July Artist of the Month is...
*Abso-fucking-lutely Cult! - Feind
When I think of Iron Maiden I immediately think back to my youth and a mural I had upon my bedroom wall. It was, admittedly, nothing special, but to me it was fucking cool this was what I thought even before I knew who Iron Maiden or the sinister ax wielding figure, who watched over me as I slept, were.
It wasn't until the nineties that I discovered what could be considered one of Britain's most influential musical exports (alongside others;Judas Priest, Motorhead, Venom, Black Sabbath just to name a few) if I remember rightly the album No Prayer for the Dying(1990) was the first I listened to the whole way through though I had heard snippets of others. I can still recall thinking that their only #1 (chart topping hit in the UK) Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter (often jokingly referred to as the song in which a butcher has his female offspring accompany him to work) wasn't even the best song on the album, catchy I won't argue there, but IMO not the most impressive track featured. The album as a whole impressed the crap outta me, Holy Smoke was another featured, that although again very catchy was by no means for me an album highlight. I needed, lusted and searched frantically for more of their releases, for both the music and the artwork.
Bruce Dickinson's voice was, and still is, powerful, unforgettable and deserved of attention, sounding like nothing heard at the time on popular radio or music chart based television shows (anyone remember Top of the Pops? Only a small overseas audience perhaps?)
Iron Maiden's sound was deliciously different, chock full of dark, at times deviant, lyrical themes and technical but not over the top guitar melodies. It was easy to see that with each and every release I discovered, I found myself only liking them more and more.
I find myself flipping a virtual coin when it comes to picking a favorite, Powerslave (1984) has an unforgiving galloping guitar tempo, drum beats you want to emulate (on whatever hard surface is closest) and Steve Harris's mastery of the bass (guitar) that is quite simply beyond compare. The middle of the album contains, more than likely, my favorite tracks by them.
Revelations is a favorite of mine, a mid tempo pace with well delivered and emotionally charged lyrics, it has more than it's fair share of chilling moments. Other tracks featured: The Trooper, Flight of Icarus, the live favorite Die with Your Boots On, Still Life and To Tame a Land. It goes without mentioning this is a great album from start to finish cementing Bruce Dickinson as a more than competent frontman with the vocal prowess to match.
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If you are anything like me you may have forgotten just how enjoyable these aforementioned albums are, I've sat at my desk now for about four hours tapping my feet, nodding my head I'm guilty of not getting much else done, but that's perfectly fine because I rediscovered Back in the Village.