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 .

soundwave

Educated Fool
Unfortunately, I've only ever seen FOTD in the States with apathetic crowds so that song has always been dull for me live (it has never been anything like those shows in South America where the crowd is chanting the guitar melodies in unison). In fact, with the exception of The Wickerman, anything post-SSOASS makes US crowds where I'm at (pardon the horrible pun) 'run to the hills'. God...I still remember when a huge chunk of the ampitheater headed for the merch/food area during the Clansman...it was frickin' terrible. There was only me and one other dude in my area that even bothered to stand during that one...
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
This a good spot for the great hallowed. Certainly a top 5 contender in my book. And I don't listen to live versions any more.( bOH version is pretty damn good though). I will say At the show however, it always jump starts the crowd and is always a highlight. Even though you are right on that the album version is best.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Unfortunately, I've only ever seen FOTD in the States with apathetic crowds so that song has always been dull for me live (it has never been anything like those shows in South America where the crowd is chanting the guitar melodies in unison). In fact, with the exception of The Wickerman, anything post-SSOASS makes US crowds where I'm at (pardon the horrible pun) 'run to the hills'. God...I still remember when a huge chunk of the ampitheater headed for the merch/food area during the Clansman...it was frickin' terrible. There was only me and one other dude in my area that even bothered to stand during that one...
I'm not sure where you saw your Maiden shows at but for me the experience has been awesome. Vegas and Seattle crowds are great, though they're nothing like South America. Most people know all of the songs, The Red and the Black being an exception last year in Vegas.
 
In the Spanish show I attended everybody around me sang along to ALL the songs, both old and new. To my left there were three girls in their twenties who sang along to every chorus, every chant, every guitar riff. It was quite an experience.
 

ghkghk

Trooper
In the Spanish show I attended everybody around me sang along to ALL the songs, both old and new. To my left there were three girls in their twenties who sang along to every chorus, every chant, every guitar riff. It was quite an experience.


Where are you from? I´m from Valencia and attended the gig in Seville, Madrid is closer but I've been the hundreds of times but it was just my third in Sevilla so I decided to ride the AVE 90 minutes longer.
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
I really am gonna have to go home and relisten to this song in all its forms. Or maybe you folk are flat out wrong. Ive always held that the album version is by far the worst. Intro is too fast and the rest is too slow so for me it lacks the magic and intensity of a live version.

I was going to walk the lawn and mow the dog this evening but now I suppose I'll be listening to Hallowed for 2hrs
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
I'm still really digging this list, kudos for all the time and effort you've put in here as I've really enjoyed reading along!

For me Hallowed is my favorite Maiden song of them all, but I do agree that it works better in the studio than live. They do tend to play it too fast live and Nicko just can't quite seem to replicate Clive's awesome groove playing. This despite the odd off timing of the intro on the studio version.

Regarding crowds - being in a raucous one can be fun. But to be honest, as long as the band is good I don't really care.
 

bornless1

Messiah Supreme. True Leader of Men.
The final four is Apon us!! And I'll have to say, I love the choices. Especially errr , 1 of them! I won't spoil of course , but DJ you get a high five for including this gem.
In advance, this thread has been a treat and is far more interesting than the current tour thread!! A fine job. Just please let the underdog prevail! :cheers:
 

DJMayes

Ancient Mariner
4 - Fear of the Dark

Run To The Hills was my introduction to the band, but it was Fear of the Dark that got me hooked. Surprisingly not a live version either, but the studio version I happened across way back when looking them up the first time, so my love for it isn't based on what a masterpiece it is live (though it was undoubtedly their best in my experience). I'd rather say they both stem from a single factor - memorability. Whatever flaws this song has - safe structure, Harris by numbers, I'm sure you have more - I find them wholly outweighed by just how memorable this song is. The memorability comes largely from the huge number of easily recognisable riffs, the fantastic solos and the nuanced (as usual) yet wholly relatable lyrics. It all comes tog.ether to make a song that may be safe, but that doesn't matter when it's as good as this.

If you need any more proof, just turn the song on! Within about a second, every Maiden fan, casual or hardcore, knows what's just started, and the vast majority are chanting or screaming along to the guitar line. Whilst I'm here, I should mention that I really love the tones of the guitars throughout. I think it's reminiscent to the tone found on Judas Be My Guide, and contributes a fair amount to the enjoyment of my song.

Of course, that riff is only the beginning, and the true magic happens when the song has quieted, the bass is slowly plugging away, and the guitar riff starts that the true magic happens. I dunno about in studio, but live with a crowd chanting in unison? This is perhaps the best intro to a Maiden song ever. The vocals are great too - not in the sense that they're the most technically impressive Bruce does, but that it fits so well with the song. As mentioned in other songs, the atmosphere fits nicely here too - especially live, where Janick adds some nice haunting sounds with his guitar. It picks up in intensity as this verse progresses and Bruce begins crowing the title, leading to an incredibly satisfying drop to start the main verse. This drop is just another example of the hugely memorable guitarwork on this song - you know, the "do do do do" bit. It's a very satisfying and catchy riff.

The main verse cranks up the comparisons to Judas Be My Guide with liberal uses of chords, to pretty good effect, with some chilling vocal work overhead. The chorus is a similar affair. This song also has an interesting transition between the chords and the traditional Maiden gallop in the second chorus, which goes a long way towards keeping it interesting throughout.

Fast forward a little, and we get the pre-solo melody - another stupendous piece of guitarwork that is an absolute treat live, segueing into the magnificent solo section at 4:08. These solos have an absolute wonderful sound to them that supercedes the technicality or specifics of the playing - they just sound really, really good. A little too short, perhaps - but oh well, it's to make way for another great guitar section (this time with Bruce in tow) before we get back to another verse.

The rest of the song follows as it started - memorable guitars, chilling vocals and the Maiden sound polished to a razors edge.

Of course, Fear of the Dark is much better as a song than as an album, but for me that's more of a compliment to the song than a criticism of the album, one I have a real soft spot for. Initially my enjoyment for the album was largely limited to this, From Here To Eternity and Afraid To Shoot Strangers but (especially since I finally got the album in proper CD format last year) has expanded to encompass largely the whole thing. It's much more experimental as an album than Maiden usually are, and the 12 songs don't tend to be your prototypical Maiden fare. But I think there's a lot of charm in that; I love the hard rock vibe permeating a lot of the album, the ballad is a stunner and I'm The Apparition's #2 fan (Behind @Forostar , of course ;) ). Between all that's going on, the more traditional Maiden moments stand out, and I think I appreciate them more because of it. A top 5 album for me. Easily.

- - - - -

Well, we now have our top three - our medallists, if you will:

Run To The Hills
Dance of Death
Empire of the Clouds


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
16 - Face In The Sand
15 - The Number Of The Beast
14 - The Talisman
13 - Shadows Of The Valley
12 - Killers
11 - Aces High
10 - Paschendale
9 - Flight Of Icarus
8 - Satellite 15...The Final Frontier
7 - Infinite Dreams
6 - Powerslave
5 - Hallowed Be Thy Name
4 - Fear Of The Dark

3
2
1

Songs Remaining:

Run To The Hills
Dance of Death
Empire of the Clouds
 

ghkghk

Trooper
I don't really know if the band was really aware of what would happen live when they first recorded this song. Such a great experience.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I'm not sure where you saw your Maiden shows at but for me the experience has been awesome. Vegas and Seattle crowds are great, though they're nothing like South America. Most people know all of the songs, The Red and the Black being an exception last year in Vegas.

Sacramento for my last three shows (Give me Ed, Early Days, and Maiden England). Band was great. Crowd was ass.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I usually classify most of Maiden's catalog into three categories; rockers, anthems, and epics. FOTD is a rare song that combines all three.

I would't personally rank this high, but I totally understand how people can connect to it in a live setting. In retrospect, it turned about to be a great song.

The album? Well...this is the era where I discovered so many other good bands, and I took a bit of a Maiden break for a few years until TXF came out. Maiden kinda felt like a dinosaur to me at this point, and I was still bitter about the abandonment of the comic book vibe.
 
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