Official thread for Final Frontier discussion

Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

LooseCannon said:
Given Bruce Dickinson's love of things occult and strange, it should be no surprise that a poem by Poe serves as the likely inspiration for the lyrical portion of the song "El Dorado". Indeed, it goes a long way towards explaining the presence of a quick riff in the song, because those of us who know anything about the legend of El Dorado are aware that the search for the mythical City of Gold was usually undertaken not by horse, but by boat, imagery constantly referred to in the song.

The legend of El Dorado comes from the conquered Muisca people, who would tell legends of a chieftain named El Dorado who swam whilst covered in gold dust in Lake Guatavita. From this arose the myth amongst the Spanish conquistadores of a City of Gold that supplied the Muisca people with their wealth - a people who had no gold mines of their own, but traded for the precious material easily from other tribes. Over the passing centuries, the myth of El Dorado multiplied, grew, and expanded, with many explorers searching the thick jungles of South America for the lost city.

Interestingly, the tale of "El Dorado" is told from the perspective of someone recruiting people for an expedition to find the mythical lost city, rather than as a neutral observer (consider the voice used in songs like "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", in which a fable is told, but from the outside). As such, we are taken inside the mind and speech of a man knowing he is luring the innocent to their death for his own profit.

The first verse introduces us to the character, someone who looks clean and smooth and very professional, and who speaks to someone, telling them a story that will have them so ready to whisk off in hopeless exploration that they'll be buying the ticket he offers before he can think it through. This is telling us that the character Bruce portrays is a scam artist, someone who is completely sure of his ability to cheat money and life from his victim. The term "snake oil" refers to a "snake oil salesman", which is an American slang term for conman. His personal snake oil, then, is the story of El Dorado, and the promises of glory and money within. That's his cheat. It's just what he sells.

Bruce describes the character from the first person, explaining this man knows exactly what he's doing and what fate he's condemning his "clients" to. He has no regrets about the lethal consequences of his trick ("the jester with no tears") and he is taking advantage of people who are afraid of dying either nearly poor or unknown ("playing on your fears"). The "mask of love and death" is the story he tells of El Dorado, the fabled place from which none have ever returned - except for you, because he knows you're the one to find the City of Gold - his eternal lie. Of course, the tale of El Dorado goes far beyond our conman, and probably will last for the end of time. Finally, his tale, persuasive, has you fully drawn in - "hooked at every turn" - and your body will be consumed by your poor decision to listen to the trickster.

Now, the mark (the term for someone being defrauded in a con) has decided to ask for a little reassurance that Bruce is telling the truth and not just selling him a fib, but of course, the practiced fraudster dodges the request for contact information, for a legal contract, by reminding the poor fellow that he can take the offer for glory and gold, or leave it on the table. And we have final confirmation "if I didn't lie to ya, then I wouldn't exist" that this person's sole income comes from cheating; a professional conman.

Interestingly enough, we move back towards the abstract with this verse, when Bruce extrapolates on the overall meaning of being cheated. That everyone knows "someone just like me" and that being betrayed is "the same old same old way". He compares himself to a magician's "smoke and mirrors", and even to a "clever banker". It almost sounds like the conman is trying to convince himself that he's part of an ancient tradition, and that he is the same as a magician who lies and cheats to entertain, or a banker who will use loopholes to cheat someone, though he is stealing both money and life with his lies.

The chorus is the hook and the legend. Streets of gold, and all you have to do is come and play, step this way. So many people are coming along, there's only one spot left - and it's yours, if you dare to chance.

The reality of the con. There is no glory, or is there gold. The trickster has taken both from his mark and left them with nothing other than a one-way ticket to death. And of course, the loss of one more soul on the road to El Dorado is a story that'll hardly be told. As already established, the trickster knows he is doing wrong, he is a devil, and he revels in it. You accuse him of being evil, and he smiles and continues to cheat and defraud.

He's spun his web and he's issued the con, and the lie has grown "big and bad and twice as bold" as the conman's tale gets more risky, more wild, and more opulent. However, he's still sold enough to fill the doomed ship with tickets, and it's either overloaded with people, or sailing away to doom. After all, "there is no easy way for an honest man today" to make the sort of money our fraud did, and he is reminding the soon-to-be-deceased of this as he hops in his boat and pulls away, laughing, to presumably repeat the trick with new marks.

Of course, this song can serve as a metaphor for any number of illicit activities, such as drug use or even alcoholism, but it makes the most sense when approached from the promise of riches in something like the stock market, or a Ponzi scheme. However, I think it's mostly just intended to be a tale of a man who sold the story of El Dorado like many did - a false hope for any predator to leap upon. And consider it a warning - when someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true…it probably is.

Fantastic interpretation :)
 

Ardius

Trooper
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Invader said:
I think it's great when a song has double meanings like this one, especially as you can still listen to it and not have to think about the "economy" meaning.  Straight-out political songs that tackle the problem directly  à la Megadeth are rather easy to do (for the same subject, see the song Bite the Hand); it's harder to put a hidden meaning and still make the song comperehensible from the "obvious" point of view. I didn't think of the economy at all before LC's post, but now it seems pretty clear to me.  Though I must admit I also didn't read the lyrics properly at any point.  I'll have to do that for the rest of the sogns when the actual album comes out. 

Anyway, I'm going to bed and tomorrow this forum will be a potential minefield, though I appreciate the efforts of the mods.  This is my last post, see you guys in exactly two months.

Which is why I got sick of Megadeth really quickly. I still like the odd song but Mustaine tries really too hard and it ends up just sounding repetitive and not very intelligent at all. In particular, I really hated United Abominations.

Maiden spoil me with such a wide range of lyrical themes, topics and ideas.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Just one thing I got to say (please, I'm not saying the song is on the same level) - the ending is classic, just like Caught Somewhere In Time. Then, there's a subtle stop and then the loosened release of the last chords, the difference is that on El Dorado it's the intro, also.
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

I finally found one thing that is wrong with this song:
They -really- should've played an outro solo of sorts during the second chorus in the end.
It's pretty awesome to play along, but once you do you keep looking for the solo when just listening.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

I put the song on constant repeat, and it's extremely hard to tell where it ends and begins when that happens (especially with a second or so of crossfade). I think that's one of the cool things about it. It's like they knew we'd listen to it over and over and over and over…...
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

I am not that over the moon by Adrian's Wasted Years lick in the beginning and end.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

It's Jan playing that. It might be a nod to a classic of the past, but I don't think it is. This kinda lick was done in several other songs like Losfer Words, The Clansman and The Fallen Angel, but obviously within the context of these songs. It wouldn't make any difference if it wasn't there.

About the credit order, I think it's Smith/Harris/Dickinson (middle section and the key modulation on the solos is Harris stuff and the ordering of the parts withing the song. The riffs and the chorus is Adrian's).
 

Mega

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

It's just tremolo picking and fretting some em notes, it's been done to death by tons of artists in tons of solos.
That's why I think it's great but nothing to give to much thought about.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Jeffmetal said:
It's Jan playing that.

Could be, we'll see. :)

Jeffmetal said:
It might be a nod to a classic of the past, but I don't think it is. This kinda lick was done in several other songs like Losfer Words, The Clansman and The Fallen Angel, but obviously within the context ofthe song. It wouldn't make no difference if it wasn't there.

Well, I heard it too often. If it was not there, then it would mean less recycling. The less recycling, the better.
It doesn't spoil the song, but if I may have one piece of criticism, then it would be this.

Jeffmetal said:
About the credit order, I think it's Smith/Harris/Dickinson

Could be, that's how it went last time.
 

mozzle

Trooper
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Maybe this is a sin but I already made my itunes start the song after the intro and end before the outro

It's now about 6 minutes long instead of 6:49

I did the same thing with a few of the outros on AMOLAD  
 

Genghis Khan

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for ENTIRE new album! FULL details and new song to downloa

Helphyre said:
Interesting. Has a definite early 90s feel, feels it would fit right in on Fear of the Dark.

The artwork might just be their worst, but at least the new black and white Eddie logo is awesome

The early 90s feeling was my first impression especially the first 3 minutes.
Mega said:
Well, I know how to play the main riff of this song now, I couldn't wait!
What really helped is that, and I'm warning you, don't read this:
The riff is based on Barracuda by heart :p

I do notice that.  You're so right.
fonzbear2000 said:
I just realized something! Up until now, Maiden has NEVER had an album with more than 3 songs over 8 minutes long. This album has 4!!! And one of them clocks in at a WHOPPING 11 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a fifth that's 7:48 long!!! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EASILY their best single since Wickerman!

'Arry did say that the songs get more proggy as the albums progresses.  
 
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Thanks LooseCannon you're a champ - your thesis on the lyrics has increased my already immense enjoyment of El Dorado tenfold.

I now imagine the unwary fortune seeker entering a coastal tavern and the intro is the noise of the patrons. As the intro concludes the crowd splits open and the fortune seeker comes face to face with the conman/devil/bruce at a small table in the middle of the room. Then the conning begins...

The band play the song behind him.

Bruce sings this tune in character and he sings it well... 
 

Genghis Khan

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

There is one thing that I'm still not getting from this song.  The speed of singing does not match the speed of music.  Chorus is great and so is the riff and the galloping bass.
 
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

You know, I think I'll be able to appreciate the song more now that I read LC's interpretation.

One thing I'm disappointed about though is that the verses remind me of the verses in 2 Minutes to Midnight, but with less inflection in the vocals. I assume you guys have heard the YT vid with the vocals on 2 Minutes singled out; well think of how Bruce sings it. He uses the way he sings the words to really make you feel what he's saying (for example, "As the reasons for the carnage cut their meat and lick-a the gravy!"). I'll try to find that video...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJpn0KB3l8M
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

Exactly what I said since my first impressions on the song. He play the role of the carachter and put across the feelings he gets from the words he comes up with.
 

MadMax

Invader
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

I kinda have to agree with what was said about the Wasted Years tapping... I immediately had the connection in my head too, but it's a standard with rock/metal guitars. If they didn't have it in the intro/outro, well, there wouldn't be much left except blaring riffs!

I was VERY impressed by what LooseCannon wrote. This is definitely the stuff I came to IMC for back when I discovered Maiden. I had a feeling Bruce was telling a metaphoric story based on the legend, but I have to admit I wasn't familiar with the details of said legend and couldn't really piece it together. So, huge thanks for the insight! Glad Maiden keep writing lyrics that are provoking thought.

I also never thought Bruce's singing was weak on the track; if anything, it fits the mood of the character he's portraying. And seriously. WHY would Maiden record sub-par vocals in the STUDIO where you try to excel at every note you record?! Unless it was intentional, which it probably was! ;)

MadMax, thanx for the Rockline mp3. I listened yesterday, but I missed some parts.
You're very welcome. Just wanted to keep the interview for myself and thought, why not share it with others?

Ah, and let's don't forget the awesome review of MadMax, which also must be copied on IMC.
We should have him post here more often, an excellent read, be praised Max
Thanks LC and MadMax, this is why I love Maidenfans!
I really don't understand what I did that deserves that much praise :blink: I just wrote my impressions of the song. Glad I could contribute, and I will be around from time to time and discuss along with you guys once the new album is getting close! :ok:
 

pilau

Trooper
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

I must say El Dorado is a great song, I really like it, but am I the only person who is bothered with the mixing and mastering quality of this track?

Bass guitar is way to open and loud comparing to other instruments. Guitars all are mixed together, blurred and unclear like porridge, not lucid and defined like in the AMOLAD mix. The solos are way too quiet, they don't cut through enough! I mean, how can they be exciting when they are muted like this?

The vocals are also quiet comparing to the rest of the band. Compare this with FITS, Paschen-fucking-dale and BTATS which are all quite busy songs but the vocals stand their ground among the other instruments.

The only instrument I have no complain regarding is the drums. They are perfectly mixed, loud and clear. As a drummer I am quite happy with that  ::)
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Re: Discussion thread for Final Frontier/El Dorado single

It's the same story since the DOD album - Steve is getting his fingers way too deep into the mix.

Brave New World proves Kevin Shirley can make a great-sounding Maiden album if Steve lets him.


Edit: that said, the mixes on DOD / AMOLAD / El Dorado do sound more like Maiden's live mix.
 
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