Archive for The Number of the Beast

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Iron Maiden- Piece of Mind

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2016 by 80smetalman

iron_maiden_-_piece_of_mind

One problem with me back in 1983 was procrastination. When I would hear about how good a particular band was or even heard a couple of songs I really liked from said band, I still wouldn’t rush out and buy their album. I put it down to me being too tight with my money back then. In the case of Iron Maiden, I heard a lot of good songs from them in the early years and even saw their kick ass live show in January 1985, which is highlighted in “Rock And Roll Children,” but the first Maiden album I actually bought was “Live After Death.” It was then that I started to delve into their backlog of studio albums and discovered what would be my all time favourite Iron Maiden studio album, “Piece of Mind.”

If I’m completely honest, I think what I liked most about “Piece of Mind” was that fact that it has many of the songs that I loved from “Live After Death” on it. What’s an added bonus is that the studio versions of those songs don’t sound too different from the live ones. Although when I hear “Revelations,” even after all these years, I still half expect Bruce Dickinson to shout “Scream for me Longbeach!” in the middle of the song. Still, you can’t go wrong with such great tracks as the one mentioned as well as two others near the top of my favourite Iron Maiden song list, “The Trooper” and “The Flight of Icarus.” The weird thing about those two songs is that “The Flight of Icarus” sounds shorter in length that what it actually is and “The Trooper” sounds longer. But hey, who cares about things like that? They’re both great songs, one written about a famous Greek fable while the other is about a tragic blunder in British military history, the charge of the light brigade. Both done very well set to music.

“Die With Your Boots On” is another cross over from the live album and I really like that one as well but those don’t lessen the effect the other tracks has on the album. “Where Eagles Dare” is a fantastic opener and “To Tame a Land” is a cool closer. The other three tracks on the album also contribute to “Piece of Mind’s” greatness although I never really get to hear what is said in “Nicko” which is a backwards message at the beginning of “Still Life.” It was included as a dig at the religious nuts who claimed Iron Maiden were Satanic on account of the “The Number of the Beast Album.” On the subject of Nicko, this was the first album to feature drummer Nicko McBrain, who replaced Clive Burr. What I never knew was that Nicko used to play with guitar great, Pat Travers. Man, you learn something new every day.

Track Listing:

  1. Where Eagles Dare
  2. Revelations
  3. The Flight of Icarus
  4. Die With You Boots On
  5. The Trooper
  6. Still Life
  7. Quest for Fire
  8. Sun and Steel
  9. To Tame a Land
Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson- vocals

Steve Harris- bass

Adrian Smith- guitar

Dave Murray- guitar

Nicko McBrain- drums

History has tried to state that the new wave of British heavy metal, (NWOBH) was fading by 1983. I guess that Iron Maiden forgot to pick up the memo because they put out a stellar album in that year. One can’t fault “Piece of Mind” at all as it cemented their place as heavy metal legends.

Next post: Def Leppard- Pyromania

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Metal Albums of 1982: Iron Maiden- The Number of the Beast

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-Iron_Maiden_-_The_Number_Of_The_Beast

Honestly, I didn’t intend to make the post of Iron Maiden’s killer 1982 album “The Number of the Beast” coincide with the release of their latest album “Book of Souls.” I was just simply going down my list of albums for 1982 and it was next. However, the gods of rock operate in mysterious ways and so it must have been their will that the post would be made in light of the new album. Especially since “The Number of the Beast” was the first album to feature Bruce Dickinson as lead singer. It has already been established that the new album is a personal triumph for Bruce after his battle with cancer so maybe it’s fitting that appropriate tribute is paid to his first album with Iron Maiden.

Unlike several other bands who were around in 1982, Iron Maiden was not one of those who escaped my attention. Quite the opposite, it was this year when I discovered them while on liberty in Toulon, France. Somebody played an Iron Maiden song that was on a juke box in a bar there and the rest was history. I can’t even remember which Maiden song it was, too much alcohol, but I know I liked it. It probably wasn’t even from this album.

What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? For me, it has all the wonderful tracks that led me to love Iron Maiden. This album features such classics as “Run to the Hills,” The Number of the Beast,” “22 Acacia Avenue” “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “The Prisoner.” See, I heard each of these songs other places such as live albums and videos before I ever heard this album and they were stand out songs on those. Hearing all of them together on one album was simply a mega bonus. Even the track least known to me, “Gangland,” is a very cool track that has every bit of the grit that Iron Maiden puts into all of their songs. I have already declared that “The Number of the Beast” is my favourite Iron Maiden studio album.

There are many things that make this album so good. Obviously all of the classic kick ass tracks that are on the album. However, I agree with many thousands and thousands of others who said that the vocals of Dickinson was what took it up to the summit of great albums. His voice is fresh and ferocious, a combination that many singers don’t have together in abundance. Still, I won’t take anything away from the rest of the band. The guitars of Smith and Murray are just superb with the rhythm section of Harris and Burr keeping things all together. With all of these things, it is no wonder the songs are so good.

Track Listing:

  1. Invaders
  2. Children of the Damned
  3. The Prisoner
  4. 22 Acacia Avenue
  5. The Number of the Beast
  6. Run to the Hills
  7. Gangland
  8. Hallowed Be Thy Name
Iron Maiden

                                 Iron Maiden

Along with all the great music associated with “The Number of the Beast” from Iron Maiden, it is also had it’s share of controversy. Without even bothering to listen to the album, the religious right in America branded the band ‘Satan worshipers’ due to the title of the album. This led to record burnings and protests at their concerts and why when I finally got to see them two tours later, they felt the need to tell every audience they played to in America they weren’t Satan worshipers. I highlight this point in “Rock And Roll Children.” One listen to the album will provide plenty of evidence they aren’t. “The Prisoner” was inspired by the popular British television show. “22 Acacia Avenue” is about a house of ill repute, and I am pretty sure it was inspired by the trial of Madam Cyn in London who was acquitted of running a house for prostitution. The more famous “Run to the Hills” is about the plight of the Native Americans. I could go on here but the point is that the songs aren’t Satanic. In fact, the subjects of many of the songs of Iron Maiden is another reason why I like them so much.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Nugent

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London