102 of 115 people found the following review helpful
The End of an Era,
This review is from: Somewhere in Time (Audio CD)
Iron Maiden's golden age started with "Killers" and pretty much ended with "Somewhere in Time". All of the songs on "Somewhere" are ambitious, adding new elements to Maiden's sound. The guitar synth's found on "Somewhere" are present, but not as overpowering as on the follow-up cd "Seventh Son". Everything Maiden fans enjoy about the band are present on "Somewhere". Steve Harris' bass lines crackle, and Dickinson's urgent vocals really carry the album along. The guitar riffs are catchy, and hook you right away. The thing that always impressed me with Iron Maiden, was that, during the 80's most metal bands like Ratt, Posion, Motley Crue etc, were busy playing and singing about rock n' roll, girls and partying. Maiden often based their music on literature; "Murders in the Rue Morgue", poetry: "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", history; "Aces High", "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills"; religion; "Heaven Can Wait", "Number of the Beast" and mythology "Icarus" and "Poweslave". The great epic metal tunes on Iron Maiden disks defied the conventions of the time, where most bands stuck to radio-friendly, 5 minutes or less rock anthems. Iron Maiden was, and is more than just a standard metal band, and if you are a music fan, you are doing yourself a great dis-service if you don't pick up the disks from the heyday. "Somewhere in Time" features 8 great track, each better than the one before it. Listen to "Alexander the Great" and ask yourself if any other band at the height of their popularity would have been able to put that song on a cd. The guitar riff on "Wasted Years" will be running through your head all day, and you will be humming the chorus of "Heaven Can Wait" for a long time. This is a great album, from a band that always brought a little more to the table than just catchy rock anthems.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 24, 2008 8:17:41 PM PDT
Thank you for this helpful and informative review, nice job!.
Posted on Jul 3, 2011 9:47:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2011 10:22:19 AM PDT
C. Juliet says:
Just to add to your note of Iron's songs based on literature, (actually Steve Harris who writes almost all their lyrics and must be a big sci fi fan as well as his likes for mythology and middle ages stuff).
"To tame a land" from Piece of Mind is the epic story of "Dune" by Frank Herbert naming the unique universe's names of the Fremen, Muad'Dib, Arrakis, Caladan, Kwizatz Haderach, and Gom Jabbar. How cool is that! Also I think "Stranger in a strange Land" which is actually written by Adrian Smith may be influenced in some way by Robert Heinlein's book of the same name although can't be sure as I have yet to read it. Also "Lord of the Flies" probably lesser known since it is from x factor.
Also some cool tv shows have their own songs, "The Prisoner" which is an amazing track and "Twilight Zone" from the masterpiece of the Killers album.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 30, 2012 7:38:43 AM PST
Stranger in a Strange Land has nothing to do with the book.
Posted on Jul 10, 2012 11:24:37 PM PDT
Well i strongly disagree that the golden age of the band ended on this album..It ended on the next one..Seventh son of a seventh son was Iron Maidens last great album..After that they declined as years passed by..but thank God they gave us 7 magnificent lps and for that we are eternally greatfull..!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2012 5:35:24 AM PDT
David Girod says:
Antony, you know I just caught Maiden last month in Virginia, and they played over half of the Seventh Son album live, and it was awesome. I've come to appreciate Seventh Son a bit more over the years, but still feel it fails to live up to the albums that came before it. As a matter of fact I find I'm listening to quite a bit of the 90's Maiden, and rediscovering Fear of the Dark and No Prayer.
Posted on Sep 10, 2013 6:18:40 PM PDT
I completely disagree that the synths were more pronounced on Seventh Son. To me, they were way more pronounced on Somewhere in Time, which is in keeping with the album's futuristic theme. From the very opening, it's a padding, guitar-synthy piece. Seventh Son used the synths more judiciously, pushing them down in the mix, with less of that big, "Van Halen" 1984 kind of sound to them, but, conversely, the album on the whole also had a cleaner sound, less screeching guitars, which often led people to believe it was synth-heavy when it wasn't. There's nothing as blatantly sugary on Seventh Son as "Heaven Can Wait", although "Can I play With Madness" perhaps comes close, with less of a pop-ish hook and pronounced keyboard presence. In any case, after that, it was a pretty quick decline, IMO.
Posted on Mar 7, 2014 5:27:09 AM PST
Excellent insightful review of Maiden. Their influences were like those of Sabbath and other Metal Gods. I agree that the 80's "hair bands" all sounded virtually the same with the same basic influences. Maiden, Sabbath, Priest, AC/DC etc., all have their distinct sounds with a wide array of lyrical content.
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