Monday, October 31, 2011

Top of the Heap: Iron Maiden

Andy says-

As I suspect that Metal Mark will ch
oose Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" as his entry in this series I have decided to play devil's advocate and choose "Killers" as my top serving. The second album for Iron Maiden is nowhere near as heavy or raw as their debut and yet it still retains some of the almost punk edge that made these NWOBHM masters such a driving force. Vocalist Paul Di'Anno was sent packing after this release and his replacement would of course prove to me more than capable. True as it is that "Number..." is a shinning example of heavy metal in it's prime this album showcases Paul's ability behind the mic proving that he was no slouch either. I won't argue who is better because Bruce would win that contest with little effort. But for Paul and the band "Killers" is a album that deserves special appreciation for the impact it had in the day and still has. As I stated it is not as raw or heavy as their debut and yet it still has a thunderous appeal to it that cannot be overlook. With veteran producer Martin Birch on board and new guitarist Adrian Smith the band went on to produce their next masterpiece album in their short career. The song "Wrathchild" is a defining heavy metal number. It is a timeless heavy metal song still played to this day on the radio and in concert by not only Iron Maiden but in countless cover versions. Also featuring two instrumental numbers in "The Ides of March" and "Genghis Khan" (as well as the epic "Murders in the Rue Morgue") the album is an early example of how heavy metal suddenly became a classic genre. This album (along with it's followup) would put Iron Maiden into the same category as Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and AC/DC as forefathers of the hard rock/heavy metal movement. While not as popular as it's follow-up album "Killers" remains one of Iron Maiden's top moments and is a favorite of mine.


Metal Mark says-

If you hadn't heard me say it before or couldn't guess it from the top of my blog well then I'll say it now-Iron Maiden are my favorite band of all time. There are plenty of great metal bands and there's Maiden-the best of the best. Now choosing a best album from them isn't easy. I think their first seven plus "Dance of death" and "A matter of life and death" are all great. When I narrow it down to finding the best from that group I would A matter of life and death at three, Killers at two and The number of the beast at number one. No albums is perfect, but "The Number of the beast" comes pretty damn close. We've all heard the mesmerzing title track, the instantly likable "Run to the hills", the haunting "Hallowed by thy name" many times over. The surging "Children of the damned" gets a great deal of recognition too. The other songs don't alwasys get as much rcognition but they deserve it. "22 Acacia Avenue" is a prime example of the band's strong songwriting skills. "The Prisoner" demonstrates their mastery of controlling the pace. "Invaders" and "Gangland" are frequently overlooked, but both are powerful in your face kind of tracks plus Maiden didn't do this kind of song a whole after this album unfortuately. The Dianno albums were great and Killers marked the band's first huge leap in songwriting. However bringing Bruce in to front the band made a huge difference and allowed the band to reach out and do songs they could not have attempted with Dianno. This isn't just my favorite Maiden album, but rather my favorite album of all time.

***What is your favorite Iron Maiden album?

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OpenID said...

NotB isn't my fave, but I love this album. Total Eclipse is in my top 5 all time maiden songs but I hate that Steve added to the regular release of this now. Just doesn't make sense.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Killers is my all-time favorite metal album. Just one of those albums that hit me at the right time when I was just discovering the NWOBHM (for me, 1981). I wore my vinyl copy out playing it over and over and over. I always thought it was cool that a differenr version of "Ides of March" was originally on Samson's album "Head On", titled as "Thunderburst".

8:14 PM  

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