[lit-ideas] Re: OFF topic -- Iron maiden

  • From: JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 15:21:29 EST

<<That  depends what you consider 'good'. I don't know if I can appreciate 
your  definition of 'good' since you didn't like "Bridges of Madison  
I've never met a man who liked  Bridges.  It actually became my test of 
gender through androgynous screen  names.  If they liked the movie, they were 
Julie Krueger 

========Original  Message========     Subj: [lit-ideas] OFF topic -- Iron 
maiden  Date: 1/26/06 9:50:30 AM Central Standard Time  From: pas@xxxxxxxxx 
(mailto:pas@xxxxxxxx)   To: _lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
(mailto:lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx)   Sent on:    

>AA: Is Iron Maiden that good?  I'll  see if the library has it.

That depends what you consider 'good'. I don't  know if I can appreciate 
your definition of 'good' since you didn't like  "Bridges of Madison County"

Here's a brief history of the  band:

They started off as an very-hard rock band: Adrian Smith, Steve  Harris 
(pronounced 'arris, but known as Arry), Dave Murray, Clive Burr and  Paul 

Arry did most of the lyric writing and until their  third album which saw 
the arrival of a new lead singer, Bruce Dickinson,  were mostly just another 
hard rock band. They had a few catchy numbers --  "Running Free" from their 
first album is still a staple at most IM concerts  even today -- but it was 
in 1982 with their release of "Number of the Beast"  that they caught the 
world by storm. When they "opened" for Judas Priest  that year, they blew 
their elder statesmen off the stage. With a well over  10 foot mascot Eddie 
who strutted the stage during part of the show, they  became known for their 
dark image and driving, metal edge. They were  inventing a new style 

They took the 'late 70s leather  hard-rocker mode, and with Dickinson's 
air-raid siren voice, they reached  new heights of popularity with songs 
like "the Prisoner", "22 Acacia Avenue"  "Run to the Hills" and the title 
track "number of the beast". Teenaged boys'  mothers shrieked in horror when 
looking at the monster on the front of the  album with a big red "The number 
of the beast" (remember, these were the  Reagan years) plastered in dripping 
blood across the cover.

The next  year, they returned with an even bigger album "Piece of Mind", 
with again a  cover that featured a huge yellow brain-like padded room with 
eddie (their  eternal mascot) in chains standing on/it it. With a new 
Drummer (Clive Burr  left because, as we wouuld find out later, he was 
diagnosed with MS) Nicko  McBrain, they were revitalized and amped it up 
even more with faster songs  like "The Trooper" and "Where Eagles Dare" 
while still retaining the  historical/artistic/mythical perspective and 
sensibilities of Dickinson with  a very popular "Flight of Icarus".

In 1984, with the subsequent release  of their album "Powerslave", they 
moved in history to an egyptian themed  cover with a pyramid and 
sphinxes.  They had two bona fide hits with  "aces high" (about dogfights in 
ww2) and "2 minutes to midnight" which was a  completely misconstrued (by 
parents) social consciousness metal ballad which  caught the PMRC's ire with 
the refrain:

2 minutes to midnight,
The  hands that treaten doom.
2 minutes to midnight,
To kill the unborn in the  womb.

which of course got the right-to-lifers knickers in a right twist.  Of 
course, to the kids who were 17 at the time (like me) this was a spit in  
the face to the establishment and the cold warriors. We had mullets and we  
were strutting against them dammit.

They neatly forgot about the  verse that followed the [taken by itself] out 
of context refrain

The  body bags and little rags of children torn in two
And the jellied brains of  those who remain to put the finger right on you
As the madmen play on words  and make us all dance to their song
To the tune of starving millions to make  a better kind of gun.

This was so clearly a reaction to the state of the  world. But they focussed 
and got HUGE press because they were 'advocating  tearing children in two". 

So after a hugely successful  tour and a monumental following. Things 
changed. For some reason, the style  went south. They had basically played 
out their welcome in North America.  After two more mildly selling albums 
1986 "Somewhere in Time" and 1988's  "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" - with 
associated low-selling tours, they  went back to England and continued to 
make 3 or 4 more albums over the next  12 years and returned to the concert 
scene in 2002 with a very successful  live dvd called "Rock in Rio" where 
they played to what looked like hundreds  of thousands of very enthusiastic 

In the years between 1982 and  1988, I saw IM about 10 times in various 
venues, large and small. I still  listen to their middle 5 albums with lots 
of enthusiasm and every guy my age  who was a teen in 1982 remembers their 
huge impact on the 'music'  scene.
Their lyrics are poignant, their musicianship is superb and the songs  are 
memorable. The combined guitar solos of Smith/Murray are unique to their  
sound. McBrain is famous for having one of the most incredible right-foots  
in drumming, Steve Harris, with his melodic, furious bass parts, is  
consistently cited as being that mark by which a lot of rock bassists  
measure themselves against and Bruce Dickinson can scream in key with  anyone.

Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Paul (not  paid by Iron maiden) Stone

Paul  Stone
Kingsville, ON, Canada  

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