DJMayes' Complete Ranking Of Maiden Songs

Which song will win?

  • Run To The Hills

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • Empire Of The Clouds

    Votes: 6 37.5%

  • Total voters
    16
  • Poll closed .

JudasMyGuide

The resident reactionary
To me, TFF has better songs than Mother of Mercy (I mean, Talisman, Starblind, Wild Wind, Avalon...), but it's still definitely underrated. When I first heard the album, it was one of my favourites. Apart from Coming Home, it's probably the strongest moment in the whole first, "short", half, IMHO.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Let's kick off the second half!

#80 -76:

80 - When The River Runs Deep

When The River Runs Deep was initially one of my favourites from this album. It's got an instant accessibility to it and whilst it hasn't necessarily held up as well as other songs it's still a fine song.

The intro, and the pre-chorus verses, are the only bits of this song I can criticise, mostly on the vocals feeling somewhat strained. They're still catchy though. The verses are good, and the chorus is wonderful. I read a lot of hate for it, but I think this slowed down chorus works really, really well. It's not a standard chorus to be sure, and I suppose I can expect it to be controversial but I think some of the hate it gets is unwarranted.

The start of the solo section of this song is fine. The section at 3:36 is a really nice change of pace and works very well, with the speed then ramping back up before another strong solo and then some more of that wonderful chorus.

79 - Weekend Warrior

This is a song I feel I have some very definite explaining to do, as it's placed very, very high in comparison to where some people would rate it. From my perspective, there are two main reasons this song gets hate:

1) The musical style: This song is as close to hard rock as Maiden gets. This is something other fans don't appreciate as much, but for my part I am a huge fan of that genre, as much as I am of heavy metal.

2) The lyrics: Lots of people hate them. I like them. I think it's actually a very down to earth song with quite thoughtful lyrics about football hooliganism, though I think it applies very broadly to hooliganism in general. There have actually been times I have stopped myself from doing something whilst out with friends by thinking "Don't be a Weekend Warrior". That's of course not an anecdote that I expect to make anyone enjoy the song, but it definitely fuels my perspective that the lyrics to this aren't embarrassing.

This song has actually given me a meaningful addendum to another song. I thought the opening riff to this song was strongly reminiscent of a certain Grim Reaper song. After looking back, it is actually Chains of Misery, which is very reminiscent of Grim Reaper's Suck It And See.

After the intro, the hard rock begins, the adrenaline's high, and you can feel the tension. It's a very simple tune but I do genuinely enjoy listening to it, though it could do with some chord changes to keep it fresh.

Much of the song is like this. Plain, simple hard rock without massive amounts to talk about regarding the instrumentation. There are some really nice twangs to Bruce's singing on e.g. "Didn't take long" but otherwise it suffers from singing style.

One thing that I really want to make clear is that I really enjoy this songs solo section. Both solos are top notch, and the contrast between them and the simple parts going on beneath work really nicely.

For those who like this song, you have a kindred spirit. For those who don't, breathe a sigh of relief. This isn't overtaking any more of your favourites than it already had.

78 - Age of Innocence

Kind of like When The River Runs Deep, I think this song gets a lot of undeserved hate. Perhaps the lyrics disturb people, but I don't mind them.

The slow intro is alright, and I think the verses work nicely, with a level of aggression that fits the lyrics of the verses quite nicely.

Surprisingly to some, I think the chorus of this song is a standout one. It's incredible fun to belt out, doesn't fall into the trap of needless repetition. To some extent the style reminds me of Different World but this is slim and one way of justifying to myself why other people don't enjoy it as much as I.

The solo to this song is not bad, and the bridge is fine as well with a similar level of aggression to the verses. As previously stated, I mostly rate this song for the chorus.

Of course, I'm rating the version on the album. If we're rating the version with Nicko on vocals then it's #1, easily.

77 - Sign of the Cross

This one is probably controversial. Before anyone crucifies me, hear me out. I enjoy this song, and have found it to be quite a grower, but it's neither quite snappy enough nor as good as the other Maiden epics for me to want to rate it higher. The reason for it not being higher are a few specific parts of the song.

Firstly, the intro takes its sweet time. There's obviously stuff to be said about the build-up here, but from my perspective talking about this song being 11 minutes long is less meaningful when it feels like nothing happens for the first 2:47.

Of course, it gets good after this. Some of my favourite parts happen early on, such as 3:26 and 4:08, which is wonderful. Indeed, both the pre-chorus and the chorus are stunning, though I think Bruce does it better.

At 4:45 the song begins to slip away from the fantastic place it is in. I don't really enjoy the stop we get at 5:33, as I feel like I've spent nearly 3 minutes of buildup already in the song. Moreover, this break before the instrumental is just not on the level as e.g. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, so I don't think merits taking the amount of time it does. It does slowly get better and the magic returns at 7:44 before a wonderful solo section. 8:20 is another incredible moment, and the second solo doesn't disappoint either. Post solo the music is enjoyable and brings us nicely onto the final chorus.

I suppose what I am trying to say about this song is that, like everyone else, I think it has some absolutely magical moments. The main difference is that unlike others I feel these parts are almost buried within the rest of the song, which is the reason I don't rate it as highly.

76 - When The Wild Wind Blows

Contrasting the above is a song that has simply plummeted in my estimation. Back when the album came out, I adored this song. I was enamoured by the length, the hype it had surrounding it, and I rated this song as one of my two favourites on the album alongside The Talisman. Over time this hype has simply faded a lot, and I don't view it with the same rose-tinted glasses I once did. I put a lot of this down to the parts of the song I really enjoy being done better in other songs that, at the time I first started listening to this, I either hadn't heard or fully grown into, as at the time I bought this album I was still only really listening to the bands greatest hits (as dictated by what, I don't entirely remember).

I think this song has a good intro - in that it doesn't beat around the bush too much before getting to the main refrain at 0:50. Once it does, it's a section I really enjoy. I've always liked the guitar tracking the vocals, and have noticed a drop in my appreciation for this song since The Red and the Black, a song which does the same thing but in my opinion better, was released.
This comes to a head at 2:14, which is wonderfully catchy. The added crunch is simple but really effective, and this is my favourite section of the song, continuing up until 3:35. Is it good that it happens so early? I'm not sure.

The next section, before the solo, is good but not something I remember much of after the fact. The solo itself is decent. I really loved 5:04... and then I heard Afraid to Shoot Strangers. Now that the similarities are evident to me I do find it difficult to appreciate it as much as I once did when I can get that hit off of a shorter (and better) song. Still the solo going on in between works really nicely.

This transitions well into the next vocal section nearly 7 minutes in. This section is wonderfully tense, and the parts starting around 7:30 (now the days of our ending have begun) are haunting.

The next solo is good but woefully short. Then the song returns to its intro, and is one of the cases where I think it works really well after all we've been through previously in the song.

To sum this one up, for this song the magic has worn off and a couple of other songs I enjoy more scratch similar itches, but I still think it's a strong and enjoyable song throughout.

Songs Remaining:


1980 - Iron Maiden


1 - Prowler -
5 - Phantom of the Opera -
9 - Iron Maiden -

1981 - Killers

1 - The Ides Of March / Wrathchild -
3 - Murders In The Rue Morgue -
7 - Killers -
9 - Purgatory -

1982 - The Number Of The Beast

2 - Children of the Damned -
3 - The Prisoner -
4 - 22 Acacia Avenue -
5 - The Number of the Beast -
6 - Run To The Hills -
9 - Hallowed Be Thy Name -

1983 - Piece Of Mind

1 - Where Eagles Dare -
2 - Revelations -
3 - Flight of Icarus -
4 - Die With Your Boots On -
5 - The Trooper -

1984 - Powerslave

1 - Aces High -
2 - 2 Minutes to Midnight -
4 - Flash Of The Blade -
7 - Powerslave -
8 - Rime of the Ancient Mariner -

1986 - Somewhere In Time

1 - Caught Somewhere In Time -
2 - Wasted Years -
3 - Sea Of Madness -
5 - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner -

1988 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

1 - Moonchild -
2 - Infinite Dreams -
3 - Can I Play With Madness -
4 - The Evil That Men Do -
5 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son -
7 - The Clairvoyant -
8 - Only The Good Die Young -

1990 - No Prayer For The Dying

3 - No Prayer For The Dying -
9 - Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter -

1992 - Fear Of The Dark

3 - Afraid To Shoot Strangers -
6 - Wasting Love -
10 - Judas Be My Guide -
12 - Fear Of The Dark -

1995 - X Factor

7 - Judgement of Heaven -
9 - The Edge Of Darkness -

1998 - Virtual XI

1 - Futureal -
3 - Lightning Strikes Twice -
4 - The Clansman -
7 - Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger -

2000 - Brave New World

1 - The Wicker Man -
2 - Ghost of the Navigator -
4 - Blood Brothers -
6 - Dream Of Mirrors -
7 - The Fallen Angel -
10 - The Thin Line Between Love and Hate -

2003 - Dance Of Death

1 - Wildest Dreams -
2 - Rainmaker -
3 - No More Lies -
4 - Montsegur -
5 - Dance of Death -
8 - Paschendale -
9 - Face In The Sand -

2006 - A Matter Of Life And Death

3 - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns -
7 - The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg -
8 - For the Greater Good of God -
9 - Lord of Light -

2010 - The Final Frontier

1 - Satellite 15... The Final Frontier -
4 - Coming Home -
5 - The Alchemist -
8 - The Talisman -

2015 - The Book Of Souls

1 - If Eternity Should Fail -
3 - The Great Unknown -
4 - The Red and the Black -
6 - The Book of Souls -
7 - Death Or Glory -
8 - Shadows of the Valley -
9 - Tears of a Clown -
11 - Empire of the Clouds -
 
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bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Yes, a respectful critique of one of my favorite songs ' age of innocence!' I've found this song gets a bad rap on the forum. It's usually a jab at the lyrics, which I find very interesting.
I love the vibe of this song. The sprinting riff and Bruce ranting the ode of the innocent man of integrity near the breaking point. The slower melodic guitar parts synch up masterfully with the driving main riff. AOE is one of a handful of killer songs off of the mighty Dance of Death that don't get the love they deserve. Props to the DJ....
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Bit late on Mother of Mercy, it sounds like an AMOLAD leftover musically but the TFF production makes for an interesting contrast. It's a lot more bright and clean sounding than the grimy AMOLAD. I think it's a really great song.

Weekend Warrior is one of the worst and Sign of the Cross is top 20, but all the other songs are placed pretty appropriately I think. When the River Runs Deep is a really nice song but is definitely more middle of the road for them.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
#75 - 71:

75 - The Ides of March/Wrathchild

I know these two are technically separate tracks, but I feel they should be rated together (in the same way as, say, The Hellion and Electric Eye).

The Ides of March is a nice, short, unobtrusive piece. The rolling drums are a nice intro, and the march starting at 0:41 is fantastic. The solos are good, particularly the one at 1:15 which meshes so well with the march beneath it. We return to the rolling for a very short time, before we get hit with...

...That bass. Wrathchild has some of the best bass in any Iron Maiden song. Perhaps not on a technical level, but it's so in your face on this song, and works wonderfully. This is one of the few songs I much prefer listening to the bass than the guitars in. It's not until "I'm coming to get you, Oh yeah!" after the first chorus that the guitar is even noticed.

The verses and choruses of this are decent enough, but I don't quite know why, beyond the bass, this song is a live staple as there are much better songs on this album.

74 - 22 Acacia Avenue

22 Acacia Avenue is the best of the Charlotte series of songs. I wouldn't say it's an underrated gem as I don't think anyone rates it particularly low, but it is certainly overshadowed by the many fantastic songs on The Number of the Beast.

The intro to this song works really nicely in my opinion, forgoing a traditional one to get right into the song. This quiet, fast riff is a common repeat during the song and is a nice break whenever it occurs. Of course, when the verses kick up the song gets much more enjoyable, and it does this twice by 1:34. The verse section after is not one of my favourite parts of the song, but it's fine. The chorus is alright, but is perhaps the weakest part of the song (though this is solid the entire way).

3:21 marks the best part of the song in my opinion - it's a shame it's also the part I don't feel safe singing out loud! The slow section after that works really nicely, and reminds me of the similar section in Charlotte. The section that follows reminds me of the verse section I criticised earlier, but is much better and melds nicely into the final solo section.

As an aside - 22 Acacia Avenue is in an interesting position on this album. Usually there's a few middle of the road songs in every album, mixed in with the hits and the duds. On The Number of the Beast I personally feel that this is the only song that occupies that position. It's not as good as the songs that haven't appeared yet, all of which are very strong. On the other hand it's comfortably stronger than all of those below it. In this sense it's perhaps the most forgettable song on the album.

73 - Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger

Is this a controversial pick? I can never really tell. In any event it's definitely a song I'm soft on.

The song starts off simple, but I enjoy it. It's relatively calm for this song, but still feels very much alive. Blaze's vocals are great in this song. Then at 1:29, the drop happens and this song shifts into overdrive. I'd describe this verse as the least hardcore shred I've ever heard, with a very oddly lighthearted vibe, though the guitar licks that occur twice within it add a great sense of urgency to it, and are great anyway.

The chorus of this song is the weakest part. I don't dislike it, but had they had a chorus with a similar level of urgency to the verses it would have rocketed this song up my list.

3:20 comes around, and this is the part that strikes me as controversial as it gives me very definite The Angel and the Gambler vibes with the constant title repetition. As with TAaTG, I like this section, because of the constant musical progression going on beneath it. The introduction of the guitar, then the riffing, the tempo increasing...it's a great build-up. The bass joins and it gets even more tense. The drums pick up, and we get a few more repetitions...

...and then at 5:22, the tension finally breaks and this songs magical instrumental section happens. I love the guitar licks here, and the drum interludes between them. We get half a minute of this before the solo even starts! Afterwards we get it again, but it's so good that I don't mind at all. It breaks at 7 minutes, and the song could end here instead of the final chorus for all I care.

72 - Caught Somewhere In Time

Caught Somewhere In Time is a song that's inexplicably popular here, so I'll tread lightly. In short, my thoughts are that it's a really fun song and a great, energetic opener - but that it is not a memorable one. I love it whilst I am listening, but 10 minutes after not a lot remains. Is this a fault of the song? Probably not given how well it did in the Survivor, but I wanted to justify why it has not done so well here.

The opening, once we've established it isn't Deja Vu is instantly recognisable with the synths leading into the bass gallop. For my part I don't mind synths, but it does make anything on this album instantly recognisable, for better or worse, and hasn't aged as well.

0:54 is a great change of pace here, and the song picks up speed. In all honesty though, whilst I love the speedy gallop (certainly more than those who have to play it...ouch) I do find the verses lack a characteristic other than it - and speed/gallops are not really defining in Maiden's catalogue.

The pre-chorus section fixes this problem, and then we get the chorus - which apparently gets a free pass for repetition despite being just as bad as many songs that get bashed hard for it. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against repetition - I just routinely see it used as an argument against songs such as No More Lies by people who ignore the fact this song does exactly the same thing.

The best part of this song is the solo section after. A particular favourite moment of mine is 4:05, with the change of tone it brings. 4:40 is the start of another wonderfully speedy section of the song, and the transition back into the post-intro riff 10 seconds later is wonderfully done.

The verses afterwards are the same fare as before - though I do love the "eternally...let yourself go!" line, and again with the chorus.

71 - The Thin Line Between Love And Hate

And here we have The Unbelievers younger, more attractive friend.

I am being facetious of course, but the best part of both songs sounds very similar. The difference is that I rate the rest of this song much more highly. Off the bat the intro and verses are much more enjoyable. The chorus to this song is not one of my favourites, namely as Bruce doesn't sound any different to the verses, but there is some interesting guitar work going on underneath. 1:48 is the aforementioned favourite part, and we get a gratuitous 20 odd seconds before leading straight into a nice quick solo before the next verse. After the next chorus we reverse proceedings with a short solo before that wonderful soaring section again.

I'm not sure the slowdown after this is entirely necessary, but it doesn't so much kill the song as it does prepare for the mellow section afterwards at around 5:20. This does feel odd in comparison to the start of the song - the background guitar is what I'd listen to whilst trying to sleep. It's so calm, and so peaceful. I don't have time to chill too much before the next solo kicks in. It's a good solo, but again another odd change of pace.

With so many changes of pace then, I guess it's no surprise Nicko misses it at the end. ;)

Remaining Songs:


1980 - Iron Maiden


1 - Prowler -
5 - Phantom of the Opera -
9 - Iron Maiden -

1981 - Killers

3 - Murders In The Rue Morgue -
7 - Killers -
9 - Purgatory -

1982 - The Number Of The Beast

2 - Children of the Damned -
3 - The Prisoner -
5 - The Number of the Beast -
6 - Run To The Hills -
9 - Hallowed Be Thy Name -

1983 - Piece Of Mind

1 - Where Eagles Dare -
2 - Revelations -
3 - Flight of Icarus -
4 - Die With Your Boots On -
5 - The Trooper -

1984 - Powerslave

1 - Aces High -
2 - 2 Minutes to Midnight -
4 - Flash Of The Blade -
7 - Powerslave -
8 - Rime of the Ancient Mariner -

1986 - Somewhere In Time

2 - Wasted Years -
3 - Sea Of Madness -
5 - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner -

1988 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

1 - Moonchild -
2 - Infinite Dreams -
3 - Can I Play With Madness -
4 - The Evil That Men Do -
5 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son -
7 - The Clairvoyant -
8 - Only The Good Die Young -

1990 - No Prayer For The Dying

3 - No Prayer For The Dying -
9 - Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter -

1992 - Fear Of The Dark

3 - Afraid To Shoot Strangers -
6 - Wasting Love -
10 - Judas Be My Guide -
12 - Fear Of The Dark -

1995 - X Factor

7 - Judgement of Heaven -
9 - The Edge Of Darkness -

1998 - Virtual XI

1 - Futureal -
3 - Lightning Strikes Twice -
4 - The Clansman -

2000 - Brave New World

1 - The Wicker Man -
2 - Ghost of the Navigator -
4 - Blood Brothers -
6 - Dream Of Mirrors -
7 - The Fallen Angel -

2003 - Dance Of Death

1 - Wildest Dreams -
2 - Rainmaker -
3 - No More Lies -
4 - Montsegur -
5 - Dance of Death -
8 - Paschendale -
9 - Face In The Sand -

2006 - A Matter Of Life And Death

3 - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns -
7 - The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg -
8 - For the Greater Good of God -
9 - Lord of Light -

2010 - The Final Frontier

1 - Satellite 15... The Final Frontier -
4 - Coming Home -
5 - The Alchemist -
8 - The Talisman -

2015 - The Book Of Souls

1 - If Eternity Should Fail -
3 - The Great Unknown -
4 - The Red and the Black -
6 - The Book of Souls -
7 - Death Or Glory -
8 - Shadows of the Valley -
9 - Tears of a Clown -
11 - Empire of the Clouds -
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Don't look to the eyes of a stranger is ...too close to CSIT.. It may get vaporized!!
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I'll forgive you the poor placings of Wind and Cross for the thoughtful takes on Warrior, Innocence and the vastly overrated by the forum CSiT.

Particularly, I've never understood the dislike for Innocence and its poignant-sounding chorus.
I've always chalked it up to sophomoric lyrics expressing an unpopular opinion.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Innocence is brilliant. I guess I view the lyrics differently than most: I read it along the lines of man on the edge among others. A bloke fed up the bs of the world. Tired of getting screwed around by Jack holes not playing by the rules, and politicians doing nothing as usual. All reaching a boiling point and having him consider vigilantism.
All of this wrapped up in a well designed and brilliantly executed song..
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I'll forgive you the poor placing of CSIT for the thoughtful takes on Warrior, Innocence, Cross and Wind.

I disagree very much with your take on Thin Line. (I also made a comparison to The Unbeliever*.)

Out of Maiden's 16 studio albums this closer belongs to the 4 least good album closers they did (together with the Di'Anno-era closers and Journeyman). Possibly also the least good song from Brave New World.

Thin Line has a remarkable and great chorus (where Bruce goes high with superb control), and a few nice riffs. However, in total, the song is too lengthy to get a "good" grade. It feels too lengthy because in the second half some parts are dragging and monotone. I particularly do not like the slow parts. And there are too many Dave solos, there could be more variation if all the guys had a chance to show their stuff. But the main problem for me is that a big part of the song feels like it's in the same vein.
I miss some changes in atmosphere, and I miss surprises, which are necessary to make a long song epic. Instead it's rather a predictable sounding effort. *The Unbeliever is a song with a comparable chorus, with a way better instrumental part, with more interesting couplets (maybe more awkward or difficult couplets, but certainly less simple), with a less predictable build-up and with a superior atmosphere.
 
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DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
#70 - 66:

70 - The Great Unknown

At 3rd from last in the album it may not seem like it, but this song is one of the winners from this album that I've grown to like more since I started. The reason for this is that The Great Unknown reminds me somewhat of AMOLAD in its execution - specifically of The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns with their incredibly crunchy riffs, which I got into relatively recently.

The very soft bass intro doesn't suggest this though. The sparse instrumentation gives Bruce's rejuvenated voice (certainly since TFF) room to shine, and it's a nice intro. From here on we get a steady build and the crunch starts with the main verse. This verse has grown on me immensely over time, and Bruce kills it here.

The pre-chorus is great, but it has the unfortunate task of being sandwiched between that verse and the chorus, which is incredibly strong - one of the best on the album, though I wouldn't have initially said so. After a short solo, we get it again. Unfortunately, we don't afterwards, which is a real shame - it's an incredibly strong chorus, yet doesn't feature on the last 2 and a half minutes of the song, which is more than a third of the entire song! Whilst the solos after are fine, I do find the absence of a final chorus here really disappointing, and is what prevents me from rating this song even higher.

69 - Iron Maiden

Yes, it's overplayed - it's their theme song for goodness sake - but I find it difficult to grow weary of this song. It's great fun on the studio version but of course shines most live.

The intro riff to this song is instantly hype-inducing. The verses are energetic and fun, and I'm glad we get the intro riff repeated throughout the song. The chorus is a great one, especially in the capacity the band uses this song, because it's so easy to sing along to.

Post the second chorus, the breakdown is really fun, and the final time that riff comes in is magical.

All in all, I think this song deserves a lot of praise for being the most overplayed song in the bands repertoire, and yet never feeling stale. Part of this is of course due to the various things they do with it on stage, but at the same time I think it is because this is just genuinely a really fun song.

68 - The Alchemist

I think The Alchemist is a little over-praised with regards to short songs of the reunion era, but it's very good nonetheless. It's got some really nice sections, but again suffers from FFF (Final Frontier Fatigue).

My absolute favourite part of this song is the pre-chorus and the start of the chorus. These are both fantastic parts, especially the sudden spurt of energy as the chorus begins. The subsequent parts (Know this, I will return to this land...) is pretty good as well, but not as strong. The main refrain, the one used in the intro, is nice too.

The solos to this song are fantastic stuff, particularly the last one. Some wonderful energy, and this works particularly well in the middle of this album due to its preponderance for the lengthy and more progressive.

67 - Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare is an absolutely wonderful showcase for one man - Nicko. There aren't many songs, much less Maiden ones, where I find myself fixated by the drumwork over anything else, but this is one of them. Indeed, it's good to have a song like this just to remind me how good a drummer Nicko actually is.

Beyond this though, I sometimes feel I'm not really enamoured with this song to the same degree that other people are, and I'm not sure why other than that I don't rate much of the song beyond the drums as exceptional. Bruce gives a solid performance, and there's a lot of energy in the verses and the chorus, but this one just doesn't quite click with me completely.

The guitar riffs in the musical interlude starting at 1:21 can be very repetitive, but the transition into the dog-fighting drums is masterful. The solo is decent, but I'm listening to the drums again by this point.

4 and a half minutes in, I'm struck by a realisation. The reason this song doesn't click with me quite to the same degree others do is because it feels more like an extended introduction to the new drummer at that time due to the structure of the song. Whilst I can appreciate this, and think that overall it has some very enjoyable moments, it is difficult for me to put it higher due to that nagging feeling.

66 - The Clairvoyant

If you cast your minds back to the earlier sections of the list, you'll realise that this is only the second Seventh Son song to appear. This is a testament to how much I adore the album - from here on, every one of the songs is great in its own way.

This song has a great intro, with the bass and guitar being somewhat reminiscent of (though not as good as) The Evil That Men Do. The verses, with their more restrained guitar work, work nicely, and the guitar at 1:20 is a great transition used throughout the song.

However, I'd say the true magic of this song lies in the chorus. It's got an instant urgency, it's wonderfully catchy, and whilst it is repeated the second time has some delicious guitar licks added on top. The transition from these into the solo works really well, as does the transition from that back into the verse.

In some ways this is another song where I wouldn't mind how many times they played that chorus, but as this one has half a minute after the second chorus until ending I don't mind that it is only used twice.

Remaining Songs:


1980 - Iron Maiden


1 - Prowler -
5 - Phantom of the Opera -

1981 - Killers

3 - Murders In The Rue Morgue -
7 - Killers -
9 - Purgatory -

1982 - The Number Of The Beast

2 - Children of the Damned -
3 - The Prisoner -
5 - The Number of the Beast -
6 - Run To The Hills -
9 - Hallowed Be Thy Name -

1983 - Piece Of Mind

2 - Revelations -
3 - Flight of Icarus -
4 - Die With Your Boots On -
5 - The Trooper -

1984 - Powerslave

1 - Aces High -
2 - 2 Minutes to Midnight -
4 - Flash Of The Blade -
7 - Powerslave -
8 - Rime of the Ancient Mariner -

1986 - Somewhere In Time

2 - Wasted Years -
3 - Sea Of Madness -
5 - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner -

1988 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

1 - Moonchild -
2 - Infinite Dreams -
3 - Can I Play With Madness -
4 - The Evil That Men Do -
5 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son -
8 - Only The Good Die Young -

1990 - No Prayer For The Dying

3 - No Prayer For The Dying -
9 - Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter -

1992 - Fear Of The Dark

3 - Afraid To Shoot Strangers -
6 - Wasting Love -
10 - Judas Be My Guide -
12 - Fear Of The Dark -

1995 - X Factor

7 - Judgement of Heaven -
9 - The Edge Of Darkness -

1998 - Virtual XI

1 - Futureal -
3 - Lightning Strikes Twice -
4 - The Clansman -

2000 - Brave New World

1 - The Wicker Man -
2 - Ghost of the Navigator -
4 - Blood Brothers -
6 - Dream Of Mirrors -
7 - The Fallen Angel -

2003 - Dance Of Death

1 - Wildest Dreams -
2 - Rainmaker -
3 - No More Lies -
4 - Montsegur -
5 - Dance of Death -
8 - Paschendale -
9 - Face In The Sand -

2006 - A Matter Of Life And Death

3 - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns -
7 - The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg -
8 - For the Greater Good of God -
9 - Lord of Light -

2010 - The Final Frontier

1 - Satellite 15... The Final Frontier -
4 - Coming Home -
8 - The Talisman -

2015 - The Book Of Souls

1 - If Eternity Should Fail -
4 - The Red and the Black -
6 - The Book of Souls -
7 - Death Or Glory -
8 - Shadows of the Valley -
9 - Tears of a Clown -
11 - Empire of the Clouds -
 
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Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
At 3rd from last in the album it may not seem like it, but this song is one of the winners from this album that I've grown to like more since I started. The reason for this is that The Great Unknown reminds me somewhat of AMOLAD in its execution - specifically of The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns with their incredibly crunchy riffs, which I got into relatively recently.

Yes, this, like Mother of Mercy, immediately made me think of AMOLAD too.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
While its chorus is indeed strong, in my book the magic in the harmonies (a top five or even three harmony of the entire catalogue) and haunting verses (great contrast between the calm dramatic Bruce delivery and beautiful melodic playing by Adrian, on the one hand, and the intense rhythm playing on the other) in The Clairvoyant make the song as great as it is.

The Alchemist has one of the best if not the best Maiden chorus from this century, with only IESF and perhaps Rainmaker and The Book of Souls reaching that level.
 
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Donner

Ancient Mariner
If anything I think The Alchemist is severely underrated - that's been one of my favorites off The Final Frontier for ages and it's always kind of glossed over. Great song!

The Great Unknown, as I've stated elsewhere, really reminds me of a much, muuuuuuuuuch better Mother of Mercy.

The Clairvoyant and Where Eagles Dare are both top 20 for me, amazing songs.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Yes Nicko is on fire on WED, but he is merely single facet of a well rounded song. This is the type of song that must be played loud and in my ears is flawless. One of the most well conceived songs in the catalogue.
 

Welsh Phantom

Ancient Mariner
Interesting to note that DJ finds the section starting at 1:21 in Where Eagles Dare a little repetitive.

Until I learnt to play the bass line for this song, I never realised that 'live' Maiden always chops the length of this section in half (only playing this section twice, instead of 4 times as on the album). They don't usually mess with song structures live....so maybe they found it repetitive in hindsight also?

(Personally I like the version on the album, as it helps to build tension before the next section....and like I said I never noticed the difference when being played live until recently....but if my memory serves me correctly even the version way back on a Real Live Dead One has this shorter version)
 
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DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
#65 - 61:

65 - No Prayer For The Dying

No Prayer For The Dying is a diamond in the rough, a standout song on an album with precious few of them.

This song, for better or worse, is instantly reminiscent of Infinite Dreams to me. The better is that that's highly complimentary, but the worse is that I will always choose Infinite Dreams over this.

The verses here are one contributing factor to this, with the fairly relaxed instrumentation. However, it's the transition from this into the aggressive second half section that really cements the comparison. The solo (starting at 2:34) is a great one, and the second one keeps up the momentum. These are both great fun and constantly surprise with just how aggressive they are.

I will never defend the album this comes from as I do think it's a (relative) stinker but the title track is easily amongst the best of the bunch. Of course, it's the second from last to appear, which leaves Bring Your Daughter... ...To The Slaughter as my favourite song from this album. But more on that when it appears.

64 - Lightning Strikes Twice

"Is it the rolling of thunder that scares you?" - No Blaze, it's how suddenly badass you've become.

Lightning Strikes Twice is a gem of a song, and rounds out the top 3 of my favourite Virtual XI songs and top 5 Blaze-era songs.

We kick off with a relatively restrained intro, but you can still sense something is coming. In some wonderful mirroring, that is the sudden thunderous music that kicks in at 0:53 with the aforementioned line, a personal favourite of mine from Blaze. As quickly as it came, it's gone, and I could draw some more weather parallels here. Blaze's voice is really powerful on this song, and it makes a huge difference. At 1:54 we kick up the pace again, which is demonstrative of one of the things about this song I like - it has some good progression within the verses and doesn't let it hang around long enough to get dull.

We actually take a surprising length of time to get to the chorus, but I really like it. It's got a very definite speed-up in the delivery of the second half, but I think it's a good touch and the guitar is really cool. Repetitive yes, but not for too long.

The solos here are good if short, as we're very far into the song by the time they even roll around. The short break afterwards is good and not too long, giving us another shot at the fun chorus.

I'm not really sure how this song is received here. I'd probably guess most people rate it lower, but I think it's a fun shot of adrenaline that doesn't overstay its welcome.

63 - Die With Your Boots On

Piece of Mind is an album brimming with hits, especially the first half. It's difficult to call many of the songs on the album forgotten gems given how popular they all are, but this is one to which I feel comfortable attaching that label. Given that it sits between two fantastic songs in Flight Of Icarus and The Trooper, the fact that it does not feel out of place is a huge testament to it.

This song doesn't have the most recognisable intro, but it gives an early promise of a fun, energetic song and boy does it deliver. I'm not sure what I have to say about the verse and lyrics other than they destroy Holy Smoke, but I think the chorus deserves a special mention. It's not a standard one by any means, eschewing the standard soar in favour of a more subtle, riff based one that works really, really nicely. I don't think it would work as well as the more punchy vocals this one has anyway.

The solos are brimming with the same attack this one does. However, they are merely a precursor to my favourite moment of the song - 3:44. It feels like Bruce is saved for this moment during the song, and it's a brilliant payoff with the second solo soon following.

62 - The Wicker Man

I think this song is a really good one. However, I would also say it's one of the ones perhaps more prone to inflation due to its association with the reunion. However, it's not close to the best on this album, which despite my qualms with some of its songs does boast a pretty strong top end.

The Wicker Man has a great optimism in its lyrics (though I didn't initially recognise it), which curiously seems to carry over into a lot of the bands reunion work. The chorus here is a very good one. It's musically and vocally repetitive but it's got great guitar and works wonderfully live. I am at a loss with things to say about the verses, because they are good with nothing I'd call particularly defining. I'm a fan of the solos on Brave New World, and these ones are good enough.

I feel I'm on a bit of a downer about this song, but the best thing about it is the live performance. Between the great chorus, the "whoa-oa-oa" section and the love this gets from everywhere it works really well in that setting, even if I don't think it's that spectacular in the studio alone.

61 - Death or Glory

Death or Glory is here for a simple reason - it's fantastic fun; perhaps surprisingly so for a relatively serious topic.

The intro is so-so, but the verses here have a fantastic swing to them in the guitars with an absurd amount of energy. It's an odd beat for Maiden but so much fun to listen to. Bruce is in fine form here, and the lyrical structure of this song makes it great to sing along to. The pre-chorus is the best part of the song, regardless of how silly the lyrics are - if you don't automatically smile at "climb...LIKE A MONKEY" then I feel sorry for you. The chorus is perhaps quite straightforward, but the structure again is great to sing along to, and it's clear the singer wrote it.

The solos are the worst parts of this song. In general I'm probably not as hyped on the solos on this album as some others but nonetheless it's short, sweet and doesn't really detract from the incredible fun I have listening to this song.

Remaining Songs:


1980 - Iron Maiden


1 - Prowler -
5 - Phantom of the Opera -

1981 - Killers

3 - Murders In The Rue Morgue -
7 - Killers -
9 - Purgatory -

1982 - The Number Of The Beast

2 - Children of the Damned -
3 - The Prisoner -
5 - The Number of the Beast -
6 - Run To The Hills -
9 - Hallowed Be Thy Name -

1983 - Piece Of Mind

2 - Revelations -
3 - Flight of Icarus -
5 - The Trooper -

1984 - Powerslave

1 - Aces High -
2 - 2 Minutes to Midnight -
4 - Flash Of The Blade -
7 - Powerslave -
8 - Rime of the Ancient Mariner -

1986 - Somewhere In Time

2 - Wasted Years -
3 - Sea Of Madness -
5 - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner -

1988 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

1 - Moonchild -
2 - Infinite Dreams -
3 - Can I Play With Madness -
4 - The Evil That Men Do -
5 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son -
8 - Only The Good Die Young -

1990 - No Prayer For The Dying

9 - Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter -

1992 - Fear Of The Dark

3 - Afraid To Shoot Strangers -
6 - Wasting Love -
10 - Judas Be My Guide -
12 - Fear Of The Dark -

1995 - X Factor

7 - Judgement of Heaven -
9 - The Edge Of Darkness -

1998 - Virtual XI

1 - Futureal -
4 - The Clansman -

2000 - Brave New World

2 - Ghost of the Navigator -
4 - Blood Brothers -
6 - Dream Of Mirrors -
7 - The Fallen Angel -

2003 - Dance Of Death

1 - Wildest Dreams -
2 - Rainmaker -
3 - No More Lies -
4 - Montsegur -
5 - Dance of Death -
8 - Paschendale -
9 - Face In The Sand -

2006 - A Matter Of Life And Death

3 - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns -
7 - The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg -
8 - For the Greater Good of God -
9 - Lord of Light -

2010 - The Final Frontier

1 - Satellite 15... The Final Frontier -
4 - Coming Home -
8 - The Talisman -

2015 - The Book Of Souls

1 - If Eternity Should Fail -
4 - The Red and the Black -
6 - The Book of Souls -
8 - Shadows of the Valley -
9 - Tears of a Clown -
11 - Empire of the Clouds -
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Sure, I disagree with some of this, but your analysis seems well reasoned. A bit late to the party, and too busy to attempt a guess at the Top 25, but it's shaping up to be heavy on Beast songs. I'm guessing we'll see Hallowed, NotB and Children of the Damned all in the Top 25. Phantom and Rime will probably join Hallowed in the Top 10, along with Paschendale and Infinite Dreams. I expect there will be a very surprising entry into your Top 10 too, maybe even in the Top 5. I'll try to guess it: Breeg.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
Sure, I disagree with some of this, but your analysis seems well reasoned. A bit late to the party, and too busy to attempt a guess at the Top 25, but it's shaping up to be heavy on Beast songs. I'm guessing we'll see Hallowed, NotB and Children of the Damned all in the Top 25. Phantom and Rime will probably join Hallowed in the Top 10, along with Paschendale and Infinite Dreams. I expect there will be a very surprising entry into your Top 10 too, maybe even in the Top 5. I'll try to guess it: Breeg.

I expect there will also be some definite surprises but some of them really shouldn't be - like a certain song you appear to have omitted despite an expectation that NOTB will feature heavily...

Still, without trying to give too much away, the rough composition of my top 25 is this:

3 albums with 3 songs
6 albums with 2 songs
4 albums with 1 song
3 albums with 0 songs

It's a fair mixture albeit with some definite skews towards certain albums.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
I expect there will also be some definite surprises but some of them really shouldn't be - like a certain song you appear to have omitted despite an expectation that NOTB will feature heavily...

This suggests that you, unlike nearly everyone else on this forum, just might appreciate the genius of Run To The Hills as much as I do. It might even make my Top 10, "overplayed" be damned. Or, maybe you rate "Prisoner" higher and I will skulk away to my lonely corner...
 
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