Poll: To produce or not to produce?

If a miracle happens and fans are allowed to vote, which option would you choose:

  • The Band continues to work with Kevin Shirley.

    Votes: 11 28.9%
  • The Band waives the services of Kevin Shirley. Available: Roy Z, Andy Sneap, Fredrik Nordstrröm.

    Votes: 27 71.1%

  • Total voters
    38

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Bruce didn't have to play the part simply because he wrote it.
Same sort of thing as to why Maiden don't credit other songwriters who actually are co-authors of their songs. Only members of Iron Maiden should play or write on an Iron Maiden studio album.

Edit: Although, they do credit orchestration work.
 
Adrian was present when they mixed Somewhere in Time (my favourite album, if I have to choose one). You can tell the difference if you compare it to the previous three albums (all masterpieces of course). I think it is obvious he has a better understanding than Steve, at least as to how the guitars should sound. Where's the reverb indeed.

I wish they'd record the rhythm section first, add rhythm guitars on top of that and spend more time polishing the leads and solos, which is what made Maiden so special (well, not the only thing). Play around, pan left to right here or there, etc. And add some reverb for God's sake where it is needed.

I also don't really like the drum sound on any of the Shirley produced records. I'm not sure why, but they sound too "square". I miss the sound they had on Powerslave or Somewhere in Time.

As to the vocals... I can't stand them sometimes. Bruce should maybe consider not trying to sing as high as he used to. It doesn't sound nice, and hasn't since Dance of Death, if not earlier.

If only the next album would be produced by someone else and Steve decided to take a step back. Maybe Andy Sneap, like many suggested, with more input from Adrian.

I don't know, just a few thoughts. I've only started listening to the post-Blaze albums on a regular basis recently. For years I just couldn't and would only play maybe a couple of songs. I thought AMOLAD was dreadful when it was released, but I didn't give it a chance. I actually like it quite a lot.
 

Azas

Alchemist / The Rose of Paracelsus
As to the vocals... I can't stand them sometimes. Bruce should maybe consider not trying to sing as high as he used to. It doesn't sound nice, and hasn't since Dance of Death, if not earlier.

I agree. I think Steve writes lyrics/melodies without acknowledging Bruce's age. On most Bruce-Adrian songs Bruce sounds much better. He usually sings in lower key. Bruce said somewhere that vocal-lyrical melodies is very important to him (I don't remember the exact quote), Steve sometimes wants to cram as much words into lyrics as he can.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Same sort of thing as to why Maiden don't credit other songwriters who actually are co-authors of their songs. Only members of Iron Maiden should play or write on an Iron Maiden studio album.

Edit: Although, they do credit orchestration work.

Michael Kenney played keyboards on multiple albums as an additional musician, so it's not unprecedented.
 

Well, I do like the sound on that record way more than on the previous one or the one that followed. Nicko's drumming can't be matched, but I feel that from 1990 on, it's because of the way the songs are written, the structures. They're more tight. There's less room for him to go crazy like, for example, on The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner or Deja-Vu. I mean, ask any drummer, on these two songs his performance is just unbelievable. He should have gotten song writing credits. If they had any other drummer record these songs, they would sound less unique.

Oh, and AMOLAD is my favourite post-Blaze album.
 

Fabio Maiden

Educated Fool
I’ve said it before but as long as Steve Harris is at the helm, it doesn’t really matter who the producer is. I imagine a more hands on producer like Sneap or Roy Z would fight Steve’s wishes until finding themselves out of a job. Then you have an album produced by Steve without any other input.

Shirley is the best guy for the job. He knows the band as musical personalities and is able to make really good sounding albums with minimal processing (see Counterparts by Rush). If Steve would stay out of his way, we’d have more albums like Brave New World, which is one of the best sounding modern metal albums.

Totally agree. It's pretty clear that Steve has the final word on everything. Anyway, to me the only REALLY weak album production-wise is "The Book Of Souls". The overall sound, guitars above all, on the intros of tracks like "When The River Runs Deep" or "Shadows Of The Valley" is truly embarassing for a band like Maiden (the cases are many on this record, I've just named a couple...).

I've always enjoyed the sound on the other 4 albums post-1999 (I can stand DOD's sound, always did. AMOLAD always sounded great to me, as well), with "Brave New World" and "The Final Frontier" being my absolute favourites. Kevin is a total master of drum sound (as you mentioned, what he did for Neil Peart's sound on Counterparts is amazing). Nicko shines in every album, and that's not a case...

What I hope is, as many others wrote here, not to get another "live recording vibe" on album #17, but hey... We all already know what we will get, at least in the 99% of scenarios :bigsmile:
 
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srfc

Ancient Mariner
The overall sound, guitars above all, on the intros of tracks like "When The River Runs Deep" or "Shadows Of The Valley" is truly embarassing for a band like Maiden (the cases are many on this record, I've just named a couple...).

How is Steve to blame for the guitarists having shit tone?
 

Azas

Alchemist / The Rose of Paracelsus
My main beef with the guitar sound of all post reunion albums (BNW excluded) is... To me guitars do sound naked. Don't know how to properly explain.. Too metallic, and not in the good way, garagey? In the 80's guitar sound was more sophisticated? 'Nice sounding to ears', On SIT and SSOASS - spacey, had more reverb. In those days, in a sense, guitars were more processed, but i like it that way. An album is a studio record, must be polished and with interesting effects. If i must choose, biggest Maiden mistake in their history, I would pick 'live recording/bad guitar sound. Too raw sounding.
Best guitar sound to me by album:
Powerslave
Piece of Mind
Somewhere In Time
7Son
 
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Sth2112

Educated Fool
Shirley is a bit hit or miss, so I would prefer a different producer. But definetly not Steve Harris or Roy Z. Not Andy Sneap either.

Peter Tägtgren, Michael Baskette or Martin Birch would have been my choices, they know how to produce.

Arjen Lucassen, John Petrucci, Devin Townsend and Steven Wilson are also some of my favorite producers, but none of them would have done well for Maiden.
 
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Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
Well, I do like the sound on that record way more than on the previous one or the one that followed. Nicko's drumming can't be matched, but I feel that from 1990 on, it's because of the way the songs are written, the structures. They're more tight. There's less room for him to go crazy like, for example, on The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner or Deja-Vu. I mean, ask any drummer, on these two songs his performance is just unbelievable. He should have gotten song writing credits. If they had any other drummer record these songs, they would sound less unique.
Another thing that factors into this is that on AMOLAD, Steve specifically requested Nicko be a bit more laid back rather than flashy. I'd argue that while the songwriting clearly doesn't allow him to do what he did in the 80s (where practically every song had its own unique beat or bag of tricks and Nicko almost never played anything even approximating a straight rock beat), he definitely was quite a bit more adventurous on BNW and DoD - the latter especially - than he is on the albums from AMOLAD onward.
 
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