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  STEVE GOLDBY'S HEAVY METAL CHRONICLES
SIXTEEN PRAYERS FOR THE DYING BY IRON MAIDEN

6th June 2011

steve goldby


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It's the 6th of June and that makes it Iron Maiden day in our book.

Maiden got the 666th news item on MetalTalk.net (you can see it by clicking here) and they get the 6th June article as well.

"The night was black was no use holding back
'Cos I just had to see was someone watching me
In the mist dark figures move and twist
Was this all for real or some kind of hell
666 the number of the beast
Hell and fire was spawned to be released"


Here's sixteen tracks, one from each Iron Maiden album that charts a course through the career of the absolutely seminal British Heavy Metal band. I include 'Live After Death' in those sixteen albums as it is probably the best live album ever.

'Phantom Of The Opera' from the album 'Iron Maiden' 1980

When the debut album was released in 1980, it took the world by storm and changed a lot of people's lives. Nothing like it had ever been heard before and the imagery, the mood and obviously the music changed the course of global rock forever.

Steve Harris has always the biggest influence on my life because Maiden got big due to Steve's 'never say die' attitude and super-human determination and drive which proved to me that you can be anything you want to be in this life and that the only limits are the ones you place on yourself.

Musically, this is the definitive track from the album and this is the original studio version.



'Killers' from the album 'Killers' 1981

A superb follow up album to the debut and the title track is classic Maiden. This was Paul Di'Anno's last album with the band and Adrian Smith's first.

'Killers' was a much cleaner album in terms of sound and production but was not, and still isn't, received as warmly as the debut or subsequent albums. It's well worth revisiting this album as there are several forgotten gems on it.



'Hallowed Be Thy Name' from the album 'Number Of The Beast' 1982

Bruce's first album with the band. It is often said that a band's third album is the difficult one but Maiden totally broke new ground with '..Beast'. Really, how many classics can you reasonably expect on one album? '...Beast' is nothing less than a masterpiece.

Nicko once said that this is the definitive Iron Maiden track and the one they should play in every set list. I think he is right. This footage comes from Maiden's gig at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2005 when Maiden played a full World Tour and only played songs from the first four albums. I think it is the best live footage of Maiden available. Twenty-five million people watched it live on Swedish TV apparently...

"Life down here is just a strange illusion..."



'Die With Your Boots On' from the album 'Piece Of Mind' 1983

The very first day I heard this track, 28 years ago, it became my personal motto and remained so. 'Nuff said.

This is from the same Ullevi gig as 'Hallowed...'



'The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' from the album 'Powerslave' 1984.

The longest song Maiden ever did and I keep using the word 'definitive'...

Coleridge (21th October 1772 – 25th July 1834) was an English poet, romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was obviously a Heavy Metaller who would often have been seeen down the front at Maiden gigs if he had lived for another 150 years!



'The Trooper' from the album 'Live After Death' 1985.

The 1984/85 World Slavery Tour was an incredibly ambitious tour and was so draining that it nearly finished the band, But Maiden are made of sterner stuff than that.

From Wikipedia...

"The World Slavery Tour was a concert tour by the Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden in support of their fifth album, Powerslave, beginning in Warsaw, Poland on 9 August 1984 and ending at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California on 5 July 1985. The tour was notorious for being the band's most arduous to date- although it was very successful, the band were left exhausted by its end in 1985 and demanded a break for the rest of the year before starting work on Somewhere In Time in 1986. Overall, the tour lasted 331 days, during which the band performed 193 gigs.

It included four sold-out nights at Los Angeles' Long Beach Arena and took in literally millions of countries. Yes, it really did...



This is an extract from Krusher Joule's diary from the day we drove to Donington 2009.

"Mr G's car has something called a cassette player, some new fangled gadget that I've been told will replace CD players. He has three cassettes, the double Iron Maiden's 'Live After Death', which I'd designed the cover for many, many moons ago in 1985. The other is Iced Earth with 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' and 'Horror Show'. 'Live After Death' is played several times..."

'Stranger In A Strange Land' from the album 'Somewhere In Time' 1987.

Maiden hit a new era here. Adrian's song writing hit a new peak and this was a great album to 'come back' with after a long and well deserved break.

The stage set for the tour was probably Maiden's best and you should watch this video to the end to get the full effect. Adrian's solo on 'Stranger...' produces goosebumps.

"No brave new world..." Well there would be... in the future...



'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' from the album 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' 1988.

1988 was a classic year for Metal albums and Maiden weighed in with the best of the lot. It's the band's first and only concept album and tells the tale of the battle between good evil with the soul set as the battleground. This was the most difficult album to choose just one track from...

"He has the power to heal
He has the gift of the second sight
He is the chosen one
So it shall be written
So it shall be done"




'Holy Smoke' from 'No Prayer For The Dying' 1990.

A new decade and a new line-up. Janick Gers replaced the departing Adrian Smith added something special to Maiden's sound.

'Holy Smoke' was written because TV evangelists like Jimmy Swaggart and Jimmy Backer were slating Heavy Metal badly and saying it was of the Devil. Swaggart even published a book to that effect with Steve Harris on the front cover.

Swaggart and Backer both got caught screwing hookers and that was the end of that.

Twenty years later I had to leave the Iron Maiden forum because the moderators on there objected strongly to me pointing out how Christian Militants tried to bring this band down in the 90s. Have some of this Khan, mate!

"I've lived in filth and I've lived in sin but I still smell cleaner than the shit you're in!"



'Be Quick Or Be Dead' from the album 'Fear Of The Dark' 1992.

An easy choice from the 'Fear Of Ji Sung Park' album. My favourite ever Maiden track. Along with about 300 others :-)

'Fear...' was Bruce's last album of his first stint with the band and would herald the end of a magnificent era. But when one door closes, another opens...



'The Sign Of The Cross' from the album 'The X Factor' 1995.

Big respect to Blaze Bayley for taking the mantle of frontman in the biggest Metal band around at the time.

Maiden returned to action after their longest lay-off ever and 'Sign...' opened the album with a bang. This is a Steve Harris epic and one of the most complex songs the band have ever attempted. Gregorian chanting in a Heavy Metal track? Oh yes!



'The Clansman' from the album 'Virtual XI' 1998.

Mel Gibson as Braveheart, well you can eat your heart out because this is the definitive Scottish freedom song. Blaze's best performance in a Maiden shirt.

'The Clansman' has been sampled by singer Brandy in her song 'I Tried'.



'The Thin Line Between Love And Hate' from 'Brave New World' 2000.

Maiden's most dramatic line-up change ever took place right at the end of last century when Blaze left and Bruce returned, bringing Adrian back with him. Maiden were now a six-piece with three guitarists and remain so twelve years later.

The new line-ups debut album 'Brave New World' is the best Maiden album ever in my book and another one that it's hard to pick a track from. 'The Wicker man' could win, along with at least four other tracks but this one gets the vote. So, so true... but the line is as big as you want it to be really...

This is not an offical video but the imagery is so beautiful that it just had to be included.



'Montségur' from the album 'Dance Of Death' 2003.

'Montségur' was inspired by Bruce Dickinson's holiday stay near Montségur, the last stronghold of the Cathars conquered by the Albigensian Crusade in 1244. The lyrics include "As we kill them all so God will know his own", referring to a well-known but historically false quote attributed to the papal legate before the massacre of thousands in Béziers in 1209. It also mentions "Templar believers," as it is popular belief that there was some link between Knights Templar, Cathars and Montségur.

When I went to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, they gave me a piece of paper to write my 'prayer' out and put in the wall. I wrote the lyrics from 'Montségur'. I hope someone finds my bit of paper in the wall one day...



'These Colours Don't Run' from the album 'A Matter Of Life And Death' 2006.

'A Matter...' is a truly astonishing album and we documented the making of it in a news article recently. Click here for a watch of how it all happened...

Maiden played '...Colours...' on the Ozzfest as a protest against Sharon Osbourne who tried hard to disrupt Maiden's performance. Bruce used the title as a way of telling her to "fuck off." She did.



And finally...

'The Alchemist' from the album 'The Final Frontier' 2010.

This song is about the English mathematician and alchemist John Dee. The more specific parts of the lyrics refer to historical events, for example Dee's companion, Edward Kelley, told him that an angel appeared and told him that the two should share their respective wives, hence all the anger against Kelley in the lyrics, and the reference to sleeping with his wife.

Dee had in his house a wonderful library by Mortlake, that one day burned down.

A classic, classic Maiden track...



Iron Maiden's gonna get you, wherever you are...


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michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES DECEMBER UK TOUR
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johnny thunders LOOKING FOR JOHNNY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY THUNDERS MOVIE TO BE RELEASED NEXT MONTH
When Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23rd 1991, he left behind a mystery...

metallica METALLICA TO RELEASE 27 LIVE ALBUMS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND APPEAR IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS
To commemorate the anniversary of the LiveMetallica.com site, the band are offering CDs and LPs of every gig they played in 2014...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS AND THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOURS
Kobra And The Lotus will be kicking off their Headline Tour on 24th September in support of their latest record 'High Priestess'...

rival sons RIVAL SONS RETURN TO UK FOR DECEMBER TOUR
The band appear on Letterman in the US on October 9th, and will have an exciting UK TV appearance to announce soon...

linkin park LINKIN PARK PLAY TWO NIGHTS AT LONDON'S 02 ARENA IN NOVEMBER
Following their exhilarating headline sets at the European summer festivals, Linkin Park return for their own headline tour in November...

evil scraecrow AT LAST! A NEW VIDEO FROM EVIL SCARECROW
"It's an emotional thing for us to watch back. We hope that translates to everyone that watches it too!"

sabctuary SANCTUARY POSTS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'EXITIUM (ANTHEM OF THE LIVING)'
Sanctuary continue that legacy that they started decades ago, delivering yet another fresh take on "classic-sounding" Metal...

electric mary ELECTRIC MARY ANNOUNCE MINI ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Australian five piece Electric Mary are back to spread Rock n' Roll's genuine flavour to Europe...

accept ACCEPT REVEAL LIVE CLIP OF 'PANDEMIC' FILMED IN FRONT OF 750,000 PEOPLE AT WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL 2014
UK fans can catch the band live at The Forum in London on the 27th November 2014...

hornet HORNET ANNOUNCE NEW EP AND SINGLE
"We really wanted to just expand the sound we already had by incorporating more of our influences to make our sound more modern and diverse..."

jimmy barnes JIMMY BARNES ANNOUNCES NEW 30th ANNIVERSARY ALBUM 'HINDSIGHT'
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Jimmy Barnes' debut as Scottish born Australian rock singer-songwriter...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE SUPPORTS ANNOUNCED FOR FORTHCOMING TOUR
London based hard rockers Neonfly will support in the UK mainland, with Northern Irish Metalheads Conjuring Fate doing the honours at the Belfast and Dublin shows...

within temptation WITHIN TEMPTATION TO HEADLINE BLOODSTOCK 2015
Within Temptation appear as a UK exclusive. Prog Metal titans Opeth will also appear on the bill...

emigrate EMIGRATE CONFIRM NEW ALBUM FOR UK RELEASE VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
'Silent So Long' is the second album from the band formed by Rammstein's Richard Kruspe...

highway to hell WINNERS OF HIGHWAY TO HELL 5 ANNOUNCED
Texas Flood are the overall winners from an outstanding field, winning a contract and an appearance at Hard Rock Hell...

grim reaper THE LEGENDARY GRIM REAPER RETURN TO LONDON
Get down to the Boston Music Room on 27th September for Grim Reaper with Amulet and Dark Forest...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR NOVEMBER 2014
The 30th anniversary celebrations continue with a world tour including a trip to North America and a nine date UK leg...

eric martin MR. BIG SINGER ANNOUNCES UK SOLO ACOUSTIC TOUR
Eric Martin will play nine unplugged dates in December 2014 with a mix of solo and Mr Big material...

absolva ABSOLVA ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST
British classic Metallers Absolva are delighted to announce the appointment of new bassist Karl Schramm...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PLANS AND UPDATED TOURING SCHEDULE
Manowar will headline Loud Park Festival in Tokyo on October 18th 2014 and will then resume the 'Kings Of Metal MMXIV' World Tour...

skyscraper SKYSCRAPER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'MONDAY MORNING'
This dynamic band has been taking critics by storm with their inimitable brand of melodic hard rock...

the more i see THE MORE I SEE ANNOUNCE OCT/NOV TOUR WITH SAVAGE MESSIAH AND BULL RIFF STAMPEDE
Featuring world renowned guitarist Gizz Butt, the band always deliver incredible live shows that combine passion, energy and breathtaking musicianship...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND REVEALS Z DETAILS AND ANNOUNCES SPECIAL ROYAL ALBERT HALL PERFORMANCE
Devin Townsend is extremely pleased to announce the release of long-awaited new double-album...

blastfest AT THE GATES, DARK FUNERAL, ROTTING CHRIST AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR BLASTFEST 2015
Bergen, Norway, former home of the legendary Hole In The Sky Festival and considered thee black metal capital of the world...

exodus EXODUS REVEAL SPECIAL GUESTS ON NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT'
Bay Area thrash Metal provocateurs Exodus proudly announce the special guests appearing on their latest showcase of unrefined rage...

panzer PANZER STREAMING LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'THE LAST MAN ON EARTH'
Brazilian thrash/stoner act Panzer have just released a new lyric video on for the second track of the album 'Honor'...

bush BUSH ANNOUNCE OCTOBER 20th RELEASE FOR 'MAN ON THE RUN'
Multi-platinum alt-rock band Bush have announced an October 20th release date for their highly anticipated new album...

absolva ABSOLVA RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'LIVE FOR THE FIGHT'
The video features Luke Appleton (Iced Earth) who is playing bass for the band on the forthcoming European Tour...

giants of rock GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL: FIRST BANDS ANNOUNCED
The reformed Family and pomp rockers Magnum will headline the event...

weapon uk ESTRELLA TO SUPPORT GILBY CLARKE ON TOUR AND ANNOUNCE A NEW SINGLE
The band are currently gearing up for a thirteen date trek with Clarke that includes dates in Wakefield, London and Edinburgh...

weapon uk WEAPON UK ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER
Weapon UK have tour dates confirmed in support of their critically acclaimed album 'Rising From The Ashes'...

amulet AMULET DEBUT ALBUM 'THE FIRST' RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER: FIRST TRACK NOW ONLINE
The album track 'Mark Of Evil' has just been uploaded to Soundcloud. Raise your fists and bang your heads on this one...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER'S GUITARS STOLEN FROM GERMAN RECORDING STUDIO
German police are examining evidence and the studio for fingerprints and DNA evidence to help catch the criminals...

jimi jamison JIMI JAMISON OF SURVIVOR PASSES AWAY AGED 63
Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor, very sadly passed away on Sunday night...

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