Flight of Icarus

How good is Flight of Icarus on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    61
I've always liked this one and think it's underrated. I also like it better here than on live after death, the slower tempo is more fitting to my ears. I wish the snare drum thing Nico does instead of using cymbals during the verses (if you know what I mean) could have been higher in the mix though, it adds a lot I think.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Really awesome short song. I don't care if it's mainstream or not, it rocks. Everything here is perfect. First 10/10 of the album.
 

Palpy

Blacker than the night
I realized that the interpretation of the song in the Commentary (shared by most of those who wrote in this 3d, apparently) leave much to be desired. Although some elements have just a strong symbolic value, the transposition of the myth is quite faithful to the original.

As the sun breaks above the ground an old man stands on the hill
As the ground warms to the first rays of light a bird song shatters the still
His eyes are ablaze, see the madman in his gaze


The man on the cliff of Crete ("the hill") is Minos, king of the island, who had imprisoned Daedalus and his son in his palace. Different sources provide different reasons: Daedalus helped Minos's wife to copulate with a bull (the minotaur's father) and he was the designer of the legendary labyrinth (and consequently a threat, since he could have communicated its details to one of the Athenians condemned within it) but, according to Apollodorus, he even told Ariadne how to help Theseus to get out of it.

Now the crowd breaks and a young boy appears, looks the old man in the eye
As he spreads his wings and shouts at the crowd "In the name of God my father I'll fly!"
His eyes seem so glazed as he flies on the wings of a dream
Now he knows his father betrayed, now his wings turn to ashes to ashes his grave


It is not important which of the three is the betrayal that triggers the anger of Minos, the fact is that Icaro has to go away. In doing so, he leaves both Daedalus and the king of Crete ("the crowd", that is, the inhabitants of Crete) behind him: he escapes from the Cretans but he also stops following his father, overcoming him during the flight.
 

Jer

Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
A midtempo groove kicks off a strong verse. The guitars and vocals ascend to great effect during the pre-chorus, and then...WTF? The chorus is kind of "meh", and it's drowning in terrible-sounding vocal harmonies. Boo.

Bruce offers some nice vocal accents as the song marches back toward the verse. Nice guitar atmospherics here, and some great high notes from Bruce. Another strong pre-chorus, and then we're back to the icky chorus.

A strong first solo leads into an excellent second one, then Bruce lets out a great "yeah", only to fall back into that crummy chorus again. A nice long vocal note carries us into a sweet harmonized bit and another excellent solo before a final vocal and an absurdly high note before a quick break ends the song.

There's some brilliant material here, and this song really comes alive in a live setting -- but the studio version's chorus sounds terrible and brings the whole thing crashing down. 7/10.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
A great take on the classic tale of Icarus, reinventing the story with a touch of modernity. Everything sounds great here, particularly the vocals, as Bruce gives a fantastic performance here. Steve may not have liked it much, but others beg to differ - perhaps that's why it's finally been brought out of retirement again. 9
 

Stardust

Mr. Blue Sky
This is where the Smith/Dickinson teamup began. And well, I can clearly tell how this was sorta built for radio play. It's got all the ingredients; a steady mid-tempo groove and a chorus you can sing along to. Oh, and it's just under four minutes allowing it to not scare off the classic rock radio channel guys.

Does that it a bad song? Nope, this song is pretty great, all things considered. The chorus is unintentionally very hilarious with the overblown vocal harmonies and how ridiculously simple it is. Hey, but at least it's not Love Me Do.

The lyrics tell a reimagined version of the famous Greek tale and they're not great but they're moderately serviceable. It doesn't matter, though, as Bruce still gives a magnificent vocal performance here. Truly soaring stuff, which I suppose fits the song really well. It also has what at one point was my favourite Iron Maiden solo in Smith's solo. Well, it's not my favourite anymore, although it's still sublime. Dave's solo works wonders for me as well.

It's a textbook 8/10, that's what I'm trying to get at.
 

Luisma

Years Wasted
Well... Since I have my book to sell (http://subscribepage.com/luisma666) for supporting my old folks in Venezuela, this kind of post will be one of the lasts...

"I thought 'Well I'll twist around the story a little bit. Turn up in its head, change a few things around and keep the concept of this kid flying around with these wings and burning and falling.' Which is an incredible visual idea. It's fabulous. And then use it to symbolise something. And what it symbolises is this ambition of his father driving his kid to do something crazy which his kid did to please his father and that's what happens to the kid. Burn out." (Bruce Dickinson for Charlie Kendall – The Metal Shop Radio Show – March 1985)

'Flight Of Icarus' has been covered by bands such as Akash, Angra, Armory, Blood Rainbow, Dream Weaver, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Fates Warning, Fiend, The Gates Of Slumber, Ikarus, Jeriko, Lethal Fear, Magnitude 9, Misfit, Screaming Shadows, Tierra Santa, Trilogy 666, Winter Moon & Wotanskrieger.

If you like this info, know that my book has TONS of more and by buying it you help me raise money for my Old folks who live in a country with hyperinflation!
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
That's how you start a song. Awesome verses and the song has one of the best choruses ever! Great performances from Bruce and Nicko. Great lyrics. Both solos are fantastic. The long note from Bruce before the second solo from Dave (which is again great) fits right. Perfect ending with that brutal scream. One of the best songs from Maiden. Eternal classic! This should be a regular song in the setlists. 10/10
 

Eliot1988

Educated Fool
This song is the Maiden's first reference to the ancient
Greek culture. Lyrically, it is influenced by the myth of Daedalus
and Icarus, although the meaning of the verses deviates significantly from him.
According to legend, Daedalus, a famous craftsman, was a prisoner
of Minos, king of Crete. Wanting to escape he made two couples
feathers, glued them with wax and together
his son, Icarus, was thrown out
secretly to Athens. In
off the sea near
Ikaria, Icarus was excited by
the spectacle he saw and,
ignoring the father's advice
he ascended very close to the Sun,
causing the candle to melt, to
fall into the sea and drown. So
the sea was named Ikarios and the
Ikaria island.
On the contrary, in the lyrics
Daedalus is shown living in
earth, urging Icarus to
fly to the Sun, until it
touch. Icarus realizes
the betrayal of his father when the Sun melts its wings.
The main difference between the two approaches is that while in
myth Icarus is a symbol of adolescent revolution and his
unruly spirit, in Dickinson's approach is a victim of his innocence
and the delusion of his father. Dickinson had stated62 that through
verses wanted to undermine the control they allow many to be exercised by
their parents. He had also stated that the flight of Icarus, for him,
symbolizes the will of man to expand his cognitions
horizons.
 
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