Sunday, September 5, 2010

Up the Irons (WARNING: Huge Post)

I know I'm supposed to review lesser known  bands, but I have to take the time to write a monstrous post for a monstrous band. I'm talking, of course, about Iron Maiden. I recently downloaded their entire discography(15 albums, 115 songs not including their 7 live albums, among various other releases) and was astounded at what I hadn't heard of by them. I will have a download link at the end of this post for those of you who wish to immerse yourselves in pure awesome.

The above song, one of their better unknown songs, is off of the album Brave New World. It's one of their softer songs for the most part,  but is still great to listen to. I'm not going to post links to every song that's good  by them, because I'm pretty sure Google would run out of bandwidth, but I'll post a really good one from a few albums. Brave New World is Iron Maiden's 2000 release, which is a long way from when they started, but their earlier works are just as good, if not better, than their recent releases.

From 1980 to 1986, Maiden released an album every year. From '86-'88 and '88-'90, an album every 2 years. They're a very, very active band. I digress, from '82-'86, perhaps some of the best songs ever written in this genre, and others, were spawned. 1982 saw the release of their most popular album, The Number of the Beast. This includes these hit songs: Run To The Hills, The Number of the Beast, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. These three songs are probably their most  commercially successful, but not their best works by any means.

1983's release of Piece of Mind was by no means a letdown. It contained songs such as: Flight of Icarus, The Trooper, and To Tame a Land. Only two of these songs were commercially successful, but in my opinion, To Tame a Land is one of their best songs(video below).

It's an incredibly technical song, based off of an incredible book, Dune. When Steve Harris confronted the author's lawyer about naming the song Dune, Frank Herbert's lawyer responded with the following: "No. Because Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially rock bands like Iron Maiden". Thus, the song's name was changed.

1984 saw the release of yet another monster album, Powerslave. While it had short-to-mid length hits on it, such as Aces High and 2 Minutes to Midnight, it also contained the epic (and their longest song ever), Rime of the Ancient Mariner. While I'm sure most people don't have the attention span to listen to a 13 minute song, it certainly is worth listening to. I'll post a video of the title track below. It has a very Egyptian feel to it, as you can probably tell by the cover.

Skipping ahead 2 years, 1986's release of Somewhere in Time only had one commercially successful song, Wasted Years. Which isn't to say it's a bad album, songs such as Alexander the Great, as well as Heaven Can Wait, are incredible pieces of music that should really be listened to. I won't be posting a video for this album, as I need to save space on this post, and there are better songs to be posted.

Yet again, skipping 2 years, we  go to 1988's release of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. This is yet another album that had several commercial successes on it. These include the following: Infinite Dreams, The Clairvoyant, Can I Play With Madness, Only The Good Die Young, and The Evil That Men Do. That's 5/8 songs on the album. This is, as you can tell, one of their most commercially successful/popular albums. A video of Can I Play With Madness will be posted below. It is worth noting that this is their shortest album by far, as none of the songs are over 5 minutes (Unlike their other albums, which feature multiple 7-9 minute songs each).

1990's release of No Prayer For The Dying wasn't as much of a success as their previous albums, but still had some very good songs on it. The closing track, titled Mother Russia, is one of the best on the album (in my opinion), with Holy Smoke being a very close second. Most people would probably prefer Holy Smoke, as it is shorter, and really does sound better. I'm not sure why it's my second place, but it is. Again, no video for this album.

1992's Fear of the Dark had several monstrous songs on it. The title track is hands-down one of the best songs ever released by Iron Maiden, and is easily the best on the album. It is also one of their most commercially successful songs to-date. Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Childhood's End, and Be Quick or Be Dead are all incredible songs off of this album. While the album in particular wasn't very popular, it's title track was, and the other songs on it never really got much attention. I will be posting a video of Fear of the Dark below, but I am going to post the live version. This is because it's without a doubt better than the album version. You can compare yourself, but you'll come to the  same conclusion.

Without a doubt my favorite song by them, but only the live version. The album version of the song just sounds worse. I really don't have words for this, you just HAVE to listen to it.

 There are several other Maiden albums for me to cover, but I feel like I've covered the best of their releases, from 1992 onward is just stuff you'll like if you're a fan of it. As promised, I'll post a torrent link of  their entire discography. While it is not in there, I recommend downloading Live After Death, and A Real Live One. The former is widely considered the best live album ever made, and the latter has the live rendition of Fear of the Dark on it. (Note: The torrent does not include  their 2010 release, The Final Frontier).READ: As short as these posts are, I enjoy writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them. Feel free to leave a comment on my latest post with a band you want me to review, I'll be more than happy to listen to them if I haven't heard them. (ANOTHER READ: This band is infinitely better live than on their studio album. If you can find live versions of the songs that you like, LISTEN TO THEM). (I know, it's Piratebay, but it's a perfectly trustworthy source).