Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Iron Maiden
Released : August 30, 1984 (UK)
September 3, 1984 (US)
M.M. Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Holy Grails Of Heavy Metal Music)
By 1984 Bruce Dickinson had to feel invincible. Since he replaced Lead Singer/Frontman Paul Di’ Anno all he knew was success. The two records he had already been a part of, The Number Of The Beast, and Piece Of Mind were instant Heavy Metal Classics. Maiden was now officially headlining big venues in America, and all over the world. Their 1983 “World Peace Tour” was the most successful tour the band had up to that point. Many thought that they would bask in the glory for awhile, and ride the wave the Piece Of Mind record had given them the ability to do, especially since it was still selling very well. Thankfully for us though, the band felt a sense of urgency to record a follow up right away after the touring had ended.
The reason I say “Thankfully For Us” was because at the beginning of 1984 Maiden was in the zone, in their absolute prime. The lineup was now exactly how leader and founder Steve Harris wanted it. They approached the third album with Dickinson (5th for the band overall) with a sense of urgency. Writing the music, and even recording quicker than ever before, which meant just over a year after Piece Of Mind was released the band had another studio album ready to be released. This would actually catch their record company off guard who actually wanted them to postpone the release of the new record since Piece Of Mind was performing so well. Maiden wouldn’t have it though. They already had a new tour booked beginning in August of the new year, that would be called the “World Slavery Tour”. EMI had no choice but to release the new album.
Once Maiden released the album known as “Powerslave” it too became an instant classic. Kicked off by one of the greatest opening tracks in music history “Aces High” set the perfect tone for the record that it was picking up right where Piece Of Mind left off. The closing track may be the most epic Iron Maiden song of all, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” sounds like it took months and months to record. It’s actually one of the quickest songs the band ever recorded, kind of ironic since it’s almost fourteen minutes long. To this day it’s one of the favorite songs the band enjoys doing live, and became a perfect conclusion to one of the greatest trilogy’s of albums ever released.
Powerslave would pretty much make Maiden one of the biggest bands in the world. The World Tour to support it would break attendance records, and would be documented with the “Live After Death” album and home video. Following Powerslave a very exhausted Maiden would take a break before going in a different direction on the next record “Somewhere In Time” two years later. They really had nothing left to prove by then, because after Powerslave their legacy as one of the greatest bands not just in Metal, but any genre was secure.
1) “Aces High”
2) “2 Minutes to Midnight”
3 “Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra)” (Instrumental)
4) “Flash Of The Blade
5) “The Duellists”
1) “Back in the Village”
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