As mentioned in the last couple of posts, we’re going through all the Iron maiden records. Mike’s writing intelligently about them, I’m just going from my gut. Up first, their 1980 debut:
I am listening, and writing these notes, before I read Mike’s review. I want to see how we do independently. Mike said yesterday that this record totally owns the demo. I dunno, I loved the demo. Let’s find out.
Prowler … Damn, that’s fast! And the guitar’s in tune this time. It keeps the punk grit, but is more like the Maiden they would become too. Sanctuary is a great straight-ahead rocker that keeps the pace high. I can definitely notice the difference in the vocals between Di’Anno and the later Dickinson. The former is more street fight punk, the latter is more operatic and soaring. In my head, imagining Sanctuary sung by Dickinson, it’s a different song altogether.
Remember Tomorrow has a weird title – how can we remember tomorrow? It hasn’t happened yet. Anyway, it hardly matters. This song builds off a slow ballad-y opening to a blistering rocker… and back again… a template song for almost all rock in the 90s. I love the Ramones-ish drum opening of Running Free. Sure, it goes metal in places, but this one is a punk rocker at heart.
Phantom Of The Opera: what a work-out! Incredible musicianship on display here. More later-Maiden vocals. This just kills, it’s unreal. The instrumental Transylvania keeps the slinky intricacy level high while still kicking your ass. A perfect companion piece for Phantom.
Strange World finally brings things down a bit, pace-wise. The guitar work here is stunning. All deference, but it’s almost a shame there had to be a vocal track for this song. It’d stand alone just fine! Charlotte The Harlot reminds us we’re here to rock. Let’s get it on! Another straight-ahead punk/metal rocker. Woo! I could have done without the middle breakdown, though. Just let it rock! And guarding our six is Iron Maiden. Demo version or this album version, this song just kicks your ass up and down the room. Just beautiful.
Whew. This was a debut album? In my good headphones, it sounds like a band’s tenth album as a unit, so tight and composed. The violence is just barely reigned in. This record wants to stomp and destroy! I loved it.