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 .

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
Really nice write up on BB. It really is a special song. Quite unique I think against the whole of the catalogue. Great job again DJ...
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
If Maiden had never written Blood Brothers or The Red And The Black they'd be exactly the same band to me. I like these songs, but I just don't think they really represent Maiden. This is totally personal, obviously. I can't say this about other songs. For this reason, there is a ton of tracks that I'd put above these two. My Top-25 just wouldn't have room for either of these I don't think.
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
I think, admittedly, I'm conflating two different things though; importance & favourites. I mean, imagine Maiden if that hadn't written RTtH, The Trooper, etc? Unthinkable for me. Maiden wouldn't even feel the same band to me if you wiped out most of the 90's material. All that material is really important to me; how I identify with Maiden. Newer albums, not so much. Hard to know how I would rank them in order though.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
If Maiden had never written Blood Brothers or The Red And The Black they'd be exactly the same band to me. I like these songs, but I just don't think they really represent Maiden. This is totally personal, obviously. I can't say this about other songs. For this reason, there is a ton of tracks that I'd put above these two. My Top-25 just wouldn't have room for either of these I don't think.

I'd agree to some level that Blood Brothers is not a representative Maiden song but I'd argue The Red And The Black is one of the most representative they ever did :p

Ultimately though I try not to conflate a songs importance / success with how much I like it. It's difficult at times because there's usually a reason why successful songs are that, but it would feel disingenuous to me to move Blood Brothers down to accommodate a more important song if I don't enjoy that song more.

Though all this aside I do think it's almost fair to call this song a classic now. If nothing else it's their most played live song of the reunion era.
 
The production is crisp and clear, though perhaps a little too much - there is definitely a BNW sound and I almost would prefer it a little muddier.

The production of BNW is very good but it has the same problem as TXF, VXI and DoD: overcompressed mastering. DoD in particular is almost brickwalled and if my ears do not fool me, the songs from BNW and DoD sound much better in From Fear to Eternity.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
If nothing else it's their most played live song of the reunion era.
We'd have to count tour dates to be sure. :)

The Wicker Man: Brave New World Tour, Give Me Ed ... til I'm Dead Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010, The Final Frontier Tour 2011
Brave New World: Brave New World Tour, Give Me Ed ... til I'm Dead Tour (regularly, but probably only 3 times in North America), Dance of Death World Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010
Blood Brothers: Brave New World Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010, The Final Frontier Tour 2011, The Book of Souls World Tour 2016
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
I'd agree to some level that Blood Brothers is not a representative Maiden song but I'd argue The Red And The Black is one of the most representative they ever did :p
You'd fail in that argument. What's "representative" about it? Almost all of it is unlike typical Maiden. Not saying that's bad, just saying it doesn't sound particularly representative to me.
Ultimately though I try not to conflate a songs importance / success with how much I like it. It's difficult at times because there's usually a reason why successful songs are that, but it would feel disingenuous to me to move Blood Brothers down to accommodate a more important song if I don't enjoy that song more.
Aye, agreed. The only sensible approach to take.
Though all this aside I do think it's almost fair to call this song a classic now. If nothing else it's their most played live song of the reunion era.
I hate to hear it called that.
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
We'd have to count tour dates to be sure. :)

The Wicker Man: Brave New World Tour, Give Me Ed ... til I'm Dead Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010, The Final Frontier Tour 2011
Brave New World: Brave New World Tour, Give Me Ed ... til I'm Dead Tour (regularly, but probably only 3 times in North America), Dance of Death World Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010
Blood Brothers: Brave New World Tour, The Final Frontier Tour 2010, The Final Frontier Tour 2011, The Book of Souls World Tour 2016

I am going by this website:


http://www.setlist.fm/stats/iron-maiden-3bd6803c.html

You'd fail in that argument. What's "representative" about it? Almost all of it is unlike typical Maiden. Not saying that's bad, just saying it doesn't sound particularly representative to me.

Aye, agreed. The only sensible approach to take.

I hate to hear it called that.

Why would I fail? The song is a lengthy medley of Harris-isms. I find it difficult to believe almost all of it is unlike Maiden when so much of it can be traced back and compared to so many other Maiden songs.

I genuinely don't see how you miss Rime in the tempo (something the critical reviews picked up on), WTWWB in the guitars in the verses and Trooper in the chorus.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
R&TB has a few standard Maiden songwriting devices, not least, as DJ says, starting out sounding like Rime Pt.2, plus the whoah-ohs (for audience involvement) and the long runaway instrumental.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
The only classic Maiden thing that the R&TB doesn't have is linear/specific storytelling in the lyrics (like Rime , ATG, Hallowed etc...), but yeah, musically it sounds like 'Steve's greatest hits' rolled into one song.
...which was already the intent of "When the Wild Wind Blows" I think. And this one did have some kind of storyline.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Steve's greatest hits? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Steve's great(est) songs had lots of changes. This song has the least diverse section in the history of Iron Maiden.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
It definitely sounds like multiple songs all rolled into one, I'll give it that. It's this lack of continuity that drags it down a bit. And the lyrics/riff running together verses that aren't so pleasing. It certainly has some killer instrumental parts. But it seems kinda forced and disconnected....and tooooo loooong.
Comparing this to rotam , hallowed is agregious. IMO, again. Dumping this and adding two songs for the second leg sounds like a plan.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
Does anyone else hear a slight Phantom of the Opera reprise -4:22 of POTO compared to 9:11 of R&TB? Even though it's really simple, that's actually my favorite part of the tune as it resolves the instrumental build up nicely - I always pictured the South American crowds going bonkers during that part (which would never happen in the US because everyone would be too busy eating their onion rings and texting while waiting for the Trooper or NOTB :rolleyes:).
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
17 - Wasted Years

Tonight we say goodbye to one of Maiden's best efforts, the phenomenal Somewhere In Time. I don't quite have the same level of fever for this album as the rest of this board, but I do still think it's a top 5 album, due in large part to its rock solid consistency. There's no dislikeable song among this bunch, though I would argue that apart from this song (and I guess Heaven Can Wait, though that's only in a live setting) the album doesn't have any obvious hits - I've seen pretty much every song on this album lauded as the best/second best, which I guess is a positive for the album though I'd argue it's also partly the reason the album doesn't see much live rotation.

The other album specific thing to note is the sound. Somewhere In Time is the most distinctive sounding album in Maiden's discography in my mind; it's instantly obvious which songs are from here. The sound does leave it rooted in the eighties, and so to some extent I'd say it doesn't age as well as Maidens other classic albums, but this is a minor quibble. Perhaps the more major quibble is that I find it makes the songs a bit less distinctive; there are several sections from songs you could play and whilst I'd instantly be able to tell you it's Somewhere In Time I'd be stuck at telling you precisely which song. Wasted Years is an exception, and I'd argue to its credit.

The opening guitars to this song are absolutely electric (no pun intended). It's a wonderfully recognisable, perennially enjoyable section from Adrian, and ranks up there as one of Maiden's best sections ever.

The verses don't disappoint after this. They have a much more "hard rock" beat, with wonderful pacing and instrumentation. Bruce does a splendid delivery. The lyrics are a special part of this song. Maiden will always be known more for their storytelling, their fantasy and their sense of history, but I think that makes songs like these stand out even more. They feel much more personal when they're so rare.

The chorus is a solid piece of work, though almost disappointing on the studio album after hearing it live, where I think it works much better. A large part is the volume - this song needs to be played loud.

The beginning guitar section works even better as a presolo section, with the bass, drums and other guitar giving fantastic build up before we launch into one of Maiden's finest solos ever.

From the getgo, it's simply superb, easily Adrian's best. It's blisteringly fast, yet full of feeling, and segues wonderfully into the final choruses. This is perhaps Maiden's defining air guitar moment. It's absolutely stunning.

We see ourselves out with the songs defining guitar melody. As before, the rhythm sections do a lot of work underneath, and it's fantastic how much difference in mood they can make underneath the same section. It works just as well here as it did in the other parts of the song thanks to the brilliant rhythm work underneath.

Top 25:

25 - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
24 - The Edge Of Darkness
23 - Revelations
22 - Judas Be My Guide
21 - Lord Of Light
20 - Judgement Of Heaven
19 - The Red And The Black
18 - Blood Brothers
17 - Wasted Years

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13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Killers
The Number of the Beast
Run To The Hills
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Flight of Icarus
Aces High
Powerslave

Infinite Dreams
Fear Of The Dark
Dance of Death
Paschendale
Face In The Sand

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier
The Talisman

Shadows of the Valley
Empire of the Clouds
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
17 - Wasted Years

The sound does leave it rooted in the eighties, and so to some extent I'd say it doesn't age as well as Maidens other classic albums, but this is a minor quibble.

Love your write up (as always)...but on this particular point...GAH!

It's a shame that reverb (and chorus) gets such a bad rap in metal/rock. I think it creates an ethereal quality that adds so much to the music. Devin Townsend is a master at it (his entire catalogue), Type O Negative made a masterpiece relying on it (October Rust), Metallica used it well on Master of Puppets, even Fear Factory, Meshuggah & Gojira have used it to great effect to add depth to their sound (and who could forget Rush?) In Maiden's case, it added to the sci-fi vibe which made this album even more immersive to me. I can't stand the latest trend in rock to make every record sound like it was made in a claustrophobic garage.

Sorry, rant over. Wasted Years rocks!
 
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