maiden albums before this one were more on the 'raw' side while this recording sounds like a little more time and money were put into it.
My favorite song on this release is 'Die With Your Boots On' - I like it for it's heavy nature and catchy chorus. It is also a fan favorite at live shows. Another great tune is 'Still Life' which has a catchy guitar harmony up until the first solo which is right on the money. It's truly an air-guitar classic!
The more popular songs here are 'Where Eagles Dare' (which is based off a movie), 'Flight of Icarus,' 'Revelations,' and 'The Trooper,' the last of which is the most famous, and take it from a guitarist - It's fun to play. I remember the video for this song; it was full of clips from old black and white cowboy and indian movies.
I agree with another reviewer that 'Quest For Fire' is the only bad song here. Once you hear the line, "At a time when dinosaurs walked the earth...," you know it's going to be corny. My friends and I used to joke that the song is probably about someone who was searching for a lighter or matches in the middle of a nicotine fit!
When an individual like myself gives just about every maiden album *5* stars, it is difficult to recommend one over the other. That should tell you that this is a consistent band when it comes to putting out quality music. With that said, you should definitely own this album, as well as most of the other stuff in this band's catalogue. I can't say which album to get before or after this one...just make sure you own it!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2004
Piece of Mind is probably the most controversial of the classic Maiden albums, with seemingly equal parts claiming it's overrated or underrated. It's not with out its flaws, but I suppose I belong in the `underrated' faction, and it's probably my second favorite Maiden album, behind Number of the Beast.(though Seventh Son and Dance of Death come very close)
This is the album where the classic line-up solidified, with the addition of Nicko on the drums. Clive was good, but I think this is a noticeable step up, as Nicko is bit more varied and grooves better, imo. Although he's good, Nicko is relative weak point when compared to the rest of the band. Dickinson's vocals pretty much define classic metal, and not with out good reason. A bit over the top on sometimes, but I, for one, like a little bit of cheese with my Iron Maiden, every once in a while. Smith and Murray are legends as well, and prove why they are just about the best guitar duo in metal. They have some of their most tasty leads of all here, particularly the solos on Flight of Icarus and the little licks they use in To Tame a Land. When it comes to melodic guitar in metal, no one else comes close. Harris is the backbone, as always, and gives the songs the surging energy they need.
This album is a bit unusual, in that it contains both some their very best material, but isn't as consistent as most of their other albums from the Golden Age. (though this is partially because the better material is so very good.) The best material dominates, however, and it's got the mix of moods and styles which the next couple albums can't quite match. The song everyone talks about as being utter filler is Quest for Fire, and I agree. The middle break is decent, but the verse riffs are real boring, and the vocals are grating all throughout. It's pretty much worthless, but I like everything else. Lots of people dump on Sun and Steel as well, but I've grown to really like it. It's certainly not the best thing on here, and it's a bit underwritten, but the chorus is really catchy and I like the whole mood of the song. The solo is totally worthless, and the whole middle break is of no note, but it has a very solid core. Those things aside, this album has some utter classics. The Flight of Icarus is definitely one of my top 3 Maiden songs. Their best chorus ever, along with probably my favorite lead break of theirs. It's very well constructed as well, with a nice buildup through the verses. The Trooper is probably the definitive IM song, in my book. It's got that classic galloping bass with some more stellar lead work and an absolutely first-rate performance from Dickinson. To Tame a Land is a bit underrated, and another classic. Tons of atmosphere and great groove combined with some of their best guitar licks ever.
The rest of the album isn't as good as that stuff, but it's all worth listening to, and has got good variety. Where Eagles Dare is a good opener, albeit not their best one, and is a bit more deliberate than a lot of their opening tracks. Die With Your Boots on is another solid and varied rocker which is somewhat marred but the obnoxious overuse of the titular line and a weak pre-chorus. Revelations is one of their best ballad type songs. Very nicely paced and constructed, with another instantly memorable chorus. Still Life is one of their more unique songs which gives this album its distinctive feel. It's quite quiet and moody throughout much of it, and is pretty creepy. Another underrated track.
All in all, this album has a few weak points, but the classics carry the day. Check it out, unless you don't have any Iron Maiden, in which case you ought to get Number of the Beast first.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
Piece of mind blew me away the first time I listened to it, and it still does to this day. Truly one of the best albums ever made by any band. I still think that Powerslave has a slight edge over this one, but not by much. This is a must have for anybody who knows what good music is.
1) Where Eagles Dare
They seriously couldn't have started this album off in a better way. "Where Eagles Dare" is a fast, riff ladened song with great lyrics and haunting melodies. One of the best songs on the album, which says alot considering there are so many classics here. A+
One of the many things I've admired about Iron Maiden all these years is that they continue to surprise me with their songs. This one is no exception. It starts off very slow and melodic, and then out of nowhere comes a riff that shifts the gears of the song, and it becomes a very fast paced, heavy rocker. Great lyrics too. A+
3)Flight of Icarus
A big hit for the band. As good as this song is, I like some of the other songs on this album alot more. Still, this is classic stuff right here. A
4)Die With Your Boots On
Yet another big hit for the band. This song just flat out rocks. It's not the most complex song they've written and performed, but this is so classic, it's impossible not to love. The music throughout the song is excellent as always, and Bruce's singing style really fits the sound perfectly. The chorus is so catchy, it'll stay with you always. A+
5) The Trooper
I don't even really need to rate this one. My favorite on the album, and one of my favorites of all time. It's impossible to describe how amazing this song is. The riff still gives me chills everytime I listen to it. The lyrics are very dark and visual. You can almost see the battlefield described in the song. A++
6) Still Life
Another pleasant surprise. I love how the mood changed with this song. Extremely melodic and beautiful to listen to. Chorus is very catchy. This song sounds like it would fit very well on Somewhere in Time, but I'm glad it's on this one. Not as heavy as the song that came before it, but no less enjoyable. I don't understand how some people think this is a weak song. A+
7) Quest for Fire
Well, here's the big argumentative question about this album. Is this filler or is it not filler? I wouldn't necessarily call it filler, but it's definitely the weakest song on the album. I read a review here that said this one was better than the Trooper....get real. This is by no means a bad song, there are no bad Iron Maiden songs (on this album at least), this one just doesn't stand up with all the other incredible songs here. I like the solo however, so I'll give this song a B+.
8) Sun and Steel
Don't put this in the same category as Quest for Fire. This happens to be a great song. For some reason, in some parts of the song I'm reminded a little of Black Sabbath's sound during the Dio years. It's very well paced with one of the best choruses on the album. A
9) To Tame A Land
They had the perfect beginning to the album, and they had the perfect end to the album! This extremely well made song is the longest of all the tracks on Piece of Mind, and has a very epic feel to it. With tempo changes that always surprise you, amazing guitar work, and hauntingly dark melodies, this ends up being one of the best songs on the album. A+
I rank Piece of Mind above Number of the Beast, and slightly below Powerslave. I still recommend anyone new to Iron Maiden to start off with Number of the Beast and work forward. Make Piece of Mind your second purchase, and enjoy.