April 14, 1980 - 2020: 40 years of: Iron Maiden.
Album number one, singer number one = one single head-shot kill !
1980 is Year-One for heavymetal as we know it. In one calendar-year, a 40 year + legacy was set with the following Stonehenge-rocks: MOTÖRHEAD's Ace Of Spades, OZZY OSBOURNE's Blizzard Of Ozz, JUDAS PRIEST's British Steel, BLACK SABBATH's Heaven And Hell ...and IRON MAIDEN's first full-length ...all British bands, let that sink in.
Harder then DEF LEPPARD (their early metal beginnings), angrier then WHITESNAKE, had more riffs then DIAMOND HEAD, had more grit then TYGERS OF PAN TANG and were the anti-QUEEN ...all British bands, let that sink in.
The metallic IRON MAIDEN where the non-punk punks you didn't want to mess with ...but they did mess-up a piece of your mind with this killer debut LP !
"Prowler" knocks-off a few teeth in a flash with it's metal-riff and accompanying galloping-bass, a now MAIDEN-signature Steve Harris move. The rocknrolling "Running Free" is still a high-stamina show high-point, while the thrashy "Sanctuary" is a dark back-alley bloody brawl. The mojo is strong here. "Remember Tomorrow" the first of many MAIDEN "powerballads" starts quietly and suddenly explodes 360° and escalades into a Mach IV electric guitar-massacre. Boldly brutal and beautiful !
The instrumental "Transylvania" is 2112-era RUSH on PCP. Prog and punk defining the same song, yes IRON MAIDEN made that happen in 1980. The London blokes resonate loudly with the incendiary title-track and shows a soft-spot for a very special lady, the side-walk-not-so-girl-next-door "Charlotte The Harlot"
And now, progressive-metal's very first track:
Some still argue that current singer Bruce Dickinson is the man, and they are right, but take a bite out of this stellar Paul Di'Anno performance. "Phantom Of The Opera" is the epic melodicmetal-piece most epic melodicmetal-pieces are benchmarked against. Intro and epic-verse, chorus, off-set bridge, melodic lead-section, harmonized-unisons, build-up, strong mid-part, second lead-section and epic-verse ...this is classical-music made into hardrock. A full 7:22sec of climaxing burning fret-work and over-lapping melodies. Main-writer Steve Harris is a born genius and MAIDEN are definitely not your average local punks.
Now officially 40 years young, IRON MAIDEN shows no signs of stopping or no signs of shortage of heavy and metal. This celebration also means that heavymetal's favorite murderer-mascot Eddie has now been part of the rocknroll landscape for 4 full decades ...let that sink in. In space, in hell, in a land of ice, as a pharaoh, as a trooper, somewhere in time and even at the tail of a real-life Boeing 757 ...the illustrious live after death Eddie is the bad-ass of all bad-asses. Hail Derek Riggs !
While recent MAIDEN-records feature longer tracks and elaborate stage-sets, there is still a define dry-cut amongst fans. The initial Di'Anno-led band, the raw street-attitude of 1980's Iron Maiden LP and the following muscle-flex in 1981's Killers LP are forever cemented as heavymetal milestones. And the second chapter, 1982 and on, the Dickinson-led band features more theatrical elements and also dystopian futuristic ensemble, all exploited in their late-80s material.
Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please welcome:
The immortal Iron Maiden by the immortal IRON MAIDEN, England's premier metal-machine's first offering !!!
RIP Clive Burr (1957-2013)
Women In Uniform - video
Top Of The Pops in 1980
Documentary in 1980
February 2, 1981 - 2021: 40 years of: Killers.
Hail Paul Di'Anno !
The dreaded second record, will it float, will it tank ...well 40 long epic years later, it is as strong as ever. IRON MAIDEN, the exciting new band terrorizing the UK-scene in 1980-81, in the now famous: New Wave Of British Heavy-Metal movement.
The Killers LP introduces new guitar-player Adrian Smith and would also be the last IRON MAIDEN record featuring the punked madmen Paul Di'Anno, the end of the bloody MAIDEN 1.0-era.
One of heavymetal's greatest intro-track, the majestic instru-metal "The Ides Of March" shines the studs and hand-deliver us to "Wrathchild", one of the strongest MAIDEN-track ever, one of the strongest heavymetal-track ever. The progressive dreamy elements of "Remember Tomorrow" are present on the ultra-classic intro of "Murders In The Rue Morgue" and then in a sudden crescendo: everybody dies in a street metal onslaught !
The high-octane hardrock rampages on "Another Life" and gets ablaze on the quick jabs of "Purgatory". Another epic build-up explodes into back-alley metal on the title-track, were Di'Anno makes it clear that once again: no one gets outta here alive !
A burst, a flash, a rapid fire and then he was gone.
The hardcore rocknroll lifestyle of the early 80s, pushed the frontmen and the band, into making the toughest decision of their then short career. By autumn 1981, Di'Anno was out and the stage was set for the young ex-SAMSON singer Bruce Dickinson to rage and change heavymetal-history with 1982's iconic RIAA-certified Platinum The Number Of The Beast LP.
Killers also features the band's "sixth member" with the debut of long-term producer Martin Birch behind the desk ...a hell bent match made in hell. Metal-heads unite and show forever gratitude to Mister Di'Anno, for steering heavymetal's illustrious trajectory into this new timeless rock-sanctuary.
Hail Paul Di'Anno !
Killers = full LP
Live at the Beat Club in 1981
September 29, 1986 - 2021: 35 years of: Somewhere In Time.
A mature Maiden.
After destroying everything in their path, how could they be more metal than 1983 and 1984's back-to-back pile-driving Piece Of Mind and Powerslave puissant LPs ?
Progression, fusion and in-touch with the current newwave element, yet still bloody heavymetal. Welcome the x-factor, metal's sworn enemy: the synth-effects, digitally performed with guitar-synthesizers.
This technology is immediately felt as it opens-up the 7:26sec title-track. Strong galloping rhythms, courtesy of, once again mastermind Steve Harris, makes a deadly statement. The hit and closest to single-format, the ultra catchy "Wasted Years" is all hooks, while even more hooks in you captures the crowd with the sing-along anthem "Heaven Can Wait".
But fear not, as mean metal is laid out on two Adrian Smith heavies: "Sea Of Madness" and the military-pace of "Stranger In A Strange Land". Gigantic and audacious, "Alexander The Great" is one of the many to come, homage to historic figures. And just like the great Greek Commander himself, the track is filled with raw-metal and matched by off-set breakdowns in this 8:37sec monstrous Macedonian metal-massacre.
Even more gigantic and even more audacious is the elaborate Derek Riggs artwork. The now futuristic Eddie, gets a facelift, directly influenced by the current wave of sci-fi 80s trendsetters: Blade Runner, Terminator, Tron and Aliens. The futureal mascot and the band are literally somewhere in time, in a strange land, surrounded by numerous past key MAIDEN-artefacts and other cultural-references.
Not as pop as JUDAS PRIEST's 1986 cheese-fest Turbo LP, yet MAIDEN's fan-base now dug into America's mainstream rock-market and found a million new homes in the US. A revelation, while new rising players, the rabid thrashmetal of METALLICA and SLAYER, were producing the most dangerous music on Earth.
The Brits will take another shot and extend the electronic-exploration further with their 1988 tour-de-force, the iconic icy-cold incarnation of the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son LP.
Not wasted years ...but formative years.
Wasted Years = video
Stranger In A Strange Land = video
Somewhere In Time = full LP
Interview in 1986-87
Live in Paris in 1986
CAN WE PLAY WITH MADNESS ?
This year we celebrate 30 years of IRON MAIDEN's best album and last true-MAIDEN album: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son !
The Seventh Son mythology dates way back in mid-evil times, when a legacy of 7 subsequent male-only children be born. The last boy, in return, would then spawn 7 subsequent male-only children and this 7th-son would be naturally gifted and would prove to posses special divine powers ...and then come heavymetal giants IRON MAIDEN !
The British quintet were on top of the world at that point and could do no wrong, filling arenas and providing metal-anthems to the masses. Yet it is in 1988, that their special divine powers where put to the test.
"Classic" heavymetal as a whole was starting to dwingle and some "older" bands like MAIDEN, SABBATH and MOTÖRHEAD were challenged against the new wave of American-metal in the likes of METALLICA, ANTHRAX and the radio-hits machine of MÖTLEY CRÜE and BON JOVI.
Not to be outdone, MAIDEN reinvented themselves with a tour-de-force of an album. The 44-minute LP, their seventh record (of course) cleverly incorporates keyboard undertones, state-of-the-art digital production and full progressive song-structures ...uncharted territories for a band of their stature. MAIDEN mastermind Steve Harris pushed himself musically beyond and single-handedly crafted Seventh Son and immortalized the bands career as true pioneer in the genre.
It did work on tape and in the live environment as well. The Seventh Tour of 1988 was a phenomenal worldwide success, featuring the biggest stage-set to date and even taking soon-to-become the world's biggest band with them: GUNS N ROSES. Unfortunately, this would be guitarist Adrian Smith's last appearance with the band ...until 1999 !
Now 30 years later Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son still stands tall among MAIDEN's impressive catalog. A unique period in time, when the band was at it's creative peak, as it would be the last true-Maiden album, ever. Some critics would argue that Seventh Son is bloated and un-heavymetal, yet in retrospect it clearly showcases MAIDEN's musical genius and it's will to get out of the generic comfort-zone by releasing a full concept-album.
MADNESS INDEED !!!
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