Piece of Mind: Album Discussion

Piece of Mind was a solid follow up to the great Number of the Beast. It started strong, remained so throughout it's middle, but did fizzle out slightly near the back end of the album.

I read that To Tame a Land was originally supposed to be named Dune, after the famous novel. The author of Dune threatened to sue them if they did not cease asking for his permission to name the song Dune. He hated rock bands and wanted no association with them.
My onlh issue woth the album is that the sound is very...well sweet.I prefer the raw sound of TNOTB and Powerslave
Piece of Mind was a solid follow up to the great Number of the Beast. It started strong, remained so throughout it's middle, but did fizzle out slightly near the back end of the album.

I disagree. To Tame A Land is a great song, and whereas Quest For Fire and Sun And Steel are no classics, they both are quite enjoyable. The instrumental part in Quest For Fire, after the second chorus, is really cool.
Flight Of Icarus 10
Revelations 10
To Tame A Land 10
Sun And Steel 10
The Trooper 10
Die With Your Boots On 9
Where Eagles Dare 9
Quest For Fire 8
Still Life 7

Average: 9,22 (Funny thing is that the general sum is 83).
I remember being a little disappointed with POM, as anticipation was high in the wake of TNOTB.
I felt that the first half of the album was strong, but the quality tailed off on side 2 (yes folks, I am old enough to remember buying the vinyl record on the day of release)
Where Eagles Dare was a quality opener, and over time I have come to see Revelations as a real Maiden classic. Die With Your Boots On I always loved, right from the get-go.
I never quite understood the love for Flight of Icarus, I thought it was a rather tired sounding Run To The Hills re-tread. Anybody think Maiden may have 'borrowed' a little from Thin Lizzy
on Sun And Steel? And of course the album contains a bona fide galloping Maiden classic in The Trooper.

My overall assessment is that it's a good, solid album but lacking the brilliance of Killers and TNOTB. I guess it all depends on which album was your introduction to Maiden.
If it's POM, it'll naturally be close to your heart.

And the part which for me was hard to get used to was my favourite member of the band (Clive) being replaced by Nicko.
I will always regard Clive as a better drummer than his replacement.
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Piece of Mind (1982)
  • With The Number of the Beast, Bruce instantaneously become the definitive Iron Maiden singer. All thoughts of Di'Anno vanished as soon as he opened up his lungs. And with Piece of Mind, Nicko held nothing back as he once and for all established himself as the definitive Iron Maiden drummer. All respect to Clive, but we're on a whole 'nother level here with McBrain behind the drumkit. He royally erupts in the opening to "Where Eagles Dare" and then never. lets. up. again.
  • POM is a masterclass in how not to arrange an album. Shoving all the great stuff into the first two thirds and keeping the weak material for the very end makes for a rough balance. I definitely think it's overrated for this very reason.
  • The weak stuff isn't all that bad, to be fair. The problem with "Sun and Steel" is that the chorus is awesome, but the rest is only solid. It's also one of those songs that says a whole lot without saying anything at all. But it's fun. "To Tame a Land" starts out great. The music sounds like a space desert, which is cool. Although the verses are smooshed and the lyrics are way too on the nose, it's fun and Bruce executes it very well. Unfortunately the back half is just a copy and paste of Hallowed's instrumental section, and makes the song seem incomplete. But I still think these two are good Iron Maiden songs. "Quest for Fire" is only solid. It's uh... well it's pretty dumb. Catchy chorus though.
  • But the other six songs on here? Absolute classics. Before, I always thought that "Die With Your Boots On" loses its spark in the chorus, but this time the excitement and fire really won me over. "Revelations" has SO many shades and layers, it's amazing it was Bruce's first solo song for the band. "Still Life" is a beautiful work of darkness, I really love it. "Flight of Icarus" works slightly better live, but the studio version is still awesome. "Trooper" and "Eagles" are both awesome rockers.
There's not much more to say here. It's an awesome album held back by a weaker closing trio.

  1. Where Eagles Dare - 10/10
  2. Revelations - 10/10
  3. Flight of Icarus - 10/10
  4. Die With Your Boots On - 10/10
  5. The Trooper - 10/10
  6. Still Life - 10/10
  7. Quest for Fire - 7/10
  8. Sun and Steel - 8/10
  9. To Tame a Land - 8/10
Total: 92%
Funny, to me the chorus of Quest For Fire is the weakest part. I don´t care for the lyrics, they never annoyed me. And that instrumental section is pure Maiden gold. Same with the instrumental part of Sun And Steel. And To Tame A Land is epic!
Funny, to me the chorus of Quest For Fire is the weakest part. I don´t care for the lyrics, they never annoyed me. And that instrumental section is pure Maiden gold.
Agree. The bass line is classic Steve and the instrumental section is indeed pure Maiden.
Same with the instrumental part of Sun And Steel.
The only problem with ''Sun And Steel'' is the heavy repetition (still good though) in such a short song at the expense of second solo. The galloping rhythm is vintage Maiden.
I love the whole album. Quest for fire musically is perfect. The first verses are awful but I like the vocal melody in that songs as the chorus. The same happens with Sun and Steel. It's an awesome short song but the chorus works amazing with Adrian on the backing vocals. I don't care if the chorus would repeat 100 times more. LOL.
Where Eagles Dare - 10, instant classic, Nicko wastes no time in making his mark, the extended instrumental section evokes the narrative of the lyrics

Revelations - 10, brilliant shade and light verses, guitar harmonies and solos

Flight of Icarus - 10, unfairly maligned as a sell out "single", what's wrong with having a catchy single? Maybe the pair of most complimentary solos from Dave and Adrian.

Die With Your Boots On - 10, classic Maiden rocker, unusual for Maiden to harmonize the riff rather than the melody line, classic gang vocals and trademark Maiden groove for the harmonies/splo section

The Trooper - 10, this is Maiden in a nutshell

Still Life - 10, brilliant intro solo from Dave, great riffs in the midsection build up to the solos

Quest for Fire - 8, first blot on the copybook for the album, vocal melody is the real issue here but the subject matter is also a little silly. Mid section of the song is great though

Sun and Steel - 9, a solid enough track but not quite on the same level as most of the album

To Tame a Land - 10, brilliant eastern intro which kicks into a heavy groove. Great build up to a classic Maiden runaway outro, great high to finish a great album on
In any objective terms, Piece of Mind is a great album. Most of the songs are very strong indeed, the production is superb and the influence of Adrian Smith was beginning to be felt. He'd contributed nothing on Killers, a couple on TNOTB and more here. We didn't know it at the time, but Adrian was starting to show that he would be a real asset to Maiden and on this album, I think his influence started to push melody even more to the fore.

There is only one flaw in this album, but it is a big flaw. With all these great songs, Quest for Fire is an abomination. Any song that starts with 'In a time when dinosaurs walked the earth' needs to be shot at birth and this awful song is the main reason I never rank this album higher. This terrible song aside, I think the main problem with Piece of Mind is that it is sandwiched between the game-changing TNOTB and the frankly awesome Powerslave. In fairness, very few albums could with those two so to a degree I thing Piece of Mind is overshadowed. It's a VERY good album, but compared to the other albums they were producing in that era, it doesn't quite hit the same dizzy heights.
I always wondered why Maiden fans in particular focus that much on weaker songs, saying that they drag the album down. I mean, there's always a skip button, and an album with 7 GREAT songs is incredibly rare anyway
Piece of Mind (1983)

Where Eagles Dare - 9/10 >
Revelations - 10/10 >
Flight of Icarus - 9/10 >
Die With Your Boots On - 9/10 >
The Trooper - 10/10 >
Still Life - 10/10 >
Quest for Fire - 6/10 >
Sun and Steel - 7/10 >
To Tame a Land - 8/10 >

The first ⅔ of this record is just one great song after another. “Eagles”, “Icarus”, and “Boots” are tremendous rockers, and “Revelations”, “Trooper”, and “Still Life” are utter phenomenal classics in the Maiden canon. The problems arise with the last three songs. They aren’t bad, they’re just not nearly as good as the six that came before them. Overall though, it’s a very strong record that improves on the sound that TNOTB ushered in. Nicko is the missing link finally inserted into the lineup, ready for success. Let them come back to the studio in another year after playing together and we’re almost sure to hear something… spectacular.

Total: 87%
Weighted: 88%