Piece of Mind: individual album judgement by yours truly

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
2019 relisten thoughts on Piece of Mind...
  • Regardless of where you stand on the "Clive vs. Nicko" debate or the "why did Steve fire Clive?!" controversy, it is impossible not to notice a difference in Iron Maiden's musicality the second Nicko hits the first drum in Where Eagles Dare. Those little jazzy fills on the ride cymbal that he throws into the bridge, the sheer bounciness of it all...it just elevates the band to a new level. You can even hear the difference in Bruce's exceptional singing on the opening track. Nicko just fits. The Number of the Beast is a great metal album with a lot of classic tracks, but IMO, this is the first great Iron Maiden album. This sounds like the band finally realizing their potential.
  • Ditto the songwriting: it's so much more varied and interesting. The previous three albums felt like Steve Harris + guests writing the tracks, this album feels like a full band collaboration. Revelations demolishes every previous "semi-ballad" the band ever recorded and it's thanks to Dickinson's composition. Also, again, Bruce sounds incredible on this album. The vocal production is perfect.
  • The only downfall on the entire first side of this album is the "if you're gonna die" backing vocals.
  • The first six tracks on Piece of Mind are the most consistent quality that the band will have until SSOASS.
  • Still Life is an underrated tune and that guitar section before the solos might be the most neoclassical thing the band has ever done.
  • When this album takes a dive, it dives hard. Those last three songs are just not very good. If it weren't for the instrumental parts of To Tame a Land, the back third of this album would be quite terrible. The contrast is even starker because of the strength of the first two-thirds.
New rating: 8.3/10
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
For the most part I agree 100% with your review, and I chuckled at the remark regarding the backing vocals on Boots. It’s definitely a bit “off”. I like Clive Burr a lot, but as a non-drummer, I can follow his beats. I can’t usually follow Nicko’s. I can follow his groove but he seems to be hitting more drums than four limbs should allow.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
Good little writeup. Sun and Steel especially sucks pretty hard.
bLAspHemY!!!

I agree with you about the drop in overall quality towards the end, but I still think Sun and Steel is a neat little song that would pass to pretty much any Maiden record, even though it wouldn't quite stand out anywhere. :)

But yeah, opinions, opinions. Great summary & review anyway @MrKnickerbocker! Aside from personal views on those one or two songs, I pretty much agree with you and overall, it's always interesting to read (even if just partly) different views that are written well. :)
 

Arturo_J

Prowler
Where Eagles Dare – 8
Revelations – 8
Flight of Icarus – 8
Die with Your Boots on – 8
The Trooper – 10
Still Life – 9
Quest for Fire – 7
Sun and Steel – 7
To Tame a Land – 8
 
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