Tag Archives: Iron Maiden

Albums Of The Month Part 2

I’m pleased about deciding to continue my “Album of the Month” feature on my radio program, The Sunday Smorgasbord. It enables me to play tracks from some of my favourite albums whilst discussing some useless trivia about the album and/or artists. Hopefully it will introduce listeners to something new or let them hear something they haven’t heard for a while. This post covers the second year of the feature.

01 Highway To Hell

AC/DC’s seminal 1979 album – Highway To Hell

I’ve intentionally used the image of  the original Australian pressing of AC/DC’s album Highway To Hell. I think the flames make all the difference in the world to the cover art and find the one used overseas and everywhere today to be rather drab by comparison.

02 Showdown!

The Grammy Award winning album Showdown! featuring Collins, Cray & Copeland

I always advise newcomers to the blues that if they only end up owning one blues album from the 1980s then Showdown! has to be it. The interplay between Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland is just beautiful to hear.

03 Quadrophenia

The ultimate rock opera, the Who’s Quadrophenia

The Who’s album Tommy may be more famous and Who’s Next , comprising of tracks from their abandoned Lifehouse project, may contain some of their finest moments, but for me the quintessential rock opera is Quadrophenia. I love this album from start to finish (the only way to listen to it).

04 face to face

Face To Face, an essential album for fans of Aussie pub rock

Stalwarts of the Australian pub rock scene, the Angels, hit their straps fairly early on with their career-defining sophomore album, Face To Face, released in 1978.

05 mellon collie

The Smashing Pumpkins reached their peak with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Many pundits will tell you that Nirvana’s Nevermind was the album of the 90s decade. Personally, I always found it a toss-up between Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, OK Computer by Radiohead and this masterpiece from the Smashing Pumpkins. To release a double album of this length which remains “all killer no filler” is an amazing achievement.

06 magic box

1967’s Magic Box from The Loved Ones

I was introduced to this album in the late 1980s after hearing two cover versions of their hit, “The Loved One”, by INXS. It’s hard to imagine now how successful these guys really were in their day despite the brevity of their career. The album was also one of Australia’s earliest to be released in stereo.

07 speaking in tongues

Speaking In Tongues, a classic album from Talking Heads

I think I’m showing my age with the amount of 1980s albums creeping in to my album of the month feature. I loved Talking Heads around this time and enjoyed a midnight screening session of their live concert film, Stop Making Sense, only a few years after this album.

08 ok computer

Radiohead’s finest moment, OK Computer

I still listen to this album today despite it now being 20 years old!

09 endless forms most beautiful

Endless Forms Most Beautiful from Finland’s Nightwish

My album of the year for 2015 was Nightwish’s Endless Forms Most Beautiful. If you have a thing for symphonic metal then you need this in your collection.

10 at last

Etta James released At Last! in 1960

Etta James released one the finest debut albums you will ever hear in November 1960. Worth owning if you don’t already!

11 days of innocence

Days Of innocence featuring the mawkish “What About Me?”

I adore this album despite absolutely detesting their hugely successful single from it, “What About Me?”. Proof that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

12 number of the beast

Iron Maiden introduces Bruce Dickinson as their new lead singer on 1982’s Number Of The Beast

I still consider Number Of The Beast one of Iron Maiden’s finest moments.

 

I think anyone who decides to go out and buy these “albums of the month” listed here, and those in my previous post on this topic, will certainly end up with an interesting music collection (in my humble opinion).

Medieval Torture Device

I don’t know if Iron Maiden named themselves after the medieval torture device or after Margaret Thatcher, but I love the name just the same. My earliest memory of Iron Maiden is seeing the film clip for “Run To The Hills” on Countdown. I remember being completely blown away by the album, Number Of The Beast, when I finally got around to getting myself a copy. I thought it was magnificent and I loved every track on it, and still do.

1982's Number Of The Beast

1982’s Number Of The Beast

I went back and listened to the first two Iron Maiden albums featuring Paul Di’Anno on vocals and despite the music being enjoyable Di’Anno’s vocals just didn’t cut it for me. Bruce Dickinson’s vocals are what helped make Iron Maiden sound so good. So I was very pleased when “Flight Of Icarus” was featured on Countdown as a preview of their next studio album, Piece Of Mind. It turned out to be a worthwhile successor to Number Of The Beast although not quite as good.

1983's Piece Of Mind

1983’s Piece Of Mind

1984’s Powerslave however, was another masterpiece on a par with Number Of The Beast. Great songs, great performances and fantastic album art, music videos and a tour that saw them come to Australia.

1984's Powerslave

1984’s Powerslave

In 1985 I got to see them live at the Canberra Theatre as part of the Powerslave tour. This was my first ever gig so it will always be etched into my brain. This classic tour is immortalised on their next release, the double live album Live After Death.

1985's Live After Death

1985’s Live After Death

Iron Maiden kept plugging away in the 80s and into the 90s releasing Somewhere In Time in 1986 (their first album to feature synthesizers), the concept album Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son in 1988 and No Prayer For The Dying in 1990. In 1992 they released Fear Of The Dark, their last studio album to feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals for 8 years, as he left in 1993 to further pursue his solo career.

1992's Fear Of The Dark

1992’s Fear Of The Dark

After a couple of lacklustre albums featuring Blaze Bayley on vocals Bruce Dickinson returned to the mic for Brave New World, released in 2000. Although much better than the previous couple of albums it still wasn’t comparable to the material released in their 80s heyday.

2000's Brave New World

2000’s Brave New World

The band did keep on improving from there, as if they were finding their feet again once Bruce had rejoined the fold. Dance of Death, released in 2003, and 2006’s A Matter of Life And Death showed further development in their sound and a willingness to experiment once again with both concept albums and lengthier tracks. Both helped pave the way for the epic album, The Final Frontier, released in 2010. I consider this to be their finest album since Powerslave and once again I got to see them on tour.

2010's The Final Frontier

2010’s The Final Frontier

The quality of that album, its corresponding tour and Bruce Dickinson winning a battle with throat cancer, have all led me to highly anticipate their new album, The Book Of Souls, due for release in September 2015. It is their first studio double album and will apparently feature the longest song of their career clocking in at over 18 minutes. I can’t wait…

2015's The Book Of Souls

2015’s The Book Of Souls