17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not a masterpiece, but still a classic,
This review is from: Iron Maiden (Audio CD)
THE BAND: Paul Di'Anno (vocals), Steve Harris (bass), Dave Murray (guitar), Dennis Stratton (guitar), Clive Burr (drums).
THE DISC: (1980) 9 tracks clocking in at approximately 40 minutes. Recorded at Kingsway Studios, London. This is the band's debut album. The disc contains a 22-page booklet with a brief intro, song lyrics, numerous band pictures, and thank you's. All songs written by Harris, Di'Anno and/or Murray. The enhanced CD features a nice multimedia section for your PC - including 2 videos (live performances of "Iron Maiden" and "Phantom Of The Opera"), the band's catalog of albums, band history, family tree, itinerary from the '80 Europe Tour, and more. Digitally remastered in 1998. Cover art by Derek Riggs. Label - Sanctuary.
COMMENTS: Some will claim Iron Maiden's debut as a "masterpiece". While it's a good album; an important album; an essential album in the band's catalog; our introduction to mascot "Eddie"... I simply can't label it as such. It's not as professional, slick, or complex as their 2nd release ("Killers"), or any of Dickinson's 1st three albums with the band - these were masterpieces. The sound on this debut, though digitally remastered, is still pretty raw. Maybe that's the appeal here. Kind of like debuts from Kiss, Rush, Motley Crue, Def Leppard... all good starts, but I can't label them masterpieces. With each, their best albums were still ahead of them - and that applies to Iron Maiden too. For me, the sound of Iron Maiden's debut is caught somewhere between Motorhead and the Sex Pistols. The music fits here - and to my ears, Di'Anno's vocals are somewhere between Lemme Kilmister and Johnny Rotten. For the most part, the songs are quickly paced, straight ahead angry rock, with a side of punk thrown in. Di'Anno was somewhat gruff and unpolished vocally (his lack of desire and drug/alcohol issues later on would eventually make his stay with the band a short one). The album opens in great form. "Prowler" is probably my favorite track here - nice guitar opening, cool lyrics, lightning fast guitar solo, great melody. "Sanctuary" and the album closer "Iron Maiden" are great tracks and can still be heard at their concerts. "Running Free" with it's thundering drums is also a crowd favorite and the only single released back in 1980... the song reached #34 on the UK charts. Other highlights and lost gems include the tender "Remember Tomorrow" and "Strange World", the simplistic instrumental "Transylvania", and the 7-minute epic "Phantom Of The Opera". Keep in mind - Iron Maiden would endure several band member changes during their early years... and when singer Bruce Dickinson joined (1982), the band would never sound the same again. Maiden's debut is a nice intro to the band though a tad rough around the edges (4+ stars).