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Iron Maiden lyrics tournament final: Empire of the Clouds rises above all

Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by mckindog, Aug 31, 2016.


Pick the song with the best lyrics from each pair

Poll closed Mar 26, 2017.
  1. Starblind

  2. *****

    0 vote(s)
  3. Empire of the Clouds

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    It's the wedding ring. It's constricting the blood flow to my brain, making me forget my love of Steve Harris' brilliant rhyme schemes!
    Brigantium and soundwave like this.
  2. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    When Steve has a co-credit you can bet that Bruce needs to adapt his lyrics to his vocal melodies. Bruce had nothing to do with the Paschendale lyrics.
  3. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    I never said he did. But Adrian is the first credited songwriter and has written lyrics for the band on his own songs, so it's not unbelievable to think he had a hand in Paschendale's lyrics.
  4. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    I do think Adrian came up with the inspiration, at least.
  5. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I remember reading something years ago where Steve Harris mentioned that Adrian Smith was religiously researching the Battle of Passchendaele in preperation of the lyrics.
  6. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Yes. Steve was happy that Adrian did the research for his lyric.
  7. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    The lyrics of 1 March are superior to anything in this Maiden top four.
    Ariana likes this.
  8. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    And at long last we get to the final: a pair of Bruce songs from their two most recent albums.
    Hope we get some thoughtful takes on why you are voting Starblind or Empire of the Clouds.
  9. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    Oh now, that's a tricky choice. Starblind is a beautiful work, at least in terms of lyrics. Empire is great at capturing a period feel and is quite theatrical into the bargain, but I'm probably biased here as I much prefer the music to Starblind, and this game is about lyrics. Going to go for Starblind.
  10. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    Both are brilliant, but I gotta go with Empire for the storytelling.
  11. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again


    It feels more original to me. Empire of the Clouds has been done before, and lyric wise that was a much bigger effort. Although, Bruce really made some beautiful effort, I felt he should have given tribute to Curly's Airships. I bet he must have heard it. Van der Graaff Generator's Peter Hamill plays a role, and every airship history buff (if there's one, it's Bruce!) should have heard this.

    Starblind lyrics and performance have that mighty presence of some wizard, or some visionary (God!), bringing all these preachings. Powerful stuff.
    frus likes this.
  12. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    Starblind is one of the best lyrical works in rock history. It outclasses every other Maiden song in terms of lyrics, imo. Empire is great, like some other Maiden lyrics, but Starblind is something else.

    It reads like a fantastic poem if you take it out of its musical context, and works great if you put it back in. Great imagery and allusions, strong word choices, a good sense of rhythm with tight rhymes, interesting subject matter and a great message. It has everything.
    frus and CriedWhenBrucieLeft like this.
  13. Diesel 11

    Diesel 11 Gott Mit Uns

    I have (sadly) yet to listen to "Starblind", but I have read the lyrics, and I can see why so many people are voting for it, it's a beautifully written song. However, my vote goes to "Empire of the Clouds" because I honestly prefer it's feels a little bit more epic, and the historical aspect of the song intrigues me as well. (And no, this isn't out of bias. :p )
  14. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

  15. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I think if any game should end in a tie, this is it. Bruce is the band's best lyricist and it is fitting that two of his songs are the finalists, but they also show two different sides of him as a lyricist. That being said, I have to pick one and I think I'll pick the winner based on who best fits the following criteria:

    Both songs fit the first two categories easily. However, I think Empire's lyrics fit with the music much better. Bruce is using the music in Empire to help tell his story. The music changes with the beats of the plot and dynamic shifts occur in both music and lyrics simultaneously. Bruce doesn't just tell you about the plane crash, but he depicts it through the music. It's obvious that this song was written by the singer because there isn't a single note that doesn't serve the story. On the other hand, Starblind feels more like unrelated music to serve as background for Bruce's lyrics. They don't clash, but the lyrics don't depend on that particular instrumental music. With Empire, the music and lyrics are inseparable.
  16. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Starblind's lyrics are depending on the music which is no background either.
    Steve writes the vocal melodies. Bruce needs to follow that melody and even adapt his lyrics if something does not sit well in Arry's eyes.

    When we talk about The Fit, in this case Bruce is not the only who should be lauded. We're not just judging how he sings, we're not just judging a poem. Arry plays a big factor in building the lyrics into the song and the melodies have influence on how it is performed and how it all sounds together.

    If course, indirectly Adrian also has a role if Bruce sings lyrics over music written by H.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  17. The Flash

    The Flash Dennis Wilcock did 9/11

    I don't think this is the case when Bruce is the one writing the lyrics. At least not always.

    I think Starblind outclasses Empire in its poetry by a considerable margin. Meaning is arguable, Empire does a great job of dramatic storytelling, but in terms of pure poetry it's no match.
    frus likes this.
  18. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Perhaps I misremembered but I think Steve has said that if he has a credit, he writes the vocal melodies.
  19. jazz from hell

    jazz from hell Ancient Mariner

    Yep, he plays bass and whistles his melodies (seriously).
  20. MrKnickerbocker

    MrKnickerbocker clap hands

    I wholeheartedly agree with @Mosh, re:

    I think that both songs have brilliant lyrics, but the fact they are so intertwined with the musicality in Empire seals the deal for me. Also, looking back on the majority of great Iron Maiden songs I think they are a story band. They tell tales, be it folklore, devil silliness, historical retellings, film/book adaptations, etc. Maiden have always been about giving us great stories along with great music (and that is because of Steve's influence and vision, ultimately). Thus, I think it only fitting that Empire should win based on it's brilliant lyrics and musical storytelling rather than Starblind, which is admittedly genius but much less in line with the common storytelling strengths of Maiden material.

    Also, @Detective Beauregard - get in here!

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