Any Ideas On A New Album

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
specifically, start viewing around the 9:00 mark -- he starts by distinguishing Adrian as the one guy who brought a lot of complete ideas to the table when they started the songwriting process...:ninja: then remarks that the other guys tend to rely on him to synthesize and complete their ideas, and it seems like he wishes they would do more of what Adrian does, namely, come to the songwriting sessions with nearly complete demos.
 

425

Starblind
The last Steveless song is from Virtual XI.

Not sure I really want to become involved in this conversation, but as a compulsive fact checker I feel like I have to say this:

New Frontier is credited to McBrain/Smith/Dickinson, with no Harris (source).
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I stand corrected! This song was probably the reason that we have no more songs which are not Stevized since then.
 
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mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Or another way of looking at things :devil2: (apply your own ratings)

Special albums (4 points): Piece of Mind, Number of the Beast, Powerslave, Somewhere in Time, Seventh Son, X Factor, Brave New World, AMOLAD, Final Frontier, Accident of Birth, Chemical Wedding
Excellent albums (3): Iron Maiden, Killers, Dance of Death, Balls to Picasso, Tyranny of Souls, Awoken Broken
Good albums (2): No Prayer, Fear of the Dark, Virtual XI, Skunkworks, Silver and Gold, British Lion
OK albums (1): Tattooed Millionaire, State of Mind, Welcome to the World
Bad albums (0):

Steve: 53 points or 3.3 average
Dave: 51 points or 3.4 average
Adrian: 50 points or 3.6 average
Bruce: 56 points or 3.5 average
Janick: 26 points or 2.9 average
Nicko: 41 points or 3.4 average
 

425

Starblind
Forostar said:
I stand corrected! This song was probably the reason that we have no more songs which are not Stevized since then.

That is probably true, since the song stands out as one of the weakest reunion-era songs. Perhaps it inspired Steve to start taking a more... Prominent role in all songwriting.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
I'd think Steve decided to step back from contributing to Nicko's song, because he wrote it on a bass guitar. Getting involved would mean he was interfering too much and he was just being ...um, courteous, I guess, as it was Nicko's first real attempt . That's just a speculation, though.
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
He doesn't say he wishes the rest of the band would do what Adrian does. This is your interpretation. He also doesn't mention anything about demos (--at this point). For those who haven't listened, he says (to the best of my transcribing skills):

"Well luckily enough lately (obviously, you know) certainly the last couple of albums Adrian's had a lot of input & there's been a lot of inspiration coming from his ideas. So there hasn't been as much pressure on me, (as in) past stuff. But I still do feel the pressure to come up with stuff & the rest of the guys, although they get ideas, they don't usually, you know sort of, take the ideas through to the end; but Adrian has done it in the past [my italics]; you know Stranger In A Strange Land and stuff like that, he's done a couple of things like that, but most of the guys don't really... I didn't say they don't know what to do with them, or don't know where to take them, but they... I don't know if they're so used to me doing that [edit break] the pressure tends to be on me, for that kind of stuff. I don't know why, but that's just the way it is."

There's a natural break between his first comment about Adrian's "ideas" & the next sentence where he says "the rest of the guys". I interpreted "the rest of the guys", at this point, as referring to everyone including Adrian. I don't know why, that's just the way I heard it. Steve then goes on to qualify that Adrian has "done it in the past", citing the 1980's --suggesting the immediately previous statement ("the rest of the guys") includes Adrian i.e. other than on a few occasions he, like the rest of the guys, doesn't "take the ideas through to the end". Steve's opinion, clearly. But this is how I interpret what he said, on this occasion.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
Yeh, the production; back to an older point. People aren't really questioning Steve's role in the production --they seem to be suggesting his "arranging" is just sugar-coating on what are already amazing Adrian compositions. Steve clearly (by his comments) doesn't view it that way. And possibly neither does Adrian, since I don't hear him being overly critical (or critical at all) of Steve's musical contribution to his tracks, in whatever form that was. Only the production. Two different things.

I think you are right in underlining this.
I'd like to add something to the discussion. Steve has several times explained his role in "finishing" a song : it was back in the 80s when the song in question was brought to him by Dave. He said that Dave came up with great riffs and harmonies, but that they were bits and pieces, that the structure didn't fit and that generally he had no vocal melodies. So he did what had to be done. When you hear Still Life, Deja-vu and The Prophecy, you can say that the result his great and perfectly "organic", to use an expression Steve seems to appreciate a lot. Adrian himself said that Steve writes the vocal melodies nowadays, so I assume the job he does with H is pretty much similar to the job he did, and still occasionnaly does with Davey (remember he said that The Man who Would be King was originally two songs he turned into one).
I think Steve knows that he has to let the others express themselves more than in the past, but that he likes to have an overall control ; this begun way before the reunion era, with X-Factor.
 

Great Sage

Invader
Actually, I don't think I'd seen these. And, of course, they are colored by Shirley's biased (in a psychological way, not a dishonest way) view.

I was referring to the video that was part of the bonus content for the deluxe edition of the Final Frontier cd (the one in the tin case). It's now available on YouTube (pasted below). In it, Adrian is visibly irritated and openly critical of the production -- starting at 14:58. Provides a different counterpoint to Kevin's notes. Assuming both are being diplomatic and soft-pedaling the tension, I get the sense there was some real disagreement.

Worth watching the whole video if you haven't seen it, especially about their descriptions of the studio in Nassau. Now you get for free what I paid an additional two dollars to get: :p


I'm surprised everyone is sticking with this Adrian being bitter line of conversation when the real headline from this video appears to be that Nicko has "literally" experienced time travel.
 

Chris R.

Me and Adrian, Chicago `97
I'll add my own perspective, for what little it may be worth. First, I will state right up front that I am an Adrian Smith fan foremost, but a Maiden fan just a tick behind that. And yes, when he left/was booted, I lost interest. I've been a Maiden fan since late `82, so this isn't a recent conversion and I know the history of the band. All that said, I try to be as fair and objective as I can. It seems pretty obvious to me that Adrian chafes a bit with the way things are done in Maiden these days. The Caveman Diary entries for TFF and the Mission Debrief make that clear. He even voiced mild displeasure on the DVD that came with AMOLAD. The displeasure was much more evident and pointed in the TFF cases, though. Do I think he's the most creative guy in Maiden? Yes, but Bruce and Steve also contribute heavily, with minor contributions made by Dave and Janick. But it's Adrian that seems to want to push the sound (more modern, but yet reminded me of SiT), to push for a better mix (re: dustup during the post-recording mixing phase aired in one of the late Caveman Diaries), and he's brought songs in with different timings and they get "Stevized" back down to 4/4 time. He said on the mission debrief that he wanted to mix things up because it seemed like they were getting in a rut (I think he was just referring to the guitarists and soloing). He was the one who introduced synths and tapping back in the 80s. While you may not have liked Awoken Broken, he showed he could do things outside the Maiden "box" and it would be fresh, innovative, and amazing.

I think Adrian's contribution are crucial to Maiden's success, but he also needs a good creative foil, or co-conspirator. I like State of Mind and Welcome to the World, but they like the fire and awesomeness of AoB or TCW. Bruce has been a good writing partner for Adrian since the early days and they bring the best out of each other. I'm not overlooking Roy- I think he's the driving force behind the Bruce solo albums, but w/o Adrian you get ToS which is good, but lacks cohesion and Adrians' subtle inputs. And, I think Steve and Adrian are capable of doing amazing work together- "Paschendaele" is probably my favorite post-reunion song. As a trio, the songwriting combination of Harris-Smith-Dickinson is legendary. Where I think the frustration comes from Adrian fans (and perhaps Adrian himself) is that Steve now feels that he *has* to insinuate himself into every song, the arrangement, and the mix and we'll never see a totally Harris-free contribution from Adrian or Bruce. Too much power resides in Steve's hands, I guess. I'm not downplaying his contributions and I think all parties would agree that they *need* each other. Well, Adrian and Bruce could go hook up with Roy Z. again and amazing music would result. But, Maiden without Adrian or without Bruce would not be good, IMO. Adrian on his own isn't as good as Adrian with a strong writing partner (Mikee, Bruce, or Steve). Bruce is probably too busy outside Maiden, now, to contemplate a solo album, but even he would need Roy to get it to "good/great" status. I don't think Adrian is more important than Steve in Maiden, but I *do* think he's closer to the creative edge and without his songwriting, playing, and singing (live) they're not back on top post-reunion.

Now, this thread is about the future, or potentially future, Maiden studio album. What inputs or attitudes will affect this writing/recording session? Well, there's the perhaps lingering tension between Adrian and Steve over arranging/mixing on TFF. Shirley said they all talked it out and they were fine at the end of the day (late Spring 2010, while they were mixing in CA), but the Mission Debrief was recorded in June 2010 in Dallas (I think) and it seemed that Adrian was still miffed. They also since toured and released En Vivo! On that DVD, and I don't think I'm playing a favorite here, Adrian seemed to be inspired- all the normal stuff was spot-on, as usual, but he uncharacteristically added some fills, runs, licks, and flash into the songs where it hadn't previously existed. Some of his additions were obvious (the 8:13 or so mark on WTWWB, for instance) while at other times he plays some understated chords underneath what the other guys are playing, which adds a nice new element. End result- Adrian took a more active, visible, and assertive role on En Vivo! than he has previously. The two big influences on the mood of the songwriting session could be the solo projects from Steve and Adrian. Though long in the gestation, 15+ years for Steve, 6+ for Adrian, both were released this year. While I expected something from Adrian, the announcement of a Steve Harris solo project came as a shock- mostly because I thought all of his creative itches got scratched in Maiden. Whether we liked them or not is irrelevant; both guys were able to get some non-Maiden music out, take in the acclaim, perhaps reflect on the criticism, and I think these side projects will have an effect on what happens on the next Maiden album. With PRR/Awoken Broken, Adrian showed that he also knows a good bit about producing music, how to keep it modern, how to be heavy and complex at the same time, and suppress his ego (there's really not any guitar wankery on it; great playing, but no wanking) in favor of the song/band. I would love to hear an album full of his guitar wanking, but perhaps that's just not something he places value on. I liked Awoken Broken, though I will agree that there are a few songs that are weak and Mikee's vocal style isn't for everyone (more on that later). With British Lion, Steve showed that he could write shorter songs, ditch some of the intro/outro stuff he does in Maiden, deaden his strings so that the sound is warmer, more like a traditional bass than the metallic clankity-clank he does in Maiden, and generally expand what we, the fans, regard as his musical horizons. Both Adrian and Steve should be commended for taking the leap and opening themselves up to the "It Ain't Maiden!" criticism that would inevitably come with a side/solo project. Now, as for the vocals on both AB and BL- I think they both suffer from what I am calling "The Dickinson Conundrum"- neither Adrian or Steve could have gotten a singer *like* Bruce who would be anywhere near as good *as* Bruce, so they had to go a different direction. Again, no judgment, it just is what it is.

When Maiden reconvenes for writing album #16, the primary songwriters will have the necessary creative tension in place (perhaps too much?), they will also be able to bring in elements of their side projects while still keeping it Maiden, and perhaps they will both learn to appreciate what they can offer each other, instead of opposing each other. An album of heavy, fast-hitting, diverse, shorter songs? Yes please! More Adrian input on the mixing arranging? Yes. Fewer soft intros? I'd take that. A bass that sounds like a bass? Please. The full involvement and appreciation of Mr. Bruce Dickinson? Oh, hell yes! Mostly, I just hope there *is* another Maiden album and that once again, Adrian gets to make significant (50% or more) writing contributions.

ChemicalMan
 

Maturin

Sköldpadda
I won't argue on all the things that are clearly just opinions and personal taste in your post, Chris R. But what I will make a list of things that hit me in the eye.

1. Janick Gers contribution is not minor. He is a major songwriter. When he co-writes with Steve it is his songs they're working on.

2. Adrian Smith doesn't push for a better mix. He pushes for his opinion on how he thinks the mix should be. Steve and Kevin obviously do not share that view. And I do not either. I think the last two albums have had the best productions of all albums they've done.

3. An album of short songs? Dear Jesus, if Adrian made the decisions we would have had another AC/DC.

4. Adrians material is the weakest on every album. Different World, The Final Frontier and El Dorado. The Fallen Angel. Wildest Dreams. Kill me now.

5. Paschendale is a patchy piece that stops all the time and probably is the most overrated thing they've ever done.

...See what I did there? It's all opinions. No point arguing.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
When Maiden reconvenes for writing album #16, the primary songwriters will have the necessary creative tension in place (perhaps too much?), they will also be able to bring in elements of their side projects while still keeping it Maiden,
I hope so but I wouldn't count on it. The side projects are meant as outputs, so I guess that Adrian and Steve have released their non-Maiden desires. When Maiden starts the new album, they're probably back in the same mode again. And I'd be surprised if there would be some changes in sound or style. Would be awesome if they're bringing lots of new energy with them, to making a heavy and fresh new record, with some more shorter aggressive songs. (let's have another producer too please; new rounds, new chances for everyone!)

and perhaps they will both learn to appreciate what they can offer each other, instead of opposing each other.
Once again, I sure hope so.
 
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