Killers: Album Discussion

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Exactly my thoughts when I first heard it. At the time, AC/DC or even Motörhead could do a whole song with a basic riff, and Priest was doing some pretty simple stuff, and Maiden came out with songs litteraly cramed with fantastic ideas. Genghis Khan or Purgatory are fantastic in that respect.

This sharp contrast in approach is the main reason Iron Maiden is, indeed, a heavy prog rock band in many aspects. They drew a lot of influence from blues-influenced rock bands but they eradicated most of that blues influence when it came to their own style, their stylistic approach has always been closer to prog rock.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
The record as a whole suffer quite a bit from the feeling that it's just been thrown together from all bits and pieces lying around. Some old live classics re-recorded, some new songs, some good, some not so good. It feels very unfocused even if a lot of the songs in themselves are very good. One of the records where I find the sum to be lesser than the parts.
I see it as a very cohesive record. Martin Birch did a fantastic job in that respect (you've got to take into account the fact that Twillight Zone is a late addition to a record it didn't belong to). Most of the songs were already well established in the Maiden and have been very slightly altered (Adrian has added a few things here and there), and only two, as far as I know, have been written especially. So, no, I don't have this bits and pieces feel, and it's certainly not a rushed album. But it's my frist Maiden album, and I sherish it for that too...
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
The record as a whole suffer quite a bit from the feeling that it's just been thrown together from all bits and pieces lying around. Some old live classics re-recorded, some new songs, some good, some not so good. It feels very unfocused even if a lot of the songs in themselves are very good. One of the records where I find the sum to be lesser than the parts.

This is actually a fact. The songs on Killers are primarily material that predates the first record - extras from Steve's old band, ideas left lying around, he has even attested to this. I completely agree that the album feels totally aimless and it is repetitive to a massive fault. Cut and paste verse sections with no lyrical changes are the death of Killers.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Steve also attested that this album is by far his favourite from the two first. So he sure won't find it totally aimless. I guess it depends on what we want to focus on here. I prefer the debut slightly over Killers because of the average song strength, and I see how Killers is the least melodic album of the catalogue, but it has its own strengths as well. Some of the best drumming, aggression and riffs. What an energy. Birth captured in very well, before the edges were cut off on the next album. What Beast lacks, especially in drumming and dynamics, is all here. Killers has one of the most "in-your-face-productions" of all Maiden albums. Also, the leads sound so nice. Check e.g. these lines in the intro of Murders, at the end of Genghis Khan, the solos in Prodigal Son and Ides of March! It shows that this album also has a thoughtful, beautiful side.

When I heard Killers for the first time, I only knew two other Maiden studio albums: the debut album and Seventh Son. Naturally, I was a bit disappointment after I heard the complete album. Most tracks were not so melodic as most other music that I appreciated. Still I like side B very much (apart from Drifter, which is low on my ranking). My favourite Killers-moments are Genghis Khan, Purgatory (great combo of speed and melody), the instrumental mid-piece in Prodigal Son with its spineshivering solos, Wrathchild, the cool harmonies of Murders In The Rue Morgue and the aggressive mid-part in Another Life.
 
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This thread is for the album "Killers".
Note: No intention to take away from the killers concept album thread.

The second and final album featuring Paul Di'Anno is one that leaves me feeling so-so about it as an entire album. I have now heard IM, Killers and NOTB and Killers is IMO, the weakest album thus far.
It started off great. The Ides of March, Wrathchild and Murders in the Rue Morgue are an excellent three song set and I'd love to hear them live. In fact, wrathchild sounds like a song that would be awesome to start a live show with.
Then... the rest of the album left me very disappointed. I did listen to this multiple times and try to let the album "sink in" but it never really did. Prodigal Son and Killers are notable songs that slightly stand out from the remaining album. I just wish it wasn't so forgettable past it's introduction. Maybe it will grow on me more over time and after I listen to more of the discography.
I suppose it is a middle of the line album, but IM and NOTB were just so epic that it didn't compare.

I'm sorry if you're a Killers fan. This is just my opinion and maybe it'll change as I go along.

I'd say that "Ghengis Khan", "Innocent Exile" and "Purgatory" are strong enough to make the album a pretty good listen but they're by no means stand out tracks and the rest of the tracks you didn't mention are quite forgettable. It's a good album, but not one of their best.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Steve also attested that this album is by far his favourite from the two first. So he sure won't find it totally aimless. I guess it depends on what we want to focus on here. I prefer the debut slightly over Killers because of the average song strength, and I see how Killers is the least melodic album of the catalogue, but it has its own strengths as well. Some of the best drumming, aggression and riffs. What an energy. Birth captured in very well, before the edges were cut off on the next album. What Beast lacks, especially in drumming and dynamics, is all here. Killers has one of the most "in-your-face-productions" of all Maiden albums. Also, the leads sound so nice. Check e.g. these lines in the intro of Murders, at the end of Genghis Khan, the solos in Prodigal Son and Ides of March! It shows that this album also has a thoughtful, beautiful side.

I agree with you on all of the production notes - Killers is a far superior sounding album to the debut and Martin Birch did a great job of capturing the energy of the band (especially in the drums, as you noted). But this sentence says it all:

I prefer the debut slightly over Killers because of the average song strength

For me it all boils down to the songs. Sure, a great production, a better drum sound, etc. can enhance an album, but I simply find the songs on Killers to be vastly inferior to the debut (and most of their catalog in general).
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Recommended: Great sound, and lots of pics from the period. During Innocent Exile there's even a nice attempt of a live vid playing along with the music. Enjoy:
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
The Ides Of March 10
Prodigal Son 10
Purgatory 10
Innocent Exile 10
Genghis Khan 10
Wrathchild 10
Murders In The Rue Morgue 10
Killers 9
Drifter 9
Another Life 8

Average note: 9,6 (Not including Twilight Zone, though, I love the song. Gave it a 9)
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
Usually, I tend not to care that much about other people's opinion on Maiden's albums, but every time I read really positive comments on Killers, it makes me happy for a few minutes. I LOVE this record, as much now than the child I was when I first listened to it.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
My first Maiden record of my own (not the first I listened to), given to me as a gift on the day and during my 5th birthday party, back in 1986.

It's only an almost 30 years story, there, mate. It's crazy talk a 5 years old receiving this kind of gift with 5 years old, back in the early/mid 80's. :edmetal:
 

Deus_Adrian

Prince of the Final Frontier
I have always cared about music, far back as I can remember.When I was 6 I had a band called the Monsters. I had a book of lyrics containing such gems as 'Hey, Hey Were the Monsters", "Ships", "I'd Like To Be an Old Monster" and "Another Hole in the Wall (By Hulk). My son is 5 and all he does is play Godzilla and sing. So Metal. )
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
The Ides of March 9
Wrathchild 9
Murders in the Rue Morgue 8
Another Life 7
Genghis Khan 9
Innocent Exile 7
Killers 9
Prodigal Son 7
Purgatory 7
Twilight Zone 6*
Drifter 7

Album Average 7.73
*Omitting Twilight Zone 7.90

Marginally higher overall rating than debut which feels about right for me.
 
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MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
This one actually went up for me on the most recent relisten, but that's only because I bumped up the score on the title track by 1 point. Similar to the debut, this one's rating does not change much for me. As opposed to the later albums, these two Di'Anno records just don't have as much meat to them. My opinions don't change much over time because the songs lack the layers and complexity of the later albums.

The Ides of March/Wrathchild - 10/10
Murders in the Rue Morgue - 10/10
Another Life - 1/10
Genghis Khan - 7/10
Innocent Exile - 4/10
Killers - 9/10
Twilight Zone - 1/10
Prodigal Son - 4/10
Purgatory - 6/10
Drifter - 1/10

Album: 5.3
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
I think in context, Killers was a pretty heavy/aggressive record for the time period. I like how it combined classic rock melodies with the pace of metal (Another Life provides some of the best head banging moments of the band's career).

Though It does almost sound like a different band than the NOTB - SSOASS run; it doesn't have the twists and turns, sense grandeur, and 'epic-ness' of the Bruce/Nicko years. I have to get in the right mindset to really give it a proper go.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
In my opinion, whilst there are several duds on the album, there are also a lot of great ones. Killers is better than the debut, in my opinion, and it's a fun album, even if some of the songs just aren't up to the Maiden standard. Murders In The Rue Morgue is fucking perfect.
 
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