Iron Maiden on Powerslave (Tim Burgess TwitterListeningParty 12-2-2021)

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Maiden Powerslave listening party twitter feed:

Aces High:
JG: It’s always been thrilling to come onstage playing Aces High, just an explosion of power at the beginning of any Maiden set. Short and to the point, with all the power of Maiden live in a short, concise song with a great theme.
SH: Hearing it without the Churchill’s Speech intro now is a bit odd, it should almost be there. People have heard it so many times live now that that’s the deal!

2 Minutes to Midnight:
BD: We wrote this on Jersey, where we were holed up in January and February, freezing cold, Atlantic gales lashing the whole place. We were in a hotel, 'locked down' ourselves pretty much, except the bar was open and it was free which was worrying...
BD: I read this book, Dispatches by Michael Herr. It is a short book but it is absolutely incredible. And there’s a line in here which is straight in the song: “Blood is freedom's stain.” It was a US General who said that.
BD: The song is about the glory of war and the despair and futility of war. It displays the best of humankind and also the worst of humankind in sharp focus.
AS: I started work on this in Jersey. I pretty much had the music written already & Bruce finished off the lyrics in Nassau. I remember AC/DC arriving at the studio just as we were leaving. Bruce collared Brian Johnson and we played him a rough mix
JG: Another fantastic track to play live, great groove, an exciting opening with the guitars getting stronger as the riff opens up, till the band are all in and the song just takes off. Great half time section at the bridge before the chorus takes off.

Losfer Words (Big 'Orra):
SH: Well, that was just a bit of a joke... That we couldn’t come up with any words for it because we were Losfer Words…

Flash of the Blade:
AS: A bit overlooked this one. I went a bit mad on the guitar overdubs!

The Duellists:
The Duellists was inspired by Ridley Scott's 1977 film of the same name.
BD: The guy who choregraphed the fights in the film The Duellists was Bill Hobbs. He founded a fencing club called the Swash and Buckle where I fenced. A lovely guy who wrote a definitive book on stage fighting. He made The Duellists savage and brutal.

Back in the Village:
BD: A throwback to the track The Prisoner. A kind of psychedelic fall through time, in a world in which somebody is suddenly transported back in time from the present day, and he’s The Prisoner again, back in the village...

Powerslave:
BD: There was an ironic message to Powerslave. When you had amplifiers powering a big PA system, you had ones just generating power and nothing else and they were called slave amplifiers because they were just slaves to the big amplifier… Powerslaves!
BD: The irony was not lost on me because we’d been going through this crazy touring schedule and I thought that maybe we were that too as musicians… Maybe we were slaves to the power of death!
BD: I didn’t want to be obvious and Egypt seemed to be an interesting place to go because despite all the power you have as a Pharaoh you are still going to die. It’s almost like the regime was so pissed off at that thought that everybody had to die too
SH: I think Bruce had two or three bits which ended up being the Powerslave song and I just said “Why don’t you put it all into one and make one great song out of it?” I don’t know if he remembers it like that but it’s how I remember it!
AS: When I recorded my guitar solo for this track, Robert Palmer was in the studio. Robert lived next door and he and Martin had been up drinking together all night.
JG: A beast of a song. Very powerful live, especially with the three guitars making it even heavier. The harmony guitar interplay works really well and the live rendition always creates an amazing atmosphere at gigs wherever we play it.
SH: Powerslave was such a powerful title and powerful subject that it just felt right to use as the album title. It conjures all kinds of imagery. You’re also thinking what you’re going to do in the stage set and all that stuff too.
BD: One of my favourite album covers, possibly of all time, but certainly of Maiden. I just think it’s a classic, and it has inspired so many of our stage performances as well. It’s just like ancient Egypt itself: it’s eternal and eternally interesting!
SH: The artwork has definitely stood the test of time without a doubt. But it's such massive subject matter - Derek had to do it well, because if he didn’t it ends up being cheesy. It could be a fine line perhaps, but I think the artwork's fantastic.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
SH: Mariner was written in the Bahamas. I had just an inkling of an idea but it wasn’t worked up in any way. I hadn’t got it done by the time we left Jersey so it felt like I was cramming for exams because I’d have had Master Birch on me!
BD: Steve was locked in his room for ages and ages and then turned up one day and said “I’ve got this song called Rime of The Ancient Mariner.” My jaw hit the floor and bounced off again and I went, “Huh? Samuel Taylor Coleridge? The epic poem?!
SH: It was a poem I’d done at school, mountains of verses going on, and we had to do a synopsis and try to cut it down and that’s what I had to do with the song. So many people said it helped them get through their exams on that poem which is nice!
DM: I love playing this one live. It has all the elements and identity of this band in there.
JG: A fantastic song to play live. It has a very progressive feel and you have to keep your wits about you to play it. It’s complicated but very fulfilling to play and powerful live, with plenty of theatrical movements and elements. Simply thrilling
SH: (on playing it in 2008/2009) It’s always dodgy if you’re going to go back and revisit something and try and make it as good as people remember. That first time people see stuff is always going to be special. So it was difficult, but I think it turned out very well.
SH: (on playing it in 2008/2009) The thinking behind it was that so many people had missed it the first time round - new younger fans that never had the chance to see the tour originally - it was for them. And it definitely delivered. We did it the best we could.

General album / studio / tour info of possible interest:
AS: We pretty much did one backing track a day as a band, then went in individually to record overdubs.
SH: (on Martin Birch) He had a way of getting what he needed or getting what he wanted from you in a performance without you realising that he’d done it. There’s quite a knack to that, I think.
DM: (on Martin Birch) A brilliant man who added his magic to the recordings, and always knew when we had captured the spirit of a song.
AS: (on Martin Birch) Martin had a great work ethic, and would be in the studio non-stop for weeks. Then he'd go out for an evening to "let off steam" and he'd go missing for a few days...
SH: (on Martin Birch) He was such a character on days off. There weren’t many of them as he’d be working all hours concentrating and that takes it out of you. I was in there a lot of that time as well but I could nip off...
SH: (on Martin Birch) So when he did get a day off, if we were out by the pool or whatever, he’d just walk past and push everyone in, things like that. So that’s where the “Pool Bully” nickname in the credits came from.
SH: (on Rock in Rio) As far as we knew we were just on a festival bill. We didn’t really think much more of it. We weren’t headlining it. It was with Queen, which was fantastic anyway. I love their early albums, so to be on the same bill as them was an honour.
AS: (on Rock in Rio) We had a dressing room next to them. I heard them doing Bohemian Rhapsody acapella before they went on
DM: (on Rock in Rio) Nicko and I climbed up the ladder to the top of the lighting truss. You still couldn’t see the back row of the audience... astounding
SH: On an album you can have loads of different diverse subjects going on. But if you’ve got an overall vibe and a feel of something... that’s what we always try and work for. That’s why a lot of people think our albums could be concept albums.

Powerslave was kept off the UK No. 1 spot by NOW That’s What I Call Music! vol 3, also released by Maiden’s label EMI.
SH: I remember Rod, our manager, being pretty pissed off. But it didn’t bother me like it bothered him! He probably had a few sleepless nights over it. I don’t think I did!

Ever wondered what happens to our stage props after the tour? You can go and see one of the sarcophagi @ Nicko's restaurant in Florida... The other one you can't go and see. Because it's in Steve's kitchen :)
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
With pleasure!

I'm disappointed with the (lack of) non live song comments, though. They are not interested in delving a bit deeper there. I'm sure there is something (more) worth saying about these songs apart from these fragments. Instead they used these spots for the tour, and some mega known things such as where the album was written and where it was recorded. :yawn:

I really liked Jan's contributions, capturing the essence of what he likes about playing the songs. Bruce and 'Arry said some nice stuff on Powerslave and Rime. Altogether pretty nice.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I hoped another kind of thing to be honest. Something like Bruce talking between songs or something like that as a radio guest or something.
 

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
I hoped another kind of thing to be honest. Something like Bruce talking between songs or something like that as a radio guest or something.
Maybe if enough people tweet Maiden they will do something like that....maybe. Surely the Rock Star in them is craving attention by now.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
With pleasure!

I'm disappointed with the (lack of) non live song comments, though. They are not interested in delving a bit deeper there. I'm sure there is something (more) worth saying about these songs apart from these fragments. Instead they used these spots for the tour, and some mega known things such as where the album was written and where it was recorded. :yawn:

I really liked Jan's contributions, capturing the essence of what he likes about playing the songs. Bruce and 'Arry said some nice stuff on Powerslave and Rime. Altogether pretty nice.
Do you think they actually listened to the album for this? I wonder if they really remember any of those songs.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I guess their focus was mostly dominated by what they have done with these songs (also later on), rather than paying proportional attention to every (minute of a) song.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Id say Adrian remembers lots. Mostly along the lines of "I wanted this but Steve told me to fuck off. Sigh."

:lol:

You could also argue he misremembers things. I think he might have got things wrong in his comment about Bruce collaring Brian Johnson in Nassau to play him a rough mix of 2 Minutes to Midnight, unless AC/DC did go to Compass Point in 1984 and the sessions did not result in any album.

Funnily enough, AC/DC recorded Flick of the Switch in Nassau in 1983 straight after Iron Maiden had finished recording Piece of Mind. Did they play Brian Johnson a rough mix of Flight of Icarus instead?
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Could we have the thread renamed to give Tim Burgess credit, given that he is the guy responsible for this Twitter listening parties? It is not as this has been some Maiden-initiated activity.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
:lol:

You could also argue he misremembers things. I think he might have got things wrong in his comment about Bruce collaring Brian Johnson in Nassau to play him a rough mix of 2 Minutes to Midnight, unless AC/DC did go to Compass Point in 1984 and the sessions did not result in any album.

Funnily enough, AC/DC recorded Flick of the Switch in Nassau in 1983 straight after Iron Maiden had finished recording Piece of Mind. Did they play Brian Johnson a rough mix of Flight of Icarus instead?
I also seem to remember hearing the Robert Palmer anecdote before but about Wasted Years.
 
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