Sunday, June 08, 2008

Piece of Mind (1983)


With Piece of Mind, we're introduced to Iron Maiden's "classic" line-up, the one that we'd see take the band to it's greatest peaks, and through all the albums for the remainder of the 80's. Following the band's Number of the Beast tour, drummer Clive Burr took his leave of the group, and Nicko McBrain took over the drum throne, one that he's occupied ever since. McBrain's arrival, combined with songwriting contributions by more band members than just Steve Harris and an increased literary lyrical focus make this an extremely dynamic release. While Burr was always a solid drummer, and got more impressive over the course of his 3 record stint with the band, McBrain's playing has a ton of personality, so while the band had gotten even better at locking in as a unit and melting faces with some amazing songs, this record also serves as a great showcase for each member of the group individually. Of particular note is the EXCELLENT guitar work. The riffs are typically exhilarating and some of the solos and dual lead guitar work on Piece of Mind are just.......amazing. You'll get a nice solo burnin' things up, and then the two guitarists will unite and take things into the stratosphere. Audio heaven. My only (small) gripe about this album is that it's a bit front-heavy. In the first half, you get stuff like "Flight of Icarus" and "Die With Your Boots On"....classic Maiden tunes. But after the middle section is over, where we get album highlight "The Trooper" and "Still Life", the songs aren't quite as good. There isn't a bad song on the album, but it seems like all the best stuff leads the release, so it comes off as just a shade uneven towards the back. Still.....kick ass record.


This was it for me. This was the first Maiden album I got. I had seen the video of 'Flight of Icarus' on MTV when they still played videos each hour, and after the shrouded hooded figure presented the brain to me. I knew I was hooked. I loved this album and thought I was so devious by buying it due to all the evil-ness and symbols all over it. What did I know? I was 11! Then Nicko McBrain introduced himself with the rumbling drums of 'Where Eagles Dare.' I freaking love the imagery of Icarus and the story behind it. I think I listened to this album a few billion times in my life time. I freaking love 'Still Life', and I love 'To Tame a Land.' I think they should get over themselves and play those two in concert. That would make a true fan very happy. Anything to see Bruce sing all that Dune shit live. Because of this album I have also even read and seen the movie of "Where Eagles Dare" and the whole time I had the song going through my head as I was reading and watching. Oh, and i must say, I cant stand the song Revelations. I never really have. And I know they're going to play it on Wednesday, because they can, and they will. I will muscle my way through it, but oh well... That's the only song on here that I can say that I don't totally love. the rest all seem to get me. Death in life is your ideal. Life is like a wheel. And it's rolling still...

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