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Piece of Mind vs. Powerslave

Discussion in 'Best of / Worst of Polls forum' started by nuno_c, Sep 12, 2015.


Higher, lower or equal?

  1. Higher

    16 vote(s)
  2. Lower

    22 vote(s)
  3. Equal

    4 vote(s)
  1. nuno_c

    nuno_c A hollow universe in space

    I'm not exactly the kind of person who's constantly comparing albums, i much rather prefer talking about them individually. But in this case, and considering the fact that i've always loved Powerslave since i first heard it (it was my favourite Maiden album for quite a while), i really felt the need to do so regarding these two albums.

    Recently i've been listening a lot to POM and, frankly, i now think it ranks higher when compared to Powerslave. I think there's an extra something to POM, although i can't exactly understand what exactly yet.

    Since Powerslave is so highly ranked in general, i'd like to start a debate: Do you rank POM higher, lower or equal to Powerslave?
  2. viced92

    viced92 Nomad

    Higher. Piece of Mind is one of my top 5 Maiden albums, though I don't know where specifically.
    nuno_c likes this.
  3. Severian

    Severian Have a good time, all the time!

    If i have to rank albums i do it by song, Piece of Mind has fantastic songs but Powerslave has more consistent songs.
    Piece of Mind = Average 8.2

    WED - 10/10
    R - 10/10
    FOI - 7/10
    DWYBO - 8/10
    TT - 7/10
    SL - 9/10
    QFF - 6/10
    S&S - 7/10
    TTAL - 10/10

    Powerslave = Average 8.7

    AH - 10/10
    2M2M - 9/10
    LW - 8/10
    FOTB - 8/10
    TD - 8/10
    BITV - 7/10
    P - 10/10
    ROTAM - 10/10

    it's hard to say really but for me Powerslave is better
  4. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    Lower. Here a comparison of both albums.

    Piece Of Mind
    Piece Of Mind was actually the first Maiden studio album I owned. I bought it at the same time with Somewhere in Time on CD. Up til then, I only owned Live After Death, the maxi-single of "Sanctuary" and the video "12 Wasted Years". Because of Live After Death, I knew 4 songs, of which "The Trooper" and "Die With Your Boots On" I liked the most. Especially "The Trooper" was one of my favourites of LAD.

    When I played POM, I discovered that this album had a lot of variation! I liked all tracks! "Quest for Fire" isn't bad at all, it's actually very good! Maybe its lyrics are the silliest of the whole album, but to be honest, that doesn't matter for me. I really like the way Steve Harris changes his bass-playing in the harmony of the mid of this song.

    "To Tame A Land" was my favourite. I didn't understand anything of the lyrics but it really didn't prevent me from liking it. Nice Arabic melodies, an addition in metal that I didn't know yet. The collaboration and interaction in this song (right before the fast part) is pretty cool, when Steve and Dave play the melody together and on the other hand Adrian and Nicko hit the chords and drums together. A few months later I saw the film Dune by pure chance with a friend. All those names popped up in my head! What the f**k? From that moment on I started to infect others (or at least I tried) with Maiden's music, realizing that there was more than music alone.

    About the sound. What strikes me most is how full the rhythm guitars sound on this album. From all the 80’s albums they might sound the fullest/loudest. Killers comes pretty close though. However, because of these loud guitars the bass is sometimes a bit in the background (especially when the guitar chords are open). The solos sound more clear than the ones on NOTB and Powerslave.

    Last word is about "The Trooper". This the one song that never bores me. I like it as much as in the beginning. It's the ultimate Iron Maiden track, containing all the typical ingredients.

    Powerslave has been my favourite album for a long time, just followed by SIT and SSOASS, but nowadays I slightly prefer SIT, and it still changes. I have to admit that the high quality level on Powerslave is not the same from start to finish (“Flash of the Blade”, “Losfer Words” and “Back to the Village” are not my favourite Maiden tracks) but this album contains some of my favourite Maiden songs of all time: “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (the absolute number one!), “Powerslave” (nr. 5), “Aces High” and “The Duellists” (nr. 9).

    "The Duellists" is for me the ultimate "forgotten song" in Maiden’s catalogue. I find it very underrated and I can’t understand people when they say it’s boring. I like it because of the brilliant mid piece. GREAT melodic guitar work, with the rhythm tandem McBrain/Harris underneath it. The song has a catchy chorus, that stays in your head (not the way the chorus of TAATG stays in your head!). No weak parts. Unlike most Maiden songs, the tempo is all the time the same, but despite this, the song has an enormous drive!

    On Powerslave we can hear a different way of guitar playing than on Piece of Mind. Adrian often plays different things than Dave. E.g. in “Rime…” and in “The Duellists” Adrian plays open long chords where Dave plays fast rhythm guitar (powerchords). For someone who likes to hear more variation and details in the guitar work, Powerslave is definitely the better “product”!

    Realizing this, it's quite odd that this album features only two songs written by a guitarist (Adrian Smith)! It’s one of the very few albums without a Dave Murray-track on it. This album is especially a Steve and Bruce product.

    The bass can be heard very well, and all sounds by Harris are clear to the ears, and the guitars are more separated to the side channels, compared with the full and fat guitars on the previous album.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  5. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Lower, without a doubt. I think with Powerslave Maiden crystalised their sound and style, which became the basis for the two masterpieces to follow. Aces High, Powerslave and Rime are all 10/10 and even the songs considered as fillers are interesting on this album. The sound was huge improvement in my opinion here - this was the first time guitars sounded so heavy. Not to mention the phenomenal art direction and stage production on tour. PoM is quite close, I like it more than TNotB, but Powerslave is the first album in their discography that I perceive as 100% of Maiden in Maiden.
    RTC likes this.
  6. frus

    frus Barbed Wire Hen

    and which else? they are all different....
  7. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    I mean to me anything from Powerslave on sounds more Maiden than anything before Powerslave. I've just realised it might sound a bit stupid, but it's just my personal feeling.
  8. frus

    frus Barbed Wire Hen

    well PoM and Powerslave sound more alike to me than Powerslave and SIT or SSOASS (although BNW does sound like Powerslave)
    and I don't mean only the production/sound, I mean songwriting too
  9. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    An important thing I notice about Powerslave is that on this one they got rid of the punkish and a bit funky (lol, does it make sense?) vibe of the early days records for good. Maybe it's because of this sound difference I find it a breakthrough. As for songwriting, it's all pretty close to Powerslave since TNotB. You're right, the difference between Powerslave and SiT is huge, but I can't help thinking that album is still somewhat closer to Powerslave than PoM. As I said, it's probably a personal feeling, which I'm possibly exaggerating right now.
  10. nuno_c

    nuno_c A hollow universe in space

    Don't you think that transition from the punkish sound happened on TNOTB?
  11. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Yes, that was undeniably the biggest leap, but Powerslave finished the job, in my opinion.
  12. nuno_c

    nuno_c A hollow universe in space

    Interesting. Could you elaborate a bit more? I'm really curious about it :p What punkish influence do you hear between TNOTB and POM?
  13. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    Hmm... I guess it's mainly the production that makes me associate these albums partly with early days. Maybe some rhythm ideas... The guitars happen to sound thin and there is something about the roomy sound of drums. I'm sorry, I really don't know how to describe it. :p I think I'll start doubting my own words if you ask further questions about it :D
    Deus_Adrian and nuno_c like this.
  14. nuno_c

    nuno_c A hollow universe in space

    Lol yeah, sometimes i even question myself when i think too much :p But to be honest, i think POM solidified what Maiden was all about. I think although we can say TNOTB kind of set the template for what was to come, POM had a significant extra: Nicko. He's approach to drumming gave Maiden that one extra dimension of possibilities. I think Powerslave is "just" a continuation of what POM had to offer, you know?

    But, of course, what a continuation!
    Srogyy likes this.
  15. RTC

    RTC Libera et impera!

    I'll try and keep this new, and not the same "Powerslave is my favourite album of all-time" stuff I throw around in every thread.

    I've often heard Powerslave compared to a sandwich, where the bread is better than the filling, and they're completely right. Aces High, 2 Minutes, Powerslave and Rime are all outstanding tracks that are easily 10/10's. But I think people expect the same thing from tracks 3-6, and are disappointed that they aren't as good, therefore ranking the album lower. The thing is, these tracks are all fantastic, and fit the album perfectly in context. Losfer is a perfect example of this, transitioning from the thriller first third of the album to the more fun and wild second third, with Back To The Village doing the same for the darker and more epic final third. Flash Of The Blade is a lot of fun, as is the Duellists, with the latter having probably one of the very best solos on the album, and potentially Maiden history, which covers a lot of ground. Village is fun, and took a while to grow on me, but it's a perfect finish to the second third, especially the chaotic ending.

    Now I do like Piece Of Mind, and have grown to enjoy it a bit more than when I first joined (where I considered it overrated, and put it on the Killers tier of albums). Revelations is probably their most beautiful work they've ever done, and The Trooper is a classic, and there are other strong songs there. But I'm not a huge fan of the song order; it seems like they blow their load in the first half of the album, and Still Life and To Tame A Land isn't enough to save the second half from the relatively poor Quest For Fire and even worse Sun And Steel. If I was to order the album, I'd probably do it as follows.

    1: Die With Your Boots On
    2: Sun And Steel
    3: Where Eagles Dare
    4: Flight Of Icarus
    5: To Tame A Land
    6: The Trooper
    7: Still Life
    8: Quest For Fire
    9: Revelations
    nuno_c likes this.
  16. nuno_c

    nuno_c A hollow universe in space

    You know, that order can actually work :eek:
  17. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    By the way, I counted it once, and I think that Piece of Mind has the least tempo changes of all Maiden albums. Not sure of the whole catalogue, but certainly from the 1980s.
  18. Srogyy

    Srogyy Ancient Mariner

    That's some in-depth analysis, respect ;)
  19. Deus_Adrian

    Deus_Adrian Prince of the Final Frontier

    Powerslave is my favorite atm but I am coming around to POM as a great album. For me its always been at the bottom of those 5 but live those tracks were really amazing. I guess my main problem is the dry as a bone production and the extremely weak track Quest For Fire.

    Powerslave gets rhe nod for me. All
    Killer no filler ;)
  20. DJMayes

    DJMayes Educated Fool

    For me, the albums are pretty much two instances of the same thing - a set of 5 fantastic songs with an unholy amount of filler. For Piece of Mind, it's the first five songs. For Powerslave, it's the four obvious ones and Flash of the Blade. In that sense I rank them equally. Just imagine a 10 song album with the 5 good ones of each though...

    Piece of Mind is kind enough to put all the songs in order at the start though, so that's something.

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