Primal Rock Rebellion

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Isn't it possible H has come to a mature place where he is comfortable with both his role in Maiden, and his freedom to embrace other aspects of his muse elsewhere? Can't the minor disgruntlement expressed by Adrian immediately after TFF (which, if I remember right was simply about the treatment of Satellite 15) be chalked up to the natural outgrowth of the collaborative process, and the kind of thing that happens and that mature people just work through?

I've been saying the same thing for ages now, but from my experience, people prefer to interpret it as a drama.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
If I'm not mistaken Adrian wanted guitars to have more reverb to build up the atmosphere. Like in Somewhere in Time. And frankly, if The Final Frontier had Somewhere in Time's production, it'd be one of the greatest albums of all time. Not saying it's not a masterpiece right now, because it is, but you get my point.

Adrian's stuff on the album beg for an atmospheric feel. His material on Somewhere in Time did the exact same thing. Isle of Avalon has a great atmosphere but think about what would it have been if it had Somewhere in Time production, at least some more reverb on guitars. Same goes for Starblind, keep in mind I consider Starblind the greatest song ever written and I'm still talking about enhancing its quality. That shows how truly wonderful the songwriting on that one is, it has sky-high potential.

Now, I don't know what Steve's contribution to Isle of Avalon and Starblind are, but what we know is the production side and no, it isn't possible that Steve made them any better than they could've been.

I'm not entirely saying "Steve holds Adrian back", he uses his contributions quite well and I'm sure is aware of his importance to the band (especially at this stage) but does he use the material to its fullest potential ? I'm afraid not.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Now, I don't know what Steve's contribution to Isle of Avalon and Starblind are, but what we know is the production side and no, it isn't possible that Steve made them any better than they could've been.
If you don't know what Steve's contribution was, how do you know he didn't make them better?
I agree Starblind may have sounded better with a SIT treatment; I could say the same about many songs.
But how do you know that certain musical portions of each song weren't all Steve? How do you know the vocal melodies weren't his, or the arrangements? These are both important elements in making each song great.
It is entirely possible — in my view even likely — that the finished product is better than what was brought into the studio, thanks to Steve's contribution.
But my point is we are not privileged enough to step into the creative process, and therefore we simply do not know.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
If you don't know what Steve's contribution was, how do you know he didn't make them better?

I just stated that I was talking about the production. I don't know about the creative side (so I avoided making a point from there), but I know about production and that he didn't make them better in that sense.

Arrangements are all Steve, probably vocal melodies, too. The guitar melodies are all Adrian. (the melodies are written in his style) And the most important asset of the song (Starblind) is the guitar melodies.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
I just stated that I was talking about the production. I don't know about the creative side (so I avoided making a point from there), but I know about production and that he didn't make them better in that sense.
Gotcha. I was talking about the whole package.
In that context, don't you think the arrangements make each song better?
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Yes they do and I try to give Steve his props in the arranging department. He's one of the best in the business. I'm more critical of him in the production department rather than actual arranging and creating department (with exception to the songs he solely writes and his lyrics), really.
 

425

Starblind
Personally, I find the interplay between the vocal melody and the melodies of the other instruments to be one of the most brilliant aspects of "Starblind". I don't know whether it was Steve or Bruce who wrote the vocal melody, but it's really brilliant (I suspect Steve, I just wanted to sneak Bruce's name in here to remind everyone in the midst of the Adrian/Steve battle for credit that the fantastic lyrics to that song were written by Mr. Dickinson). I'm not musically trained in any way, but I love the way, in the intro, the vocals and music seem to play off each other, sort of like they're working against each other but together at the same time.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Starblind is one of the ultimate points humanity can ever reach, it's a nirvana of quality in creativity, passion, work and harmony.

Stating the main forces of that one wouldn't be that easy, considering everything on it stand out for themselves.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
The true power of Starblind is its melodic strength, Maiden's most important factor. Despite its deep lyrics, some complicated rhythms, this song still contains these amazing melodies, musically and vocal wise. It's this combination that does it...

Bruce delivers one of his finest moments with these haunting lyrics, which almost make me think they were written by an ancient saint, or a wise sorcerer or someone like that. Every sentence is a poetic masterpiece. Love Adrian's moving soloing, especially during the 2nd chorus(!), to be exact: it begins when Bruce sings: Walk away from comfort offered by your citizens of death ..and continues in that attached chorus.

The very grooving, harmonic interval is another highlight.

Something I am less happy about: A suspenseful core of a certain VXI track is repeated lengthily in this song.
Yes, we're dealing here with the prominent recycling of Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger, shown here:
1. Sing/hum or think Bruce's Starblind verses in Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger, in the part starting @ 3:27 in this clip.
2. Sing/hum or think Blaze's lyric "Don't Look to, Don't Look to, Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger", in the intro and couplets of Starblind.

As Wingman noted in the Starblind thread, it doesn't match entirely, but I find it hard to believe that these compositions were made entirely independent from each other. And it shows Steve's hand in it, or at least his lasting impact, as an inspiration on which the majority of Starblind's music is based on.
 

425

Starblind
I've really tried it, but I don't hear "Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger" at all. And this isn't denial on my part since, as you may recall, I enjoy DLttEoaS. I wouldn't deny the existence of an influence, and would in fact find it interesting, but I failed to hear it using both of your methods, Forostar.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Not at all? Well, as awkward as I may find that, I can only do my best by explaining what I mean (a). How others hear and associate music, that's their individual ability (b). I am sure (a) could go better if we were in the same room, though.
 

425

Starblind
I think it probably would go better if we were in the same room. I have no doubts that others can hear it, I just fail to do so. The song that "Starblind" feels most like to me is "Lord of Light" and that's a bit more of a song structure type of thing (similar sounding quiet opening into fuzzy guitar riff into almost desperate sounding rest of the song with a quiet part in the middle). I can also draw structural similarities with "Paschendale" (several false endings). But I will try a few more times to see if I can hear it in the future. I definitely have very little experience with listening to music in a very interpretive way. About as far as I get on that is distinguishing what each instrument is playing at one time (but not Maiden's triple guitarists), "this riff/song structure sort of sounds like this other one", "this song sounds pretty complex" or simply "I really like this part." Not exactly a strong knowledge of musical theory.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I do not hope my previous came across as arrogant. It's not that I speak the truth and you don't. Everyone has their individual feelings and interpretations.

Lord of Light feels very different to me because of its darker mood, but also because of its changing atmospheres.
At some point it really gets suspenseful even (the calm mid part). There are some radical changes, in tone, speed and time signatures. Starblind is more of a continuous flow (I could actually call it repetitive) of largely the same melancholic sounding atmosphere, speed and signatures.
 

425

Starblind
I would agree that the mood of "Lord of Light" is very different. I was commenting only on the song structure, a category in which the two do display a great amount of similarity.

You did not in any way come across as arrogant in the previous post or in any other posts. What I was displaying was not deference to your knowledge, but respect for your usually insightful commentary. Even though we do disagree from time to time, I usually find your remarks on various songs to be very interesting and informative. I also appreciate your honesty in expressing your opinion eloquently and persuasively, especially when it contradicts that of the majority (Maiden's 90s era, which I would also place on approximately equal footing with any other collection of four of the band's albums).

I'm sure we could argue our personal tastes on any number of topics (possibly FotD vs. VXI? ;) ) for days on end, but in the end, as you said, it comes down to just that: Personal taste, personal ear for the music. I can respect just about anyone's opinion on any bit of music so long as they are able to intelligently explain the reasons for their preference.

Tangent alert: Which is why I do not like those people who express their views on certain genres of music through ad hominem attacks. And metal certainly has more than its share of those. I've also been reading arguments from classical music snobs recently attacking metal as senseless noise (note that I have little knowledge of classical, although I am looking to get into that genre in the future), which led me to realize something, which will be the actual point of this long rant: A great deal of music opinion is purely subjective. And I'm the type of person who thinks a lot of art can be objectively judged to a degree. But I think that with music, though agreement can be reached in more objective measures such as measures of technicality or complexity, a lot of what we're dealing with is the subjective ears of individuals and the emotion that music causes them to experience.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Thank you for the appreciating words, 425 ! :) The individuality and honestly certainly keeps it all interesting.
Maiden's 90s era, which I would also place on approximately equal footing with any other collection of four of the band's albums.
Even though I rate VXI and FOTD lower than most other albums, I still say that Maiden's four 90s era albums are a strong group. I guess they would loose from these four though: Somewhere in Time, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Powerslave & A Matter of Life and Death.
 
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