Archive for Iron Maiden

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Battlezone- Warchild, The Best of

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2023 by 80smetalman

After two albums which went by with little notice, drink and drugs and lots of infighting, the band Battlezone, fronted by former Iron Maiden lead singer Paul Di’Anno, decided to call it quits. However, before they did, the put out a “Best of” album. Normally, I would scoff at bands who put out such an album after just two studio albums but it is different in this case. Battlezone’s first album, “Fighting Back,” escaped my attention. Therefore, with this album, I got to go back and listen to many of the songs which were on that album and some of them were quite good. One of these was “The Land God Gave to Cain.” This is a six minute long rocker, which is about a post nuclear holocaust. Paul drives the point home with some good vocals and there is a cool acoustic interlude in the middle of the song which accentuates his vocals really well. However, the power chords come in and really drive things home.

Very few songs from the two studio albums fail to make it on here. Therefore, I get to reminisce over the great songs from the album I did listen to, the second one, “Children of Madness” and got a good introduction to the debut album. It’s the songs from the first album which come first and then the songs from the second follow with a bonus track at the end, “To the Limit.” While not a bad thing, I can help thinking that maybe they should have arranged it the way its done on Youtube with the songs interwoven. That really made me concentrate more when listening to the album.

What you do get is seventeen good songs. I got to experience songs like “Welcome to the Battlezone” and reminisce over familiar ones such as “I Don’t Wanna Know,” Metal Tears” and I like “Whispered Rage” even more. As for the bonus track, it starts with some cool guitar riffs which sound even cooler once the rhythm section kicks in. Paul’s vocals are as good as always and the guitar solo tradeoff is done very well. Plus there is a cool drum solo after the guitar solo which gives it a more African feel.

Track Listing:

  1. Fighting Back
  2. Welcome to the Battlezone
  3. Warchild
  4. The Land God Gave to Cain
  5. Too Much to Heart
  6. Voice on the Radio
  7. Rising Star
  8. Rip It Up
  9. I Don’t Wanna Know
  10. Nuclear Breakdown
  11. Touch of Heat
  12. Whispered Rage
  13. Children of Madness
  14. Metal Tears
  15. It’s Love
  16. The Promise
  17. To the Limit

Paul Di’Anno- vocals

John Wiggins- guitar

Pete West- bass

Steve Hopgood- drums (tracks 8-16)

Bob Falck- drums (tracks 1-6)

Graham Bath- guitar (tracks 8-16)

John Hurley- guitar (tracks 1-6)

The easy answer to if you want to check out Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone, get this “Best of” album. It has all the best songs you need to hear from them. Still, I wonder if it hadn’t been for all the rock related issues, how far they might have gone.

Next post: Kingdom Come

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In Case You Missed Them

Posted in Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2023 by 80smetalman

Admittedly, I was a little disappointed that no one commented on my Iron Maiden stamps. Then again, I can understand because Cinderella’s “Long Cold Winter” album is good enough to distract from anything else. Anyway, here’s a couple of strips I bought the other day and I will buy the presentation pack.

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Iron Maiden- Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2022 by 80smetalman

Having listened to Iron Maiden’s last two studio albums, “The Book of Souls” and “Senjutsu,” recently and then rediscovering the 1988 “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son,” I can’t help noticing some similarities. When I listened to the album for the first time after quite a few years, I thought that it reminded me a lot of those other two albums. Opener “Moonchild” starts with an acoustic intro with soft vocals from Bruce before going into traditional Maiden territory. You know, the rhythmic power chords, Steve’s bass, Bruce’s versatile vocals and a cool guitar solo. It sets things up nicely for the rest of the album.

Follow on track, “Infinite Dreams” is definitely what I loved about Iron Maiden at the time. A lead guitar intro which goes into a more softer rock song, though I like the guitar hooks in the background before things liven up a lot. Nicko’s drumming takes command on the song leading it into a cool change up in the middle and then possibly the best guitar solo on the album. What I didn’t know was that it was released as a single to coincide with the release of the 1989 video “Maiden England.” Still, I will call it the hidden gem on the album.

As for singles, there are three. The most notable of this is “Can I Play With Madness” which went to number three in the UK charts. The other two singles, “The Evil That Men Do” and “The Clairvoyant,” peaked at five and six respectively. Back then, I always counted it as a victory for metal when a metal song breached the top ten in the charts. For me it was sticking a middle finger up at the establishment, which was great. With that said, all three songs deserved their places there. None of them were altered to meet accepted musical trends at the time but simply was Iron Maiden doing what they do best. On the other hand, and I hope American readers will correct me if I’m wrong, none of these songs made much of an impact on the Billboard charts most likely down to the lack of play on American radio. I don’t blame the band one bit for being pissed off at American radio at the time.

If there is any track which gives weight to the links I have drawn between “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and the last two albums, it has to be the title track. First of all, the song is over nine minutes long. It starts out in a progressive metal style with some high vocals before the guitars crunch in. Similarities with “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” can be drawn here, especially in the middle of the song with the light guitar and bass instrumental and then Bruce’s spoken word telling us about the seventh son of the seventh son. One difference is the choir sounding vocals accompanied by synthesizers which almost lull you to sleep before hitting you over the head with a guitar solo trade off which goes on for the final few minutes of the song.

Not the hidden gem, “The Prophecy” is still a great song. The intro is in line with the concept of the album and Bruce’s vocals take command. You got an almost hypnotic guitar solo at first before it explodes into a mega one. Still, it’s Bruce that makes this song tick. Following “The Clairvoyant” and closing out the album is “Only the Good Die Young.” No, it’s not a Billy Joel cover! Instead, it’s a fast paced metal rocker which takes the album out in a fine frenzy.

Track Listing:

  1. Moonchild
  2. Infinite Dreams
  3. Can I Play With Madness
  4. The Evil That Men Do
  5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  6. The Prophecy
  7. The Clairvoyant
  8. Only the Good Die Young
Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- vocals

Steve Harris- bass, synthesizers

Adrian Smith- guitar, synthesizer

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

Iron Maiden were sitting on top of the metal world in 1988, although they’re pretty much still doing that today. They could do no wrong in 88 and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” is a reason why. Even if American radio (fools they are) didn’t take notice.

Next post: For the next couple of weeks, I will be cutting my album reviews to one a week. This is because I am writing a joint post with another blogger ranking albums. Unlike the joint post I wrote with 2Loud, this band has a few more albums I need to listen to. So next week’s post will be: Judas Priest- Ram It Down

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With respect to this album, Bruce Dickinson and arguably the rest of Iron Maiden deserve a knighthood. To make this happen, click the link:

Great Metal Albums of 1988: Saxon- Destiny

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

Writing the 80smetalman blog for nearly 12 years, (God, has it been that long?), I have come to this conclusion about British NWOBHM band Saxon. While they never achieved the commercial success of their contemporaries Iron Maiden or Judas Priest, (should I include Def Leppard here?), Saxon was a band who was well known throughout heavy metal circles on both sides of the Atlantic. Ask any metalhead around at the time and they would be able to tell you that Saxon was a great band. So, today’s question is: Does there 1988 album, “Destiny,” measure up to what I have just written?

My quick answer is, “Yes.” First, I will freely admit that listening to “Destiny” doesn’t want me to put more noted albums like “Denim and Leather” or “Wheels of Steel” on the shelf, it’s still a good album where Saxon does what they have always done. And no, this isn’t simply the case of an established band using the same old tired formula, they sound as fresh as they always have. The irony is that the album starts off with a cover of the Christopher Cross classic, “Ride Like the Wind.” Naturally, Saxon put their own spin on it and their version sounds really good. While I won’t waste typing fingers comparing the two versions here, I will say that it’s definitely worth an “Original vs. Cover” post, if 2Loud is willing to do so. If not, I could always do it.

“Ride Like the Wind” was released as a single and if you believe Wikipedia, it’s the only single from the album. This is not the case. What caught my attention in regards to the “Destiny” album was while watching “The Chart Show” on British television, during the show’s “Rock Week,” was the video for the song “I Can’t Wait Anymore.” For me, this track was better single material than the Christopher Cross cover anyway. It’s a mid tempo ballad and I love the lead guitar intro. Biff puts his soul into the vocals and the rest of the band provide the ground support. “Where the Lightning Strikes” makes a good bridge between the two singles.

The middle of the album is what distinguishes it as another great Saxon album. No nonsense power riffs launch “Calm Before the Storm” This is a pure cooker, guaranteed to get your head banging along to it. The keyboards at the chorus do nothing to change that fact as the power chords rule. I don’t know which guitarist cranks out the solo here but it’s damn cool. Next, they go a bit prog-metal, before it was a thing, on “S.O.S.” It begins with ocean sound effects before some heavy riffs kick in. I can’t be sure but I think it’s about a distressed ship but the backing vocals and bass line stands out particularly. It ends with a foghorn so I hope the ship was rescued.

Saxon change it up again on “Song for Emma.” The title and the mellow keyboard intro and soft first verse makes you think that this is going to be another ballad but the guitars kick in and the track takes off. Even though the second verse slows down, it can no longer be thought of as a ballad, it just kicks too much ass. It gets my vote for hidden gem, especially with that guitar solo. We can say that “Song for Emma” is definitely a climax but not a conclusion as the remaining tracks are quick to remind you. No, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is not a cover of the Metallica classic but it’s a good song in its own right. However, I am reluctant to have the two songs in a “Songs with the Same Title” competition because as much as I like this Saxon number, it doesn’t quite measure up to Metallica. Then again, I could let you all decide.

Things go more 1980s with “We Are Strong” with the keyboards in the song. Maybe they needed one song which sounded contemporary and it’s a good song, if unspectacular. Biff’s unmistakable voice and the guitar hooks let you know that it’s definitely a Saxon song. However, they return to more mainstream metal with “Jericho Siren.” A straightforward metal tune and a cool penultimate track to set up the closer. With that, “Red Alert,” I wonder if Saxon were in the CND movement. This isn’t the only nuclear war song they’ve made. “Fire in the Sky” off the “Denim and Leather” album is another one. Still, it’s a great way to end the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Ride Like the Wind
  2. Where the Lightning Strikes
  3. I Can’t Wait Anymore
  4. Calm Before the Storm
  5. S.O.S.
  6. Song for Emma
  7. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  8. We Are Strong
  9. Jericho Siren
  10. Red Alert

Biff Byford- vocals

Graham Oliver- guitar

Paul Quinn- guitar

Paul Johnson- bass

Nigel Durham- drums

Additional Musicians:

Steven Laws Clifford- keyboards

Dave Taggart, George Lamb, Phil Caffery, Steve Mann- backing vocals

Throughout the 1980s, Saxon kept cranking out great albums, it’s just a shame they weren’t more commercially successful. They definitely are a great band as “Destiny” proves.

Next post: Anthrax- State of Euphoria

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To Tie You Over

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2022 by 80smetalman
CDKBY4 Mar. 15, 2011 – Baton Rouge, LA, USA – Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart breaks down in tears on televised sermon as he confesses his relationship with a prostitute. 1988 photo (Credit Image: © Robin Nelson/

Due to reasons beyond my control, I am unable to post the next album, “Imaginos” by Blue Oyster Cult, on the tour through the golden decade of heavy metal. I was in a car accident the other night. Don’t worry, I’m fine although Mrs 80smetalman is still quite shaken up. Actually, what happened is one of those believe or not occurrences. See, our car was hit by a mobility scooter. The scooter actually hit us! I saw the scooter about to go on the road so I stopped but the scooter kept going straight into us. It hit us at some speed because the driver fell off immediately. He was taken to hospital and was also arrested for drunk driving. So, it was totally not our fault.

A side result of this is that I haven’t been able to properly listen to the album. So what I will do is put two songs which would have gone great on my “Downfall of the Holy Man” post where Jimmy Swaggart gets his comeuppance. Both of these songs rip on television evangelists, Metallica’s “Leper Messiah” came out two years before Swaggart’s downfall and Iron Maiden’s “Holy Smoke” came two years after. Still, both songs are correct in their message. Furthermore, I consider both of these songs hidden gems from each band. So, sit back, have a listen and laugh and I’ll be back with B.O.C. soon.

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Even more reason to sign the petition to give Bruce Dickinson a knighthood.

Donington 1988: Triumph and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2022 by 80smetalman

As per normal, through each year of the golden decade of heavy metal, (which is closer to the end than the beginning), I reflect on the triumphs and tragedies which occurred during that year. There have been great concert memories and artists whose lives were tragically shortened. In 1988, the triumph and tragedy occurred on the same day, at the Donington Festival.

You only need to look at the poster above as see that with the lineup, the day was going to be a complete triumph. Iron Maiden, KISS, David Lee Roth, Megadeth, Guns N Roses and Helloween made for what history will recall a great day for metal. Personally, I can’t speak for Helloween and Guns N Roses but I will get to that in a moment but the other four bands totally kicked ass!

Tragedy struck on the day during Guns N Roses’ set. A crowd collapse involving fifty people fifteen yards from the stage happened causing Guns N Roses to stop playing while concert security went in to attend to the injured. By the time they were fished out, two people, Alan Dick aged 18 and Landon Siggers, 20 were found laying down in four inches of mud. They were taken to hospital and pronounced dead. It was a tragic event which put a dark shadow on what was a glorious day for metal.

Of course, the metal hating newspaper, The Sun, spent more time focusing on the so called rowdy behaviour of the concert goers, making it out that somehow heavy metal caused the tragedy. Yes, it’s a load of BS.

On personal reflection, the reason I missed Helloween and Guns N Roses and half of Megadeth was because of a three hour plus traffic cue to get into the venue. It caused a lot of tension within the car although I can now see why my then wife would get a bit annoyed at me constantly saying, “I bet if it was a Madonna Festival, the roads wouldn’t have been so backed up.” The thing was the way metalheads were sometimes treated back in the 80s, it wouldn’t have been too far from the truth. Anyway, here are performances and a pre festival interview with Dave for you all to enjoy.

Next post: Scandals of 1988

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Rest in Peace Nicky Moore

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2022 by 80smetalman
Nicky Moore

Once again it is my sad duty to report another great rocker who has departed this life and gone to the great gig in the sky. Former Samson and Mammoth lead singer Nicky Moore has passed away at the age of 75. Reports say that Nicky had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for several years and spent his final years in a nursing home.


Nicky is best known for replacing Bruce Dickinson in Samson after Bruce left to join some band called Iron Maiden. You might have heard of them. Nicky recorded three albums with Samson, taking the band from their NWOBHM sound to a more bluesier one. He would leave Samson to form the band Mammoth in the late 80s. FFI- click the link:

So another rocker is taken from us and is joining that ever growing ensemble in a better place.

Rest in peace, Nicky Moore.

If You Have Netflix, Then Watch This Movie!

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

My stepson, Teal, recommended the film, “Metal Lords,” to me and in the past few weeks, I’ve seen it twice and now I’m going to plug how good the film is here. Without spoiling the entire plot, “Metal Lords” is about two socially displaced high school kids, Hunter and Kevin. Hunter is a total metalhead who dreams of hitting the big time as a great metal guitarist. Kevin, the drummer, although not a metalhead in the traditional sense, follows Hunter’s lead because Hunter saved him from a bully in third grade. Together, they form the band, Skullfucker.

All the heavy metal cliches are in the film but the thing was, I don’t care because they are all the truth. There’s the being picked on by the jocks, singled out by teachers and late in the film, Hunter’s father has him committed to a clinic because as we all know, only insane people listen to heavy metal. In addition, Kevin gets a girlfriend, Emily, who plays the cello. With the band still not able to find a bass player, Kevin tries to pitch Emily but Hunter rejects it saying that the cello is not a metal instrument. This eventually leads to a falling out between the two friends and Kevin joining the bubble gum pop band, Mollycoddle. It all leads to what some will call a predictable ending but it’s all done a great metal form.

My strange ability to pick out the small details in films, I found it amusing that when Kevin is in Mollycoddle, he finds playing the drums to their songs a lot easier than being a metal drummer. Even if he does nail, “War Pigs.” Then there’s my favourite scene when Kevin is in the pool and about to cheat on Emily, he is visited by Scott Ian, Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett and Rob Halford who all (Rob even more so) remind Kevin what a great girl Emily is and he shouldn’t cheat on her. Then again, if those four Gods visited me, I would do anything they said. One last point, “War Pigs” sounds excellent played on the cello.

Kevin being visited by Scott, Tom, Kirk and Rob

Of course no metal film would be worth its weight if it didn’t have a killer soundtrack.

  1. Skullflower- Machinery of Torment
  2. Judas Priest- Metal Gods
  3. Iron Maiden- The Trooper
  4. Avenged Sevenfold- Hail to the King
  5. Judas Priest- Painkiller
  6. Metallica- For Whom the Bell Tolls
  7. Black Sabbath- War Pigs
  8. Mastodon- Blood and Thunder
  9. Judas Priest- Grinder
  10. Ozzy Osbourne- Dee
  11. Motorhead- Ace of Spades
  12. Metallica- One
  13. Pantera- Cowboys From Hell
  14. Metallica- Master of Puppets
  15. Zeal & Ardor- Trust No One
  16. Guns ‘N’ Roses- Since I Don’t Have You
  17. Metallica- Whiplash
  18. Pantera- I’m Broken
Performance of the song in the film

I urge everyone to watch “Metal Lords.” It may be a little predictable but with all of that metal, who the hell cares?

Next post: Original vs. Cover

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Great Metal Albums of 1987: Battlezone- Children of Madness

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2022 by 80smetalman

After his departure from Iron Maiden, lead singer Paul Di’Anno, tried to make a go of things by forming his own band but that was short-lived. In 1985, he formed Battlezone (also known as Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone) and after their debut album, “Fighting Back,” came and went without much notice, at least from me or anyone I knew, they released their second album in 1987, “Children of Madness.”

For the most part, this is a good straightforward heavy metal album, with several good tracks. There is some good riffing on many of the intros by guitarists John Wiggins and Graham Bath and I’m going to put my head on the chopping block here but except for the track, “Nuclear Breakdown,” I think that Paul’s vocals are better than when he was in Iron Maiden. This is not a knock against the mighty Maiden, it’s more a case that Paul’s vocal abilities matured.

With “Children of Madness,” the second half of the album is better than the first. Sure, “Rip It Up” is a good opener and there is a great lead guitar solo on “Torch of Hate,” which is the fastest song on the album but there is better on the second half of the album. The two songs which really shine for me are “I Don’t Wanna Know” which is about a dying relationship and “Metal Tears” which is the closest to a ballad they come with it’s soft intro. The amusing fact about “Metal Tears” is that it’s about a man who falls for a female robot. Both of these tracks have some great guitar work and Paul’s vocals are the smoothest on the album.

If I was to pick a candidate for hidden gem, it would have to be the closer, “Whispered Rage.” The band bring it all together here with some cool guitar solos and more good vocals from Paul and don’t forget the rhythm section. On the other hand, most of the tracks start promising and carry on maybe for the first or second verses but seem to tail off before the guitar solo. The original oomph which attracts you to the song at the beginning is lacking as the song ends. Maybe that’s just me. The title track is one good example. But for the most part, it’s still a good album.

Track Listing:

  1. Rip It Up
  2. Overloaded
  3. Nuclear Breakdown
  4. Torch of Hate
  5. Children of Madness
  6. I Don’t Wanna Know
  7. The Promise
  8. It’s Love
  9. Metal Tears
  10. Whispered Rage

Paul Di’Anno- lead vocals

John Wiggins- guitar

Graham Bell- guitar

Pete West- bass

Steve Hopgood- drums

Like what caused Paul’s exit from Iron Maiden, Battlezone would release one more studio album and then a compilation album before drink, drugs and infighting would cause the band to break up. When I listen to “Children of Madness,” I hear a band with potential. It’s too bad that potential was never recognized.

Next Post: Agnostic Front- Liberty and Justice For..

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An Early Happy New Year!

Posted in Death, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2021 by 80smetalman

I’m wishing everyone a happy new year a day early as I will be in work on tomorrow and Saturday, can’t resist the double time. Therefore, I will wish everyone a happy and safe new year now and reflect over 2021 as it comes to an end.

Rest in peace Dusty Hill

Always wanting to get the negative out of the way, like with many of the previous years, we lost more of the rock legends we grew up with decades earlier including three in one day! One of those was the legendary bassist for ZZTop, Dusty Hill. Others include Joey Jordison, Mike Howe and Jeff LaBar and there were more. May they all rest in peace.

Of course, outside of music, we still had the Covid to deal with and while things seemed to be improving throughout the year, it appears it has all gone backwards in the end on account of the Omnicron strain. As usual, it’s been a pain in the rear end and we have to make adjustments but hopefully, things will get better in 2022.

My son Will and me celebrating our 60th and 30th birthdays

One major change for me in 2021 was the fact that I have been alive for six decades. Part of me feels like the old man ready to impart wisdom on the youth. Okay maybe not, but I can educate them on heavy metal history. This has led me to get my will sorted although I am waiting for a response from the people at Bloodstock as to whether they will honour my request to have my ashes poured from the Ronnie James Dio Stage when I do depart this world. While I might be an old man, I did receive the compliment while playing in a softball tournament that I moved around the bases pretty well for someone my age. In addition, I had added joy when both of my daughters in law bore me beautiful granddaughters in 2021.

With my granddaughter Primrose. In the foreground is my three year old grandson Alex.
My granddaughter Juliana

As the pandemic seemed to be easing throughout the year, there was a slow but steady return to live music. I have enjoyed reading some of your accounts of the gigs you went to. I managed to get to one at a club in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, when I saw the bands Logoz and Silverjet. Okay, neither band is well known outside the Northeast of England but they both put on a great show that evening.

Logoz in Newcastle

Like the rest of you, I am also looking towards 2022 with careful optimism. I hope that the pandemic will no longer be a inconvenience to our lives and we can move on. In the meantime, I will look forward to reading your posts and hearing what you all have to say about music new and old. BTW, I did get the new Iron Maiden album for Christmas and because of it’s length, I only have listened to the first CD. So far, I pretty much like what I hear.

Happy New Year to all!

Next post: Reckless- No Frills

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