Tuesday, December 16, 2008

134. Iron Maiden - Powerslave

Iron Maiden is like the SchoolHouse Rock of metal. My sister actually passed an English course in high school because her make up work (forced on her after she cut too many classes) was a paper on Rime of the Ancient Mariner, all her knowledge of which she based on listening to the song of that name on this album.

I love Iron Maiden for so many reasons; they are unmitigated cheesiness coupled smug pretentiousness, overlaid with music that makes you want to bang your head while flashing the metal sign. I love that Dickinson strives to make his music work on so many levels at once. He's teaching, he's posturing, he's rocking the fuck out. His music was the antithesis to the mindless hair metal that ruled the airwaves during this era. It was smart, it was complicated, it had nothing to do with getting laid and getting drunk. Not that there's anything wrong with songs about sex and liquor, but sometimes, when Skid Row was making you feel dumb for having listened to them, a little Iron Maiden was all you needed to get a few of your IQ points back.

This is an album that will wear you out if you are trying to play air guitar or air drums to it. Aside from the winded feeling you get when trying to recreate Dickinson's piercing voice, the guitar work on Aces High alone will leave almost too exhausted to kick some ass during Two Minutes to Midnight. But you reach back and find the strength, because there are few things a bunch of drunken 22 year olds found more entertaining than singing the chorus to that song in a dive bar filled with old men trying to get their turn to play Sinatra on the jukebox.

Plus, there's Eddie.

Favorite Song: Aces High
Eddie has his own wiki


Cullen said...

My favorite Iron Maiden songs are probably on Number of the Beast, but this is my favorite Maiden album. Every song on this disc is so tight, so sound.

It took me a long time to get into Maiden because I disliked the image they had. I disliked that whole, Eddie, Number of the Beast thing. But when you actually listen to their music, you're blown away.

jaycaruso said...

I recently had introduced my son to Iron Maiden. He's playing guitar and marveled at the solo on 'Wasted Years.' (Off 'Somewhere in Time').

'Powerslave' was the album that got me hooked on Maiden. I saw them in concert a few times and their shows were just a non-stop blitz of music and entertainment.

What was great about Maiden was their ability to sell millions of records and sell out venues no matter where they played, all without the benefit of radio airplay or MTV promotion.

Ken said...

I was never a huge Iron Maiden fan, but I've always loved Piece of Mind.

Jamie said...

There's a movie about air-drummers that talks about how strenuous it really is. They have music by Rush and Judas Priest; no Maiden but hey...

"Adventures of Power"... www.adventuresofpower.com

Michael McKean from Spinal Tap is in it. Comes out next year, good stuff.

The Facebook page is taking air-drum video submissions.



Michael said...

Hey i am a big fan of Steely Dan, but Mr Walter Becker has a new album called Circus Money, What a great album it is, just had to share that with all the Steely Dan Fans.

From the Legendary Steely Dan Man WALTER BECKER NEW ALBUM ‘Circus Money’ OUT NOW

Unrepentantly and delightfully steely Dan-esque An understated gem.

“ Q “Melodic funky, and as smart as you like.”

The Times **** Uncut ****

Daily Express **** Record Collector