Alexander the Great

How good is Alexander the Great on a scale of 1-10?

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Priest of the Holy Wristband
You mean the book by W.W. Tarn? It could be that, or it could be the one by Robin Lane Fox from 1973. Doesn't make much of a difference, as Fox' Alexander is basically the same as Tarn's.

No, I was thinking of Arthur's Weigall's biography. In fact, it was first published in France in 1936, and not written in 1938 as I said. The tone of some passages in Harry's lyrics made me think about this book. And, with all due respect to both Harris and Weigall, I think this one is really much easier to read than Tarn's or Hammond's books.


Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
Well, it's impossible to know unless 'Arry tells us, I guess.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I've heard some use the argument that "Alexander the Great" feels too much like a "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" Part II thing. I disagree. Yes, they are both epics, and I can kind of see where those similarities can be spotted, but honestly, if you're going to compare any song to "Mariner" I'd make a strong case of "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", which I honestly think feels much more like "Mariner" done again than "Alexander the Great" - not that it isn't a good song, because believe me, it's a good song, just more similar to "Mariner" than "Alexander". But that's just my opinion.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Oh BTW, this song was written about Alexander Ovechknin, because he's better than that conqueror dude, duh.

I have no idea who Alexander Ovechkin is, but he's the basis all right.


Educated Fool
Yeah, I don't get the Rime comparison at all. ATG is long with a few twists and turns, but it's not the 13 minute behemoth that Rime is. It's more in the standard epic (Powerslave, Phantom, Hallowed, To Tame a Land etc...) territory.


Ancient Mariner
The most different epic for Maiden, until Empire came along. Incredible athmosphere and melodies. The clean solo at the beginning is also a thing of beauty. And also the solo that H ˝forgot˝. Musically easily one of the most interesting Maiden's epics.


Number 6

Ancient Mariner
This is possibly my favorite Maiden song they never did live. Great historical epic from Steve, it paints a nice picture to mirror the lyrics and features some of Maiden's best melodies. The atmospheric intro prepares the ground for what's to come very well. The solos are gorgeous and also fit the song perfectly. 10, no doubt!


The lyrics really bring this song down for me, and make it the least enjoyable of the album. They feel to me like one the songs they make you learn in primary school to remember stuff, which is most definitely not good for a metal song, or really any song in general. I feel like when Steve wrote the lyrics, he decided to have narrative lyrics just like the Rime, except for various reasons this time it didn’t work out at all. What can I say, I still find it to be a decent song, but it could have been so much better. 7/10
I wonder if this isn't my least favourite epic of all the 80s actually, depending on what you count as an epic of course.
Some parts of the music is really fantastic but the lyrics are uninteresting and it doesn't come together very good. Still an OK song of course, but a bit of a let down as an ending epic.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
If you'd asked me before tonight what my favorite song on SiT was, I'd have said "Wasted Years". But goddamn. From the windy intro, the build-up, the crash when everything falls together, the textbook lyrics that set this apart from most Maiden songs, the verses, the chorus, the incredible solos, all the way to the end - this is a masterpiece...
...written for the stage (play it live goddammit!)...
...and the best song on a pretty much perfect album. 10/10.


Love in anger
A spoken word intro leads into a soft march with some excellent clean guitar accents. This builds into an epic melodic lead, then the full band kicks in for an uptempo groove that leads into a great aggressive verse 1 with nice guitar accents.

This breaks into a huge, bright chorus followed by a great harmonized interlude with tasteful synths. Another round of verse 1 and chorus and we break into a bright marching interlude with a great clean guitar solo.

Suddenly the mood turns, and a darker eastern lead is accompanied by gongs before breaking into a more driving melodic interlude. This adds a layer of harmony before cutting into an excellent solo punctuated by occasional bass breaks, followed by another excellent solo.

This breaks into a pretty busy verse 2 and a great pre-chorus. Another round of verse 2 leads back into the excellent soaring chorus before a final musical breakdown ends the song.

This song bears some superficial similarities to "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner", but the bright, beautiful guitar work and the differences in structure ultimately set it apart.

My personal favorite history lesson, this is an excellent song with excellent performances that may not be quite as good as Maiden's very best work, but still comes close enough to round up to a 10/10.
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Didn't like this one much at first. Lyrics are a bit cheesy...


My first and standing impression is that is a failure in trying to make a dramatic epic. In the light of the sort of status this song has received I can see it as sort of "a bad song, but a Great bad song". Like a good B-movie!

Like it a lot more now. Actually, I love it. Impression sort of still stands though - a great "bad" song.
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What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
The lyrics don't bother me at all. Bruce sings them so well. Guitar work is once again phenomenal. 9


Out of the Silent Planet
Does anybody know who has done the spoken prologue on the song, I mean on ATG ?

- on The Prisoner is Patrick McGoohan
- on TNOTB is Barry Clayton
- on Rime is ..... ??
- on IESF is a voice effect, I guess.
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