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Post Info TOPIC: Somewhere Back in Dickinson - 1982 to 1988


Paul Kersey of usenet

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Posts: 188
Date: Jul 2, 2008
Somewhere Back in Dickinson - 1982 to 1988


All right. I have to admit it. I got burned out by Iron Maiden catalogue years ago, especially with the golden era of Bruce Dickinson timeline from the 1980's, but recently something happened and I got back into it.

It's literally been years since I truly enjoyed Iron Maiden, and at times especially after Brave New World and the two turd albums before that I just got so sick with Iron Maiden, I'd probably change a channel if Bruce's pingball stare would gaze at me from telly.

Number of the Beast is a great album, aside from the opener. It sounds great, even Bruce Dickinson sounds tolerable and the songwriting on the title track, Children of the Damned and Hallowed Be Thy Name is just outstanding heavy metal architecture. And Martin Birch's production is just warm and sweet throughout. Great artwork and satanic imagery, which probably freaked out more than just my parents.

5 satanic beast numbers out of 6

Piece of Mind is even better. This time Bruce Dickinson gets to write stuff after solving the legal issues, and his pen is pretty sharp. Revelations might be one of Iron Maiden's top 20 highlights for me.  Flight of Icarus is very catchy and a brilliant showcase of Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson's collaboration when Steve Harris stops bomb-fiddling his bass guitar. The Trooper is just wicked fast number which I always have enjoyed. The guitar attack is relentless. The inner sleeve photograph where the band is about to eat brains hypnotized a seven year old kid back in Sweden 1983.

5 Eddie's rotting braincells out of 5

Powerslave comes close to Piece of Mind, especially with the tremendous, hyperactive warfare song Aces High. Steve Harris almost at his best. 2 Minutes Before Midnight is just like Flight of Icarus. Hooky song arrangements and killer riff work. Adrian Smith had more input on Iron Maiden sound than one would think of. Well, at least when he got his stamps on the albums.

4 mummified corpses out of 4 Eddie's tombs

Somewhere in Time has one of the most airiest production in heavy metal history. It may have something to do with the airy use of synths and spacier guitars. Songwriting is dominated by Adrian Smith and he does a fantastic job, especially on Wasted Years and Stranger in the Strange Land which are both in my personal top ten. Stranger in the Strange Land has one of the best heavy metal riffs created, and a showcase of Adrian Smith's musical direction. Derek Riggs' artwork is extremely futuristic and detailed and it's still my favorite Iron Maiden album art. In vinyl days, it was just ripping cool.

4 Blade Runners out of 5 Eddie Androids

Seventh Son of the Seventh Son...seventh fun of the seventh fun. It wasn't my Iron Maiden favorite back in the day when it was released, but now... I'm not so sure. I actually saw horrible satanic nightmares after listening to the album at least seven times in a row last week, and BOW (!!!!!!!) it's The 7th Album of the 7th Album! Moonchild might be the best heavy metal opener, ever, and the lyrical theme on the seventh album is so dark and haunting that if you get passed that naive cartoon imagery and Eddie's grin on Derek's fine faint-blueish album art... well, I just think it's more satanic than Emperor playing at Sonehenge for naked crucified lesbian nuns. Did Bruce Dickinson got into that **** for real? Did Steve Harris? It certainly sounds like it. Did the Christians have reasons to complain. Of course they ****ing did! You get house full of long haired and black jacket teenagers chanting the lyrics of this album, and it is like a black mass! Honestly, this album may be the reason why minister Billy Graham and his ilk might be right about heavy metal. I was twelve years old, and to this day I remember Iron Maiden - Maiden England the concert footage and the huge blue, smoky atmosphere. Fuuck, did that ever have an impression on a twelve year old boy, and at the time of its release I just couldn't but play that footage behind closed door from my newly born Christian parents' all seeing eye. It's twenty year old, but man did I go back in somewhere in time...
Martin Birch's production at its very best. Birchtastic! Iron Maiden's king moment and the band interaction at its mightiest form. There's just huge brooding atmosphere which hasn't been matched by them or anyone else. Absolute heavy metal history.

7th additional note: forgot to mention that the Dave Murray penned guitar outro at the end of Prophecy is so cool it could be from a national hymn or something. The guy has hidden talents.

-- Edited by Nope at 13:39, 2008-07-02

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Mob Ruler

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Posts: 644
Date: Jul 2, 2008

Great reviews, Nope. I also really like these albums. Back in the 1980s I followed the band closely from TNOTB through Live After Death but at that point drifted away from Maiden. Years later I started getting reacquainted and bought the whole catalog including many I had not heard before.

I like Wasted Years from SIT but the rest of the album I have a harder time with. Perhaps it is the addition of the synths or too much Adrian or the lack of any Dickinson tunes.

SSOASS is better and for me approaches the earlier Dickinson stuff. The subject matter, songs, lyrics, concept all work but the sound of the album is slightly off-putting. Adrian's hair and Michael Jackson attire foreshadowed his soon departure.

adrian_smith.jpg


Have you checked out the following albums, ones without Adrian or the Blaze ones? Curious what your take is on those.


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Paul Kersey of usenet

Status: Offline
Posts: 188
Date: Jul 2, 2008

artcinco wrote:

Great reviews, Nope. I also really like these albums. Back in the 1980s I followed the band closely from TNOTB through Live After Death but at that point drifted away from Maiden. Years later I started getting reacquainted and bought the whole catalog including many I had not heard before.

I like Wasted Years from SIT but the rest of the album I have a harder time with. Perhaps it is the addition of the synths or too much Adrian or the lack of any Dickinson tunes.

SSOASS is better and for me approaches the earlier Dickinson stuff. The subject matter, songs, lyrics, concept all work but the sound of the album is slightly off-putting. Adrian's hair and Michael Jackson attire foreshadowed his soon departure.

adrian_smith.jpg


Have you checked out the following albums, ones without Adrian or the Blaze ones? Curious what your take is on those.


I have listened to all Iron Maiden albums, and I have to say No Prayer for Dying, Fear of the Dark and X-Factor and Virtual XI aren't MY Iron Maiden. Some sort of chemistry issue, or a sound issue.

It has taken me a lot of time to fully absorb Bruce Dickinson's vocals, but I'm slowly starting to appreciate him on all the golden age Iron Maiden albums. When he releases that banshee scream... it still is like fingers on a chalkboard, but I just have to mute him out when he does that.

The seventh sound of the seventh sound...

The production between Seventh Son of the Seventh Son and No Prayer for the Dying is very different, as well as the approach to overall song-writing. I believe No Prayer for the Dying would had been good with Paul Di'Anno and tolerable with Blaze Bayley, but Bruce Dickinson doesen't sound right on that album. It lacks operatic values because I suppose Steve Harris wanted to go back to the barn.
Fear of the Dark is not very stable album, but the production is all right. The title track is fantastic, but the album suffers as a whole. They should left out at least four songs out of it. I remember my first reaction to it was not at all happy when I listened to it with my cousin the day of its release.

Also, pretty much everything Brave New World to the new tri-guitar albums I haven't enjoyed at all. Might be the production. the mixing and the songwriting combined. In fact, I'd rather listen to No Prayer for the Dying. Seventh Son of the Seventh Son has become the ultimate Iron Maiden album for me, but as an Agnostic I have mixed feelings over the suppressive satanic theme, but at the same time I marvel the whole production value of it. It's important to me because I grew up with that album (and with Somewhere In Time) more than with the previous classic Iron Maiden albums. Stranger in the Strange Land is my favorite Iron Maiden tune, because with that and with Wasted Years I became a fan.

The Eddie imagery combined with the music was the one element that seduced a young man into heavier world of music. When my older cousin bought the Number of the Beast poster from Denmark after this soccer tournament in 1982 summer, I was just floored by the sight. Everytime I'd visit my cousin's house, I'd climb to the attic room where he kept it and stared at it for a while. I felt guilty because my parents were newly born Christians and here I was admiring the one aspect the parents would had liked us kids to stay away from. KISS, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Ozzy all had their own strong image, which for me was equally important with the music. Now 20 years later, the imagery doesen't have as strong impact as it did then, but I have to say Derek Riggs art still fascinates me after all these wasted years...

I'd like to hear someone's opinions on the audio quality compared between the re-releases and the original studio versions. Because even though I recently bought the ones with the multimedia additions, I feel like maybe there was something better with the original releases which I gave to my cousin years ago.

So, should I get the originals without the multimedia crap? I prefer old analogic ways of recording than dynamic digital sound.

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Dehumanizer

Status: Offline
Posts: 71
Date: Jul 2, 2008

I agree those 4 maiden albums you named suck.
But there is a few tracks on those that are good.
I love Maiden I still listen to thier albums.
I love Bruces
Chemical Wedding
accident of Birth
And Tyranny Of Souls


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