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'Gangland' and 'Total Eclipse'

Discussion in 'The Number Of The Beast' started by Anonymous, May 22, 2003.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I've received a great piece of feedback from a Hungarian fan who I hope will read this post. I tried to answer him, but only got failure notification messages back, which is why I post the message and my answer here. I hope many of you will find it interesting and will join into the debate.


    Here is the original message:

    ]The main reason for writing now is to let you hear (that is, to read) my opinion on two songs, Gangland and Total Eclipse, and about their commentary text. I would really like you to consider the things I am about to share with you, if you mind it.
    ]
    ]Gangland's commentary lets us know that the band chose this song for the album so they had to discard Total Eclipse. But, was it really a wrong choice? In a way, it might have been. Especially, if you consider that Total Eclipse is lyrically and musically... well, somewhat deeper. However, in an other way, I think it was the right choice. Because, I think, that this song really fits to the album, its musical theme is close to the style of others on The Number Of The Beast. Moreover, strange or not, it sounds good on the album for me!
    ]
    ]What fortifies my opinion written above, are my thoughts on Total Eclipse. To be able to understand them completely, you should know that I only came to know Iron Maiden in early 1999, and from that point I started to get to know the albums one by one, but not progressing in a chronological order. I have all the albums now, all of them are the remastered version, released in 1998. By the time I first had a closer look on the lyrics of Total Eclipse (as you have probably figured out, it was on my The Number Of The Beast CD), I already had listened to all studio albums. Then I said to myself: \"Dear me! That song is a leap to the future! I am sure about it! How amazing it is to find a song like that on a 1982 IM album! Because, by both its lyrics and music, it should rather be on No Prayer For The Dying!\"
    ]
    ]That is what I thought. I am not completely mad, am I? [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--] Total Eclipse truly gave me that feeling. It especially reminded me of some lines in Public Enema Number One:
    ]
    ]\"And the people choke with poison, children cry in fear\"
    ]...
    ]\"California dreaming as the earth dies screaming\"
    ]
    ]Moreover, in Fates Warning:
    ]
    ]\"A volcano erupts and sweeps a town away,
    ]A hurricane devastates the cities in it's way
    ]The grief and misery for the ones that are left behind,
    ]The worst is yet to come a hell to face mankind\"
    ]
    ]As in Total Eclipse, these lines also try to warn us of the ecological catastrophe that our way of life leads the Earth to. You can see the similarity yourself if you just have a look at these parts of Total Eclipse:
    ]
    ]\"Mother Nature's black revenge on those who waste her life\"
    ]...
    ]\"Around the world the people stop,
    ]With terror stricken eyes.
    ]A shadow cast upon them all,
    ]To crush them like a fly.
    ]In the icy rain and whiplashed seas,
    ]There's nowhere left to run.
    ]The hammer blows of winter fall like a hurricane.\"
    ]
    ]There are also other points in which similarities exist. The commentary for Public Enema Number One says that this is a politically motivated song. Let's see some lines from it:
    ]
    ]\"The politicians gamble and lie to save their skins
    ]And the Press get fed the scapegoats, public enema number one\"
    ]...
    ]\" A million network slaves in an advertising new age
    ]I don't need a crystal ball to sell ya
    ]Your children have more brains than your drug infested remains\"
    ]
    ]Also in Fates Warning, there are (or at least may be) some political references:
    ]
    ]\"When the time is up you'll know,
    ]Not just one power runs the show\"
    ]
    ]This possibly means that not only nature can take your life away, it can be the taken by the power that politicians hold (e.g. you are forced to take part in a war started by politicians, and you die in the field).
    ]
    ]Then, here is a relevant from Total Eclipse's lyrics:
    ]
    ]\"Around the world the nations wait,
    ]For some wise word from their leading light.
    ]You know it isn't only madmen who listen to fools.
    ]Is this the end, the million cried,
    ]Clutching their riches as they died.
    ]Those who survive must weather the storm.\"
    ]
    ]Of course, I do not need to say that the storm mentioned in the end is only metaphorical, because it is more likely to be a chaos - a battle - in human history, and those people left to live must weather - that is, endure - the ordeals caused by it.
    ]
    ]So, as written on the Commentary site:
    ]\"Total Eclipse is a doomsday song, describing the catastrophic end of the world by ecological distaster. It is possible that the lyrics are making a subtle political statement for the conservation and protection of the Earth.\"
    ]
    ]In addition, we can easily find out that these motifs, including the doomsday-theme, the ecological disaster and the political statements for protection of the Earth, are also present in Public Enema Number One and Fates Warning.
    ]
    ]Nevertheless, these themes are not peculiar to other early Maiden albums. The songs of Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast (except Total Eclipse) and Piece Of Mind do not show that the band is aware of the world's fate, the present and future state of the Earth and politics of our time and the flaws our current society. To put it simply, these songs do not go into our real present life, but instead they lead us to the past, to an imaginary future, or to a mythological or fantastical story. In their lyrics, the band does not care about the outlooks of humans. Not until 2 Minutes To Midnight, which is surely a reality-aware, society-related song, but it is only a spark without a flame, because the theme is again hid until the 1990's, with No Prayer For The Dying and Fear Of The Dark, both of which contain quite a few songs with lots of society-related references.
    ]
    ]So, what do you say? Does it make some sense to you? At least, now you can understand why I was taken aback at first when realized what the lyrics of Total Eclipse meant. It was a feeling like, when you know a person who never tells his true feelings or deeper thoughts, so you start to think he does not have any kind of them. And then, there comes a moment when he starts to speak limitlessly about life and feelings and things about people and the way we live, all kinds of deep, intelligent thoughts inspired by his sense and deep emotions. Can you see? Now that feeling was what made me think Total Eclipse was not like other songs on the album, while Gangland was.


    My answer was:

    Thanks a lot for your long email, it was a very interesting reading. In fact, I'll keep it in mind next time I get to update these pages of the Commentary.

    I tend to agree with you about the similarity between 'Total Eclipse' and 'Public Enema Number One', as they are both somehow ecologically-oriented. The only difference is maybe that in the former, the ecological disaster is due to possibly a global thermonuclear war (it was written during the Cold War and everyone expected the USA and the USSR to seriously damage the planet), whereas the latter is more an accusation of the so-called \"Flower-Power generation\" that had ideals, then forgot about them and let the planet rot. The political implications in both songs are pretty obvious.

    I also agree about 'Gangland' fitting more to the atmosphere of violence that prevails on Number of the Beast, although the end of the world as described in 'Total Eclipse' may be considered as the ultimate scene of violence. Both views are quite valid.

    I have unfortunately very little time to write much more right now, but I'll save your email and retrieve it when I'll update the relevant commentaries. I need to re-write quite a lot of them, and feedback like yours is always welcome.


    Any further comments, IMC visitors? [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  2. The Ancient Mariner

    The Ancient Mariner Ancient Mariner

    That's a very interesting e-mail. I like reading other people's interpretations of the songs, sometimes they can make a point that you'd never thought of but seems so obvious, like this one.
     
  3. Cosmiceddie

    Cosmiceddie Back From The Edge

    Well, I do wonder why not both \"Gangland\" and \"Total Eclipse\" together were on the European and the U.S. album as they were on the Japanese edition??? [!--emo&:(--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/sad.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'sad.gif\' /][!--endemo--] Apparently there was enough space and time to put both on vinyl!

    However, the Japanese proved that it was possible to do!They even included an absolute stunning poster and that the \"Beast on the Road\" one... [!--emo&B)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/cool.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'cool.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

    I can only advise anybody to get hold of this one altough it's not that easy anymore in these days... [!--emo&:(--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/sad.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'sad.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+May 22 2003, 06:51 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ May 22 2003, 06:51 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] I've received a great piece of feedback from a Hungarian fan who I hope will read this post.  I tried to answer him, but only got failure notification messages back, which is why I post the message and my answer here.  I hope many of you will find it interesting and will join into the debate.


    Here is the original message:

    >The main reason for writing now is to let you hear (that is, to read) my opinion on two songs, Gangland and Total Eclipse, and about their commentary text. I would really like you to consider the things I am about to share with you, if you mind it.
    >
    >Gangland's commentary lets us know that the band chose this song for the album so they had to discard Total Eclipse. But, was it really a wrong choice? In a way, it might have been. Especially, if you consider that Total Eclipse is lyrically and musically... well, somewhat deeper. However, in an other way, I think it was the right choice. Because, I think, that this song really fits to the album, its musical theme is close to the style of others on The Number Of The Beast. Moreover, strange or not, it sounds good on the album for me!
    >
    >What fortifies my opinion written above, are my thoughts on Total Eclipse. To be able to understand them completely, you should know that I only came to know Iron Maiden in early 1999, and from that point I started to get to know the albums one by one, but not progressing in a chronological order. I have all the albums now, all of them are the remastered version, released in 1998. By the time I first had a closer look on the lyrics of Total Eclipse (as you have probably figured out, it was on my The Number Of The Beast CD), I already had listened to all studio albums. Then I said to myself: "Dear me! That song is a leap to the future! I am sure about it! How amazing it is to find a song like that on a 1982 IM album! Because, by both its lyrics and music, it should rather be on No Prayer For The Dying!"
    >
    >That is what I thought. I am not completely mad, am I? [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--] Total Eclipse truly gave me that feeling. It especially reminded me of some lines in Public Enema Number One:
    >
    >"And the people choke with poison, children cry in fear"
    >...
    >"California dreaming as the earth dies screaming"
    >
    >Moreover, in Fates Warning:
    >
    >"A volcano erupts and sweeps a town away,
    >A hurricane devastates the cities in it's way
    >The grief and misery for the ones that are left behind,
    >The worst is yet to come a hell to face mankind"
    >
    >As in Total Eclipse, these lines also try to warn us of the ecological catastrophe that our way of life leads the Earth to. You can see the similarity yourself if you just have a look at these parts of Total Eclipse:
    >
    >"Mother Nature's black revenge on those who waste her life"
    >...
    >"Around the world the people stop,
    >With terror stricken eyes.
    >A shadow cast upon them all,
    >To crush them like a fly.
    >In the icy rain and whiplashed seas,
    >There's nowhere left to run.
    >The hammer blows of winter fall like a hurricane."
    >
    >There are also other points in which similarities exist. The commentary for Public Enema Number One says that this is a politically motivated song. Let's see some lines from it:
    >
    >"The politicians gamble and lie to save their skins
    >And the Press get fed the scapegoats, public enema number one"
    >...
    >" A million network slaves in an advertising new age
    >I don't need a crystal ball to sell ya
    >Your children have more brains than your drug infested remains"
    >
    >Also in Fates Warning, there are (or at least may be) some political references:
    >
    >"When the time is up you'll know,
    >Not just one power runs the show"
    >
    >This possibly means that not only nature can take your life away, it can be the taken by the power that politicians hold (e.g. you are forced to take part in a war started by politicians, and you die in the field).
    >
    >Then, here is a relevant from Total Eclipse's lyrics:
    >
    >"Around the world the nations wait,
    >For some wise word from their leading light.
    >You know it isn't only madmen who listen to fools.
    >Is this the end, the million cried,
    >Clutching their riches as they died.
    >Those who survive must weather the storm."
    >
    >Of course, I do not need to say that the storm mentioned in the end is only metaphorical, because it is more likely to be a chaos - a battle - in human history, and those people left to live must weather - that is, endure - the ordeals caused by it.
    >
    >So, as written on the Commentary site:
    >"Total Eclipse is a doomsday song, describing the catastrophic end of the world by ecological distaster. It is possible that the lyrics are making a subtle political statement for the conservation and protection of the Earth."
    >
    >In addition, we can easily find out that these motifs, including the doomsday-theme, the ecological disaster and the political statements for protection of the Earth, are also present in Public Enema Number One and Fates Warning.
    >
    >Nevertheless, these themes are not peculiar to other early Maiden albums. The songs of Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast (except Total Eclipse) and Piece Of Mind do not show that the band is aware of the world's fate, the present and future state of the Earth and politics of our time and the flaws our current society. To put it simply, these songs do not go into our real present life, but instead they lead us to the past, to an imaginary future, or to a mythological or fantastical story. In their lyrics, the band does not care about the outlooks of humans. Not until 2 Minutes To Midnight, which is surely a reality-aware, society-related song, but it is only a spark without a flame, because the theme is again hid until the 1990's, with No Prayer For The Dying and Fear Of The Dark, both of which contain quite a few songs with lots of society-related references.
    >
    >So, what do you say? Does it make some sense to you? At least, now you can understand why I was taken aback at first when realized what the lyrics of Total Eclipse meant. It was a feeling like, when you know a person who never tells his true feelings or deeper thoughts, so you start to think he does not have any kind of them. And then, there comes a moment when he starts to speak limitlessly about life and feelings and things about people and the way we live, all kinds of deep, intelligent thoughts inspired by his sense and deep emotions. Can you see? Now that feeling was what made me think Total Eclipse was not like other songs on the album, while Gangland was.


    My answer was:

    Thanks a lot for your long email, it was a very interesting reading.  In fact, I'll keep it in mind next time I get to update these pages of the Commentary.

    I tend to agree with you about the similarity between 'Total Eclipse' and 'Public Enema Number One', as they are both somehow ecologically-oriented.  The only difference is maybe that in the former, the ecological disaster is due to possibly a global thermonuclear war (it was written during the Cold War and everyone expected the USA and the USSR to seriously damage the planet), whereas the latter is more an accusation of the so-called "Flower-Power generation" that had ideals, then forgot about them and let the planet rot.  The political implications in both songs are pretty obvious.

    I also agree about 'Gangland' fitting more to the atmosphere of violence that prevails on Number of the Beast, although the end of the world as described in 'Total Eclipse' may be considered as the ultimate scene of violence.  Both views are quite valid.

    I have unfortunately very little time to write much more right now, but I'll save your email and retrieve it when I'll update the relevant commentaries.  I need to re-write quite a lot of them, and feedback like yours is always welcome. 


    Any further comments, IMC visitors?  [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--] [/quote]


    interestingly written, but, that song was neva ahead of its time, an especially powerful moment in time where Sun, Moon and North Code were closely aligned on 21 June 1982, and on that day the future king was born. Who supposively will ........
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-Maverick+May 22 2003, 06:51 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Maverick @ May 22 2003, 06:51 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] . [/quote]
    interestingly written, but, that song was neva ahead of its time, an especially powerful moment in time where Sun, Moon and North Code were closely aligned on 21 June 1982, and on that day the future king was born. Who supposively will ........
     
  6. The Ancient Mariner

    The Ancient Mariner Ancient Mariner

    But it was written in 1981 [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-The Ancient Mariner+May 29 2003, 07:22 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(The Ancient Mariner @ May 29 2003, 07:22 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] But it was written in 1981 [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--] [/quote]
    Good point! [!--emo&B)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/cool.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'cool.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-The Ancient Mariner+May 29 2003, 06:22 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(The Ancient Mariner @ May 29 2003, 06:22 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] But it was written in 1981 [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--] [/quote]
    Do solar eclipse s take us by suprise does it,, i thought we knew atleast a coupl yrs b4 it occurs. And its just a coincedent that they talk about a world leading light, and crowns taken away,,

    If i'm wrong, u tell me what really iron maiden believe in so much, and y is it that in some of their songs they want to tell somthing but cant directly??? Like in Brave New World?
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm starting to think mavs and u r masons,, pretending to not see.
    Wouldn t suprise me at all
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-Guest+May 30 2003, 03:41 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Guest @ May 30 2003, 03:41 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] I'm starting to think mavs and u  r masons,, pretending to not see.
    Wouldn t suprise me at all [/quote]
    Masons or brick layers? [!--emo&B)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/cool.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'cool.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  11. The Ancient Mariner

    The Ancient Mariner Ancient Mariner

    Brick layers. Masons aren't cool enough to be us.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [!--QuoteBegin-The Ancient Mariner+May 30 2003, 04:14 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(The Ancient Mariner @ May 30 2003, 04:14 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Brick layers.  Masons aren't cool enough to be us. [/quote]
    Hahahaha thats funny,
     
  13. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    [!--QuoteBegin-Guest+May 30 2003, 02:36 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Guest @ May 30 2003, 02:36 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Do solar eclipse s take us by suprise does it,, i thought we knew atleast a coupl yrs b4 it  occurs. And its just a coincedent that they talk about a world leading light, and crowns taken away,, 

    If i'm wrong, u tell me what really iron maiden  believe in so much, and y is it that in some of their songs they want to tell somthing but cant directly??? Like in Brave New World? [/quote]
    Solar eclipses have always been able to be predicted (the Mayans did it very well) And in that tradition, we can still do it, and we can even say if there will be a solar eclipse in the year 3245 and in what region of the world will people be able to see it in it's totality. Brave New World is based on a book, read the book read whatever you want into that, but it is a warning to modern society that it is becoming to materialistic and bound to immidiate gratification.
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    It's an interesting idea but I see total eclipse as the sign of humanity will stop «believing» in something like god and that we will finaly be able to «live»

    It's the end of the song that make me think that

    [span style=\'color:blue\']Gone are the days when man looked down
    They've taken away his sacred crown
    To be so free it took so long
    It's not the journey's end it's just begun [/span]

    The sun in the song would represent some kind of god and man would not «bow» before it anymore.....

    [span style=\'color:blue\']You know it's not only madmen who listen to fools[/span]
    In 23:58, politicians were called madmen and fools might represent the clergy.
    In french the chess piece bishop is called «fou»(could be tranlsated to fool) but maybe it has nothing to do with the song. [!--emo&^_^--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/happy.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'happy.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

    [span style=\'color:blue\']"Is this the end?" the millions cried clutching their riches as they died
    Those who survive must weather the storm [/span]
    People don't want to renounce their faith in what they believe and there will be a battle between the «old vision» and the new one.

    [span style=\'color:blue\']Cold as steel the darkness waits its hour will come
    A cry of fear for our children worshipping the sun
    Mother nature's black revenge on those who waste her life
    War babies in the garden of Eden shall turn our ashes to ice

    Sunrise is gone, freezing up the fires
    Sunrise is gone, numbing all desires
    Sunrise is gone, sunrise is gone

    Around the world the people stop with terror-stricken eyes
    A shadow cast upon them all to crush them like a fly
    In the icy rain and whiplashed seas there's nowhere left to run
    The hammer blows of winter fall like a hurricane

    Sunrise is gone, freezing up the fires
    Sunrise is gone, numbing all desires [/span]

    The start of the song is when they realize that they have been deceived by they belief and they don't know what to do about it. As the sun represent their god or their faith it's taking it's revenge against them cause they are lost. Because they lost their faith in their «old» god, they need a «new» one and they turn to their leader
    [span style=\'color:blue\']Around the world the nations wait for some wise words from their leading light[/span]

    I know my explanation is a bit mess-up(started by the end [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--] ) but that's what I think about the song.

    Hope it will be usefull. [!--emo&;)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wink.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wink.gif\' /][!--endemo--]
     
  15. gor

    gor Ancient Mariner

    Re: 'Gangland' and 'Total Eclipse'

    Battlemaniacs, I hadn't read your interpretation before, I bow before you, fantastic.
     

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