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.
on March 10, 2003
This is the most complete Maiden album ever! Every song could appear on a "Best Of" album of theirs (which makes me wonder why they don't...) because each song is so full of melody, epic grandeur, and complex musicianship. Many of Iron Maiden's fans that have been around since the beginning usually mark Powerslave as their last great album, but that's just foolish. Somewhere In Time is their best album, followed by 7th Son of a 7th Son. Here is how i rate every song:
Caught Somewhere In Time - excellent, fast opening track with lots of synths! 10/10
Wasted Years - melodic, beautiful, great solo, great chorus 9.5/10
Sea Of Madness - one of Maiden's heaviest tracks! 9/10
Heaven Can Wait - this is such a fun song, I can't help but smile everytime I hear it 9.5/10
The Lonliness Of The Long Distance Runner - if it weren't for the cheesey lyrics, this song would go down as one of their best ever, but otherwise, it's still a great song 9/10
Deja Vu - very interesting lyrics and a slower paced song then the rest of the album...excellent, one of the best! 10/10
Stranger In A Strange Land - best song on the album! just listen to that solo!! 10/10
Alexander The Great - epic, epic, epic! not only do you get a fantastic epic song, but you also get a history lesson in just 8 minutes! 10/10
There you have it, Maiden's finest hour
on September 7, 2006
Iron Maiden were the biggest Metal band in the world in 1986. Their reputation had been forged through tireless touring and prolific, high quality, very Metal albums. Having produced five studio albums in five years, and backing them all up with extensive world tours featuring massive live productions must have become tiring. While the band released Metal's greatest double live album `Live After Death' in 1985, no studio album was forthcoming that year. Was there a problem? Was Maiden tiring?
When `Somewhere In Time' was finally released in September 1986, shock horror, Iron Maiden had done something different!
The cover art offered a clue. Eddie had sprouted wires, a bionic eye and a laser, and was standing as a gunslinger in a Blade Runner/Terminator sci-fi cityscape. While not a concept album, like 1988's `Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son', a future shock/passage of time theme connects much of the album. The biggest change was the addition of synth bass and guitars, much to the consternation of long-time fans of the band. The synth sounds of the guitars and bass added to the cyborg feel, combining both the organic and the mechanical. Steve Harris' bass doesn't have quite the same gallop as on previous albums, but the minor change goes along with the band trying to do something a little different. And just because the guitars sounded a bit different didn't mean Adrian Smith and Dave Murray had forgotten how to play them.
While the singles "Wasted Years" and "Stranger In A Strange Land" were highly successful, neither were instant classics like "Number Of The Beast" or "Run To The Hills", but as a whole, this album is far more consistent than the previous three. There are no fillers, like "Back In The Village" or "Invaders". "Two Minutes To Midnight", from the `Powerslave' album would have fitted perfectly on to `Somewhere In Time', perhaps even hinting toward the direction of this album.
There are some great moments of pure Maiden on this album. Bruce Dickinson's voice is allowed to really soar at times, like on "Sea Of Madness" and "The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner". The latter also features a snare/kick drum pattern from Nicko McBrain to simulate the runner's footsteps. "Wasted Years" is a song about not wasting opportunities and the brilliant descending scale riff is one of the best the band has ever recorded.
"Alexander The Great" is one of Iron Maiden's greatest epics. It was also impossible to play live until recent years, because it has so many different guitar lines weaving in and out of each other. The lyrics are a dramatisation of Alexander The Great's conquests, and like great Classical pieces, like "William Tell Overture" or "Hall Of The Mountain King", the multi-faceted, layered music also tells the story. Despite Bruce Dickinson having a degree in history, "Alexander The Great" was written by Steve Harris.
Science Fiction influenced Metal albums are a dime a dozen now, but back when Iron Maiden released `Somewhere In Time', it was innovative and more than a little surprising. Despite criticism levelled at the band back then, and in the years since, `Somewhere In Time' has held up well. Even casual Maiden fans need to hear this album.
on April 23, 2015
Simply , The most progressive Maiden album, tied with Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, epic from start to finish, there is no fillers. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner's intro...the most nostalgic thing in the universe and my favorite track on the album. Synthesizers gives a cosmic and transcendental touch to the entire album. It is a great combination of real metal and synthesizer. It has a great atmosphere and has a nice balance of complex and simple. Sea of Madness is probably the fastest on here, the main riff is excellent and who can resist the 'OHHHHHHohohOHHHHH.
Steve Harris's bass is great as always, and Nicko actually does fantastically in sections on the drums. The only song that does not fit this description is Alexander the Great, a pretty fantastic Maiden epic which chronicles the titular ancient Greek hero. Definitely 10/10 stars!!!...and I forgot, the best cover of Iron Maiden's history, then Killers
on August 16, 2004
Somewhere in Time is my favorite album from the best band to ever come out of England. This was a very hard choice to make as Powerslave, Brave New World, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son came very close. Iron Maiden have amazed me with their incredible talent and ability to use different elements in their music. Bruce Dickenson has a great vocal range, and it shows on this album.
The album starts off with the title track, which introduced guitar synth from the leads. This was a risky move by Maiden, but in my opinion, it worked perfectly. The track, Wasted Years is a good song and I like the chorus. The song, Heaven can Wait is the catchiest song off of this album, and will be in your head for days!! (this is not a bad thing) I love the part in the middle of the song the best. The 2 best songs on this cd are, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Alexander the Great! Both of these songs are worthy for a spot on a greatest hits list. The vocals on 'Alexander' are nothing less than amazing, and the guitar soloists are at their best on 'Stranger.'
This cd was a great follow-up to Powerslave, and Iron Maiden continue to stick to their roots even today, with their newest release, titled 'Dance of Death.' I urge all Iron Maiden fans to pay the extra money to see this band live. Trust me, they are worth it! Bruce and the rest of their original linup from 'Number of the Beast' are the best! I saw them live in Los Angeles, CA for their Dance of Death tour. Please buy their albums, and if Maiden comes close to your city, their live performance is one NOT to be missed. UP THE IRONS!!
By the time "Somewhere in Time" came out in 1986, I was well into Iron Maiden. I owned every album available in the States, had read "Running Free," and took in my very first concert -- 1985's World Slavery Tour. (What a first concert!) Fairly or unfairly, I had high expectations for this next album, feeling that my musical heroes could do no wrong.
I had read that the group would be incorporating a guitar-synth on the next album. I also had heard that Bruce Dickinson wanted to take a different direction and do an acoustic album. What really got me interested was that Adrian Smith was going to take a lead role in some of the songwriting. With having a hand writing songs such as "The Prisoner," "The Flight of Icarus," "22 Arcacia Avenue," and "2 Minutes to Midnight," I couldn't wait!
I managed to pick up the cassette on the release date, and was again impressed by yet another Derek Riggs masterpiece. I know I missed out on the album art detail with the cassette, but records were well on their way out at this time, and I wanted to listen to this album on the way home. Those that have the album can see all the little jokes on neon signs and in the storefront windows.
My first impression? I was under-whelmed. The opener "Caught Somewhere in Time" fell somewhat flat -- I just couldn't get into the guitar synths. At that time, some of the other songs seemed like throwaways -- "Heaven Can Wait," "Deja Vu," "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," and "Alexander the Great" really didn't do much for me. To me, Adrian Smith's songs were by far the strongest on the album. "Wasted Years" and especially "Sea of Madness" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" really showcase some fine songwriting skills.
I think the album as a whole was a letdown to me because it seemed somewhat uninspired and lacked direction. It wasn't until years later that I learned there were some creative differences within the band at that time that might have affected the material. I also looked at "Alexander the Great" as an attempt to recapture the lyrical magic of Powerslave's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Musically, it's interesting, but lyrically, it fell flat. Coleridge's epic poem translated much better to music than Plutrarch's history.
But time has a way of putting things in perspective; and looking back at this album, knowing what was going on within the band at this time, and hearing the music again after all those years, I find I enjoy listening to the whole thing. I still think Adrian's songs are the strongest, but I have a new appreciation for those songs I kicked to the curb back in '86. I will even go as far as saying musically they've rarely been in better form on an album.
1986/87's Somewhere on Tour concert was spectacular -- probably better than the World Slavery Tour by a hair. Flying spaceships, Bruce's pulsing neon-tube vest, and a robot Eddie...what's there not to like? I found the SIT songs translated very well live -- even with the synth guitars. I remember Adrian and Dave performing a really cool guitar-duet they called "Walking on Glass." A top notch show.
For me, this one ranks three and a quarter stars. Almost four, but not quite.
on August 17, 2006
I admit, I may not be the biggest "Iron Maiden" fan. In fact, when it comes to the metal realm of music, I tend to gravitate towards more extreme bands like "Slayer", "Death", "Deicide", "Napalm Death", etc. However, the influence and effect "...Maiden" has had on this musical genre cannot be disputed.
I've always had an interest in early "...Maiden" up until their seventh release, "Seventh Son Of a Seventh Son". Wasn't too crazy about that particular recording or one of the hits from it, "Can I Play With Madness?" I'm not putting it down, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I never really bothered to follow "Maiden" after that. Yet their previous stuff intrigued me. After I saw a VH-1 doc. on the metal genre, my interest in "Maiden" became renewed. I reviewed some "Maiden" history, and I discovered the early "Maiden" recordings have been remastered and re-issued, so I dived in.
"Somewhere In Time" is an amazing album, everything clicks. I was surprised to see that Bruce Dickinson received no song/lyric writing credit here, but I expected to see Steve Harris' name quite a bit, and he delivers. Highlights include "Caught Somewhere In time", "Wasted Years", "Stranger In a Strange Land" and "Deja Vu". Yet "Heaven Can Wait" and "Alexander the Great" totally blew me away. Fantastic songs, but I wasn't too crazy about "Sea Of Madness" and "The Loneliness Of the Long Distance Runner."
"Iron Maiden" really carved a niche for themselves in metal history with their unique brand. I never understood why people consider this cheesy, but I love it when bands write songs about history, literature & movies. Along with their eye-catching titles and cover art, they satisfy in the lyrical department with great music to match.
Well, that's my opinion, like it or lump it. If you're already a "Maiden" fan, my review is pointless. I'm sure there are many more detailed reviews written by die-hard fans. However, my review is geared more toward someone with a passing interest in "Maiden" who wants to know a bit more about them. Don't start with this one, work your way up to it. It's well worth it, and you may discover why these Brits have perservered for as long as they did.
on January 18, 2015
it's always hard to pick a favourite iron maiden album (killers, piece of mind, brave new world) but i reckon this is the one for me.
well written and executed. well produced. there isn't really more you can ask. some folks moan about the introduction of the guitar synth to the band with this album, but it does not detract from the maiden sound, it is not over-riding of the songs or playing, so i can only assume that gripe is some kind of socio-political cool person talk.
this is a great album and is a necessity in any maiden or metal fan's collection
on July 16, 2014
Honestly, I should have done this review a while ago, but then again, considering the fact that I now have over 800 CDs worth of music (and counting), combined with how busy I am between work, home life and friends, I have had time for only so many reviews - that is, relatively. Anyways, having been a fan of heavy metal music, both great classic metal like this from the `80s and modern underground metal of today, I think I should have owned this album much sooner. I received my first ever true metal album, Metallica's Kill `Em All, when I was about 15 years old, and was completely blown away. Given that, I find it almost stupid that I did not own this album by the mighty and legendary Iron Maiden until I was 24!
Although this album has been criticized for its use of guitar synthesizers on some of the songs, I really do not have any issue with it whatsoever. I find every song on this album to be mind-blowingly epic in every sense of the word on every imaginable level. With almost every song exceeding five minutes in length, it demonstrates the sheer passion, emotion, complexity and technicality for which true classic metal such as this is known. After all, there is a reason Iron Maiden are considered one of the most important contributors to the development of what some people call "metal as we know it" and I could not agree more. Bruce Dickinson's high-flying voice, Adrian Smith's mighty guitar solos, Nicko McBrian's insane drumming, plus so much more... honestly, what more can any Maiden fan want?
My personal favorites on this album (even though I do love every song on the album from beginning to end):
"Caught Somewhere In Time"
"Heaven Can Wait"
"Alexander the Great"
This album, for obvious reasons, is one of my all-time favorite metal albums from the `80s, hands down. It has turned out to be one of my favorite albums to work out to at my local gym, especially whenever I go for extended runs on the elliptical machines or treadmills; is really helps one to get their legs moving and ticking that calorie counter up higher and higher! Honestly, and needless to say, it is the definition of classic `80s metal, no questions asked.
What I also want to point out is that if not for Iron Maiden, NONE of the following bands would exist:
Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Overkill, Annihilator, Testament, Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Helloween, Stratovarius, Firewind, Hammerfall, Kamelot, Primal Fear, Rhapsody of Fire, Sonata Arctica, Theocracy, Thunderstone, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Mindwarp Chamber, Royal Hunt, Seventh Wonder, Voyager, Nightwish, Xandria... honestly, there are WAY too many to list!
Overall, if you consider yourself a true metalhead, then it makes absolutely NO SENSE for you not to own this album. It has what every metalhead could ask for. Most importantly, as I have said this on a number of my other reviews on a variety of other musicians/bands/artists, epic music like this never gets old. NEVER. It is not old, it is timeless. Anyone who thinks otherwise, and who would say things like "Get with the times!" really could use a good psychological examination. Do not ever listen to troll reviewers like Jonas Brothers #1 Fan or Cincinnati Bengals Lover. They are a waste of time and space, and clearly do not know anything about anything. Iron Maiden easily crush the living daylights out of Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, or anyone else those trolls say is good.
ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY IRON MAIDEN!!! FOR NOW AND FOR ALL OF ENTERNITY!!! UP THE IRONS!!! \M/\M/
on March 8, 2007
This is Iron Maiden in their prime.This album takes into a futuristic world in which everything seems creepy.The album opens up with Caught Somewhere In Time a song that takes you into another dimension,this song is just flatout insane Dave Murray And Adrian Smith play some God-like guitar solos.Wasted Years opens up with a very futuristic intro,it is kind of creepy as well(Reminiscent of The Halloween Theme Song),Adrian plays another God-like guitar solo on this song.Sea Of Madness has a good chorus and another good guitar solo by Adrian but this is probably the album's weakest track but still a good song.Heaven Can Wait tackles the subject of life after death,this song has a face-melting guitar solo from Dave Murray,then comes the chant of ohh's and then another face-melting solo but this time it is by Adrian Smith,this song's chorus brings chills down my spine,a great song here.The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner is a very thunderous track with possibly the best riffage off the album,some very good dualling guitars on this track(this track is on my top 10 songs from Iron Maiden list),some insane back-to-back guitar solos from the two gods Adrian and Dave.Stranger In A Strange Land is a very good song with an instrumental section that crosses progressive rock and another face-melting solo from Adrian Smith.Deja-Vu is a very moody track with some more dualling guitar riffs,this song can creep you out if you would just pay attention to it.Alexander The Great is the Harris Epic of the album and a very good one too,this song has some very beautiful melodies that put you in a trance and then some more face-melting guitar solos.This album contains the best guitar solos from Maiden.This is their third best behind only Powerslave(#2),and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son(#1).Up The Irons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!