If eternity should fail co-written by Roy Z?

Sth2112

Educated Fool
If eternity should fail is a great song on the Book of souls album. It is also a different kind of opening song, that was originally meant to be on a Bruce Dickinson solo album that were not released.

And it's easy to hear that this song could have been on any BD album featuring Roy Z. The opening guitar melody after the intro, the guitar fills and the chorus are all very Roy Z-ish in my ears.

Did Roy Z and Bruce write this song together, and Bruce bought out Roy Z's involvement (as Maiden have a policy to not include outside writers), or is this just all nonsense, and Bruce wrote it himself?

I know Bruce is fully capable of writing superb songs by himself, but I think it sounds very Bruce/Roy Z
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
http://www.krone.at/Musik/Iron_Maiden_Wir_sind_ziemlich_egoistisch-Krone-Interview-Story-470153
"Krone": Ein bestimmtes Konzept wollt ihr mit "The Book Of Souls" aber nicht erzählen?
Dickinson: Nein, es ist auf keinen Fall ein Konzeptalbum. Nimm nur mal den ersten Song, "If Eternity Should Fail", heran. Der war komplett für ein Soloalbum von mir geschrieben. Ich hatte fünf Demos, die Steve interessierten und zwei Songs davon könnte man sofort für Maiden verwenden und einer davon war eben dieser. Der andere Song war aus den Sessions meines Soloalbums "Accident Of Birth", das 1997 erschien. Er heißt "Nightmares" und wurde nie für das Album aufgenommen. Der Track wurde aber von mir und Roy Z geschrieben, also konnten wir ihn nicht für "The Book Of Souls" verwenden. "If Eternity Should Fail" war aber ganz meine Nummer und es geht darum um eine fremde Maschine, die die Seele der Menschen stiehlt. Der böse Mann in der Geschichte war Dr. Necropolis und der gute Professor Lazarus. Davon handeln die Spoken Words am Ende. Steve wollte den Song jedenfalls für Maiden, ich stimmte zu und er meinte nur, er müsse länger werden. Ist der Song nicht schon lange genug? (lacht) Nun gut, also schrieb ich einen Extra- Vers und außerdem ist es meines Wissens nach der einzige Maiden- Song, den wir in Drop- D aufgenommen haben. Die gesprochenen Wörter am Ende drehen sich um Seelen und das gefiel Steve natürlich. Es hat aber nichts mit dem Rest des Albums zu tun, das gesamte Konzept war ja ein anderes. Ich kannte mich anfangs auch nicht genau aus, aber Steve wollte das unbedingt so.


more details see the thread about this song, and more specifically:
http://forum.maidenfans.com/threads/if-eternity-should-fail.32231/page-9#post-543332
+
http://forum.maidenfans.com/threads/if-eternity-should-fail.32231/page-11#post-543823
 
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Ranko

I'll shoot the gunner first!
Yeah, long story short - Bruce had 5 songs ready for his solo album, some of which were co-written with Roy, but Eternity was purely his. Steve apparently wanted another one, but that one was co-written by Roy, so no go (he didn't want to credit non-Maiden members).
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
I don't hear Roy in it. I think it would have been heavier and more riff-based with his involvement. If Eternity Should Fail sounds very much like Maiden IMO. The chord progression is reminiscent of Can I Play With Madness and Ghost of the Navigator.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Yeah, the song doesn't sound like something Roy Z would write at all. The riffs and harmonies are quintessential Maiden.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
Same here. IMO what gives it away is the simplicity of the melodies played by the guitars. Imagine them being played on a piano a la Empire Of the Clouds. It's a very similar style of melody: No large jumps in intervals, lots of stuff that could easily be played with one finger, very little in the way of harmonic riffing/melodies, that sort of thing.

And I don't mean this as a bad thing at all, Bruce usually spends more time focusing on atmosphere and mood. So it totally works.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Same here. IMO what gives it away is the simplicity of the melodies played by the guitars. Imagine them being played on a piano a la Empire Of the Clouds. It's a very similar style of melody: No large jumps in intervals, lots of stuff that could easily be played with one finger, very little in the way of harmonic riffing/melodies, that sort of thing.

And I don't mean this as a bad thing at all, Bruce usually spends more time focusing on atmosphere and mood. So it totally works.


Completely .. Maiden is at their best when getting stuff from all band members ... it adds some variety to the songs but they still put a Maiden sound on top of it
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
I wondered myself if that song was written by Bruce alone. What puzzled me is that the vocal melody (during the verses, the chorus is superb) is really poor, and the instrumental passage in the middle quite interesting. I'd rather expect the exact opposite from him. But Mosh's remarks are convincing and the quote by Foro is a proof.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
I think this song does not sound like the work of a consumate guitar player (like Roy Z) but of someone who can play and compose at his own pace and rather simply: though the piecing together of parts can give the illusion of complexity, there is nothing in IESF or EOTC that a guitarist used to pentatonic scales should not be able to reproduce by ear almost instantly (apart of course for the solos, which demand a bit more work). Still, this does not make these songs any less pleasant. ;)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I like the verses a lot. There's some kind of unique atmosphere and tension. And Bruce spits out the words very intensively, and he sounds like an excited storyteller, who witnessed something mysterious. I love the different approaches from the guitarists. I could not imagine another vocal melody. It sounds perfect.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
Yeah, the whole "reef in a sail at the edge of the world" parts are damn cool vocally and the melody the guitars play underneath it
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
There's not a lot of vocal melody to the verses, but the lyrics are wonderfully visual. It's almost a narration, really, voiced emphatically by Bruce, which makes sense if this was originally meant to be the opener for a concept album, and was introducing the storyline.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
In my opinion, there are three telltale signs that the song as a whole was written by a singer. First, the awesome melody in the chorus. You can only write this if you want to sing it. The second is the lead up to the instrumental section around the five minute mark - the drum section that gets joined by the bass. To me, it sounds like this is a divisor of the song into two sections, in a certain way similar to the instrumental bridges in The Prisoner and Road to Hell. Bruce is done, he steps back and lets the instruments do the talking now. I just doubt that a guitarist, who would be playing throughout the whole song, would put such a clear marker here. The third is the instrumental section itself. It's been noted time and again that there is no proper guitar solo here. But it's also not missing from the song, because the structure does not allow it. If a guitarist had written this, I would think that he would have saved some space for soloing. It seems to me that this song was written by someone who does not usually play the instruments, and therefore has a certain lack of respect for the conventions the other guys in the band have established for themselves. Roy Z would certainly have approached this more with the mind of a guitarist.
 

TheTalisman

Ancient Mariner
Roy Z is his producer since Accident of Birth and maybe he had some input on the way the song was arranged. The way he played it on the demo could have influenced how Maiden did it as well, but none of this is the same as writing any parts of the song.
 

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
In my opinion, there are three telltale signs that the song as a whole was written by a singer. First, the awesome melody in the chorus. You can only write this if you want to sing it. The second is the lead up to the instrumental section around the five minute mark - the drum section that gets joined by the bass. To me, it sounds like this is a divisor of the song into two sections, in a certain way similar to the instrumental bridges in The Prisoner and Road to Hell. Bruce is done, he steps back and lets the instruments do the talking now. I just doubt that a guitarist, who would be playing throughout the whole song, would put such a clear marker here. The third is the instrumental section itself. It's been noted time and again that there is no proper guitar solo here. But it's also not missing from the song, because the structure does not allow it. If a guitarist had written this, I would think that he would have saved some space for soloing. It seems to me that this song was written by someone who does not usually play the instruments, and therefore has a certain lack of respect for the conventions the other guys in the band have established for themselves. Roy Z would certainly have approached this more with the mind of a guitarist.
Good point, but mind you: Roy is a singer too (for Tribe of Gypsies).
 

Zare

Uniformly distributed hostility
People, Bruce has sole credit for Revelations and Powerslave. He, for sure, didn't write those solo sections.
Also, the 'weird' chord progression into solo section is just a full step up. Solo section is E, the rest of the song D. Another pointer that it was written by the rest of the band, probably Steve.

Seems that they're not playing this in drop D live. Janick is clearly visible on one of YT recording and his guitar is in standard E. I think that I've noticed also Dave in standard E on prior views. Also, Adrian doesn't seem to fret on same position on both sixth and fifth string. It may be that his guitar is in standard D.
 

bearfan

Ancient Mariner
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:p
 
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