Iron Maiden studio album 17 rumours and speculations

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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
TFF main alien artwork was not to my taste - too cartoony.

However, TFF concept pencil sketches inside the gatefold were sublime. Remember the Avatar one and the flying alien?

Wish they had gone for that sort of ethereal feel rather than the 'straight to video sci fi movie starring TV actors that scored 3 on IMDB' feel that they chose.

I like the TFF cover artwork, but the comic book approach used for the singles (El Dorado, The Final Frontier, Coming Home) was better.
 

Fabio Maiden

Educated Fool
My bet is: the next album, the 17th one, will be their last, and the cover artwork will be by Derek Riggs. Like it all started, so it ends...
 

shadowpants

DEEPER GREY CAME TO MOURN
I'd like to see Zbigniew M. Bielak (Ghost artwork) have a crack at a Maiden cover. I think he is one of the strongest visual designer/artists out there working in that genre. Sadly Riggs isn't the artist he used to be.
He did incredible work for Maiden back in the day, and helped forge their identity. But if you look at his website, ever since
computer graphics became a thing, and he began working digitally, his work has gone way downhill its sad to say. I think I read that working digitally partially had to do with some health issues of his. Powerslave was the peak of his powers I reckon. In terms of reunion albums, I think AMOLAD and BOS album art work well. BNW while quite good,
sadly lifted imagery from Fright Night poster, DOD could have been cool, if someone could have held Steve down while that decision was being made :D TFF, a little too gloopy and cartoony style for my taste, also its a random alien, and not Eddie at all. His identity is lost in there. The BW drawings were much better and the El Dorado cover was much cooler then actual cover.
Oh if only Gustave Dore was still alive. He would have made the ultimate Maiden artwork.
 
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CA Bryers

Educated Fool
I just want to politely challenge you on this because there is another way, even taking into account what you have written.

First observation is that 'secrecy until release date' was the template used to launch the British Lion debut and Smith Kotzen. Obviously the management likes it this way in the internet age since they want message control. For side projects it is fine. But why is it being applied to Maiden? Previously, Steve, Rod, or an FC magazine via Keith or Laz would update us by saying ''we plan on recording an album next year..." or "we're taking a long break this year because...". Is the secrecy really breached by saying you are making a new album to release one day in the future?

Instead there is nothing. Nothing at all. Radio silence. It has been nine months since Bruce's video update when he's leaning by the pinball machine and he alludes to writing things with Steve. NINE FRIGGIN' MONTHS!

Assuming everything you write is true, then what is the harm in updating us even if the album will be released some time into the future? Noone is asking for an immediate release since we all understand the impact of the pandemic on personal lives and on business plans. But we have a reasonable case to challenge the secrecy policy. Unless something has gone really wrong behind the scenes regarding Nicko's longevity as a touring drummer, or the healing process after Paddy's death, or other things we aren't privy to, that have complicated things.

However, if it's as simple as Rod deciding 'we'll update them with news after LOTB part III is over', then I call bullshit over this approach. Especially during the pandemic, when Maiden's communication with its fans has been tone deaf regarding what would actually be appreciated.
I don't agree with their approach, but right now it's kind of the only deduction to make. I agree with you that there's absolutely no problem with them being honest, just coming out and saying it that "hey, we have a new album, and we'll release it at a date to be determined sometime after Legacy III." Some people would be grumpy, sure, but I think we all realize Maiden is a business and dumping an album to the public you can't monetize with a tour is something they're not going to do. On the other hand, they could be keeping it a secret just to keep the speculation going, keep people talking about the band.


Hellooohoooow. Fans?

Yes, the point of lifting the secrecy would make a lot of fans happy. But the way Maiden as a band and individuals are so detached from social media, the fact they've got nothing left to prove and no need to go the extra mile to please at this stage...I don't think they really care, to be honest. Like my first statement, this is just speculation based on my observations of the band. Maiden haven't been a "fans band" for a long time, maybe ever. They don't try to have a relationship with their fans, and at their age now, I TOTALLY GET IT. Nothing wrong with that. I think keeping on recording and touring is enough for them. It might be frustrating, but there isn't really anything wrong with that. Just my take on things following them fairly closely for 30 years.
 
I don't agree with their approach, but right now it's kind of the only deduction to make. I agree with you that there's absolutely no problem with them being honest, just coming out and saying it that "hey, we have a new album, and we'll release it at a date to be determined sometime after Legacy III." Some people would be grumpy, sure, but I think we all realize Maiden is a business and dumping an album to the public you can't monetize with a tour is something they're not going to do. On the other hand, they could be keeping it a secret just to keep the speculation going, keep people talking about the band.




Yes, the point of lifting the secrecy would make a lot of fans happy. But the way Maiden as a band and individuals are so detached from social media, the fact they've got nothing left to prove and no need to go the extra mile to please at this stage...I don't think they really care, to be honest. Like my first statement, this is just speculation based on my observations of the band. Maiden haven't been a "fans band" for a long time, maybe ever. They don't try to have a relationship with their fans, and at their age now, I TOTALLY GET IT. Nothing wrong with that. I think keeping on recording and touring is enough for them. It might be frustrating, but there isn't really anything wrong with that. Just my take on things following them fairly closely for 30 years.
You've got a few years on me as a Maiden fan, I've now clocked up 27 years... Agreed with your thoughts here, especially on where the band has reached personally and professionally.

I would just have hoped that they would use the management and the FC to perhaps compensate for the fan connection at this stage, rather than carpet bomb us with often quite naff game and merch updates.

... incidentally, just like they use massive special effects on stage now to slightly compensate for some band members dropping down a gear in their physical live performances. Which I think is a really sensible way to keep a group of guys in their 60s operating at that level. Know where your strengths are, know where the ravages and passages of time are having an impact, and compensate for it.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
TFF, a little too gloopy and cartoony style for my taste, also its a random alien, and not Eddie at all. His identity is lost in there.
According to Melvyn Grant, TFF Eddie is not Eddie, as such. He wanted to change the look of it and he is not a fan of the style of Derek Riggs.

More info:
"Well, Derek Riggs and his style of artwork never appealed to me, so naturally I wanted to change it and do my version of Eddie. But that was stopped by Maiden, who didn’t want me to stray too far from the original style, which obviously all of the band’s fans like. You get so used to something that it becomes your 'thing,' and you fall in love with that version of Eddie. I did try to change him a bit, in a way that suited me and made me happier with it. The latest version on The Final Frontier is not Eddie, as such. I’m not going to say anything more on that, because I don’t know what Iron Maiden have got planned, so I’m not going to tread on any toes or mess up any surprises. Okay, I’ll tell you, he is actually an alien. The old Eddie might still come around."

''I enjoy working with the Maiden crew, but it does exasperate you when you have to keep changing things. Rod and I get on pretty well; I haven’t met him for years. But after I did the first one, the teaser 'Eddie head,' he called me and said how much he really liked it. His words, I think were 'f***ing amazing!' Which was very nice of him to do, because they were very busy setting up this tour. Everything’s happening all at once, and yet I find that they are very nice people to deal with. On the copyright agreement side, we worked out mutually good things. And if they plan on using things that they like, they pay for it. They don’t mess around. The original Eddie seemed to be very happy causing all sorts of chaos and hacking people to bits with axes and things like that. I did want to put more psychological tension in it. For instance, on Fear Of The Dark, the first one I did, I don’t think many people realize that Eddie is not actually sitting in the tree. He’s actually coming down the tree. So you can really look at it either way. The body is coming down from the tree, and it looks like Eddie has a tail close to the moon. I try to put a little more depth into it aside from utter brutality.''

The original idea for the album cover was different: On The Final Frontier, I did various sketches based on the title alone. Then they came up with the idea of doing something on the space craft. Originally, when I did it, it wasn’t Eddie reaching in like he is; he was more meaty-like and stealthier in a more evil way. Originally, they didn’t want the space craft all ripped to shreds. They wanted it to look like a hatch had come off and there would be a skeletal crew inside. So I wanted to make Eddie almost slither in. But gradually, it molded into the more brutal one, which is what you see now."

 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
" [..] For instance, on Fear Of The Dark, the first one I did, I don’t think many people realize that Eddie is not actually sitting in the tree. He’s actually coming down the tree. So you can really look at it either way. The body is coming down from the tree, and it looks like Eddie has a tail close to the moon.[/spoiler]
What??

I always thought (or felt; never gave it much thought) that Eddie is the tree or at least: part of the tree (they are one "intertwined" being; grown as one)!

I don't think Melvyn Grant realizes that this is a serious option as well. ("Sitting in" or "coming down" the tree... both less obvious in my view).

Whatever he meant to do, I love the artwork and still think there has not been a better one since.
 
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The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I love Fear of the Dark artwork, I don't like the letters on the side, the dark side. But The Final Frontier cover is childish and shit like the sketches (they are awful). El Dorado single capture the comic style and the alien is much better. The artist says he's not Eddie, but I heard some journalist that asked Steve about it and he says of course he's Eddie. If he's Eddie is the worst Eddie I've seen.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I think that artwork is fantastic.

Agreed. for me there are only two classic artworks after the Clairvoyant single, FOTD and The Book of Souls.

I like The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg too, but it's a bit generic, Eddie in a Graveyard, to be considered a classic.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Re: the logo on the side

In case anyone doesn't know, the logo was on the side because the painting wasn't finished and they needed to put something into the empty space.

The logo wasn't on the side on the cassette tape, as there wouldn't be any empty space on the dimensions of a cassette

R-12678644-1539893238-2426.jpeg.jpg
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
O no, I strongly disagree with 7th and Fabio. That would be an artwork, atmosphere and blue colour (space) destroying move.

edit: On the cassette is looks wonderful, there is respect for the artwork. Lots of space left.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Re: the logo on the side

In case anyone doesn't know, the logo was on the side because the painting wasn't finished and they needed to put something into the empty space.

The logo wasn't on the side on the cassette tape, as there wouldn't be any empty space on the dimensions of a cassette

R-12678644-1539893238-2426.jpeg.jpg
Never knew that. Thanks for the curious info. :ok:

The logo on the left side do not bothers me - the artwork is important (on the top of the artwork, as usual, would have been good too). If the artwork was finished then probably more of the branch would have been in logo's place. I also like that we can see more of the tree in the whole cover. FOTD is still my favorite album cover of Maiden.
 

Aggelos

Educated Fool
Yeah FOTD is a pretty darn good cover, but not my favorite. For the simple reason that nothing will ever beat the symbolism of the cover with Thatcher.
 
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