Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Iron Maiden
Album : Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Released : April 11, 1988
Metal Mofo Album Rating : 5/5 (A Progressive Metal Masterpiece !)
By the year 1988, the band Iron Maiden had absolutely nothing left to prove. Having become the most influential and successful band of the ” New Wave Of British Heavy Metal”, they had rode one of the greatest creative waves in the history of music. Having already released legendary landmark albums, some were thinking they had already hit their peak. Their previous album “Somewhere In Time” was a very good album, but had angered many fans that the band was now using Synthesizers, plus it had been considered a much weaker album than their previous classics. Also lead singer Bruce Dickinson felt like an outsider, or just “the singer” since all of his ideas were rejected during the making of that album.
When band leader, and bass player Steve Harris started thinking of a follow up to Somewhere In Time he was reading a book titled “Seventh Son” by Orson Scott Card. Since this was to be the band’s seventh studio album, this gave Steve an idea to turn it into this concept. What he did next was a very smart move. He called Bruce Dickinson about the concept, and asked him for song ideas. This rejuvenated Bruce’s confidence knowing he would be involved of the writing of the new record.
Since this was going to be a concept album, Maiden also drew from their progressive music influences. They listened to a lot of the music of their youth, the English progressive bands like early Genesis, King Crimson, and Yes. The record would also use keyboards for the very first time on a Maiden album. That being said the band was smart not to let the keyboards dominate the sound, but be a good companion to the music.
The result of these sessions would be the last true great Iron Maiden album “Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son”. A record full of creativity, and showing that they could compromise their sound enough to stretch into a new territory. This record was truly the end of an era for one of the greatest bands of all time. Following the tour, and during the sessions for the next album “No Prayer Of The Dying” guitar player Adrian Smith would leave the band in 1990, and things would never be the same. “Seventh Son” is the classic Maiden lineup truly going out on top. As the years have passed many music critics and fans now consider this album Maiden’s finest work. All I know is it’s definitely my favorite Iron Maiden album. They took the risk, and succeeded with flying colors.
Side One :
1. Moonchild (5:41)
2. Infinite Dreams (6:09)
3. Can I Play With Madness (3:31)
5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (9:53)
6. The Prophecy (5:05)
7. The Clairvoyant (4:27)
8. Only the Good Die Young (4:42)
Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar, synthesized guitars
Steve Harris – bass guitar, bass synth
Nicko McBrain – drums, percussion
Michael “Count” Kenney Keyboards