Rank the "Single" songs.

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Self explanatory. Try not to repeat songs (just pick the best version from a single edition):

40 - "Wasting Love":
Maiden playing AOR power ballads? No way! And Bruce's voice sounds awful. Cool entering lead and solos. Other than that this Wasting Love is truly a waste of time.

39 - "From Here to Eternity"
Once again the only thing memorable here is the infectious bass line with which the song begins with. Other than that FHTE is a cringe fest of a Hard Rock FM wannabe, plagued by awful vocals and an abortion of a chorus.

38 - "The Angel and the Gambler (Edited Version)":
More bearable than the album version due to more than needed trimming, this song still fails to impress the slightest.

37 - “Coming Home”:
Interesting melodic tune with some hooks but its charm wears too fast. Still nice to listen to.

36 - "Speed of Light":
Uncompromising short rocker with a nice flow to it but that's all. Nice guitar licks in the pre-chorus.

35 - "Twilight Zone":
Enjoyable fast rocker. Yet a somehow cacophonous vocal line in the verses and too much compressed content in too little time surely holds this song back. Props to Paul's voice in the chorus.

34 - "Women in Uniform":
Maiden nailed it while covering this Skyhook's song. But other than being a really refreshing and cool rock cover this track has little more to offer.

33 - "Running Free":
Another off the charts hear friendly and radio friendly tune. And like the previous track it offers little more than that. Perhaps I'm being too harsh due to the thousands of times I've listened to it but it's my actual take.

32 - "Virus (Short Version)":
Deprived of its horrendous and lengthy initial part, Virus proves to be a pretty enjoyable song that features an excellent final section.

31- "Holy Smoke":
Energetic and sarcastic as it can be, Holy Smoke dwells in areas Maiden rarely ventures in and does it with a fair amount of success. An edgy and uncompromising rocker that sounds kind of dislocated in No Prayer For The Dying but works really nice on its own.

30 - "Wildest Dreams"
Although it may sound way too basic and similar to various short songs from their 2000's era, the high notes for this short track go to the infectious rhythm and mostly to its absolutely beautiful bridge.

29 - "Empire of the Clouds":
As I mentioned before I really dislike Rock Operas but have to recognize this one is really well composed and features some excellent passages.

28- "El Dorado":
A really energetic song featuring a great chorus yet recurring too much to Maiden cliches. Yet proves to be more than efficient to generate some serious headbanging.

27- "Different World":
With the exception of its cheesy soap opera like pre-chorus, Different World strengths reside in the same points than the previous tune without sounding cliche. Great guitar harmony in the bridge, also.

26- "Out of the Silent Planet (Edited Version)":
It's a pity the single doesn't feature the complete version since that intro is really something. Other than that OOTSP is a great song with excellent passages, proving to be one of the better cuts from maiden's 2000 reunion album.

25 - "Lord of the Flies":
After a somehow confusing intro the second single out of The X Factor reveals to be a muscular mid tempo anthem. Its composition may be quite simple but it's also tight as nails. I prefer Bruce's take on this one live with the octave variations giving a bit more dynamics to the pre-chorus and refrain but Blaze does a really good job on this tune also.

24 - "Rainmaker":
Dance Of Death's second single secret to greatness is the excellence of its melodies, be it during the initial guitar lead or the verses and chorus itself. Suffers a bit from repetition syndrome though, but being quite short that handicap is not as noticeable as it proves to be in longer songs.

23 - "Futureal":
Excellent uptempo opening tune and a great way to start an album full speed ahead. My only complaint is that other than the chorus, the vocal part(either sang by Bruce or by Blaze) is quite basic and lackluster, holding this track back.

22 - "Hallowed Be Thy Name (Live):
Back in 93, someone should've explained Steve that producing a record was not his best ability. In all honesty, the production almost ruins this absolute classic that only ranks this high due to its inherited and undeniable quality. The band's performance here is far from being the sharpest also.

21 - "2 Minutes to Midnight":
An absolute classic taken from a flawless album, 2 Minutes is the most radio friendly song out of Powerslave but still preserves tons of Heavy Metal punch and a killer chorus, helping the band to solidify itself as the primary metal act worldwide.
 
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srfc

Ancient Mariner
Like said before, I really can't be bothered ranking things to a level any further than a few places

But in terms of best songs:
1) The Number of the Beast
2) Hallowed
3) 2 Minutes to Midnight
4) Infinite Dreams
5) Wasted Years

In terms of suitability for a pop single
1) Wasted Years
2) Can I Play with Madness
3) Run to the Hills
4) Rainmaker
5) The Wicker Man

In terms of the whole single package
1) Holy Smoke, strong pop single A side, Maiden's best 2 covers on the B-side
2) Sanctuary, strong early hit and a non album track, 2 great early live classics on the b-side
3) Hallowed Live, best version of hallowed, great version of Wrathchild on the b-side
4) The Trooper, great cover on the b-side, classic cut to shape picture disc
5) The Clairvoyant, all non-album lives.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
1) The Number of the Beast
2) Hallowed
3) 2 Minutes to Midnight
4) Infinite Dreams
5) Wasted Years

In terms of suitability for a pop single
1) Wasted Years
2) Can I Play with Madness
3) Run to the Hills
4) Rainmaker
5) The Wicker Man
My top 10 features a good amount of these songs...

1) Holy Smoke, strong pop single A side, Maiden's best 2 covers on the B-side
Agreed 100% . To a point that I think Stray's cover should've been featured in No Prayer. The guys totally "Maidenized" it! Kill Me Ce Soir is also top notch!
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
20 - "Satellite 15...The Final Frontier (Short Version)"
This is basically the title track without its extensive intro and as cool as it sounds as an album opener it really had no sense including it in the single version. A great Heavy Rocker that somehow seems like a cross between Black Sabbath and Priest's take on Fleetwood Mac's The Green Manalishi. Yeah!

19 - "Flight of Icarus":
Another song that conquered the hearts of the vast majority of Maiden fans, Flight Of Icarus strength resides on being a mini epic strongly driven by Harris' galloping bass and highlighted by Bruce's amazing performance.

18 - "Fear of the Dark (live):
Steve also butchered this one while (un)producing it. But unlike Hallowed Be Thy Name, this is a minor detail since the audience participation on this one propels it to new heights. Man... that Helsinky crew that night basically created a new Maiden classic in that recording to a point I'm almost sure Fear Of The Dark would have never been a must include in the band's show if it wasn't for this live version.

17 - "Stranger in a Strange Land":
Polished and well written this is Somewhere In Time at its most accessible form. And while being so it doesn't lose a single inch of the grace and excellence typical of that album. That middle section and solos are pure gold.

16 - "Run to the Hills":
Another song "doomed" to be a hit. With that sing along chorus, addictive intro and that great crescendo on the bridge, Run To The Hills served as a greeting card from Mr. Dickinson and a preview of what was to change in Maiden's third LP.

15 - "Purgatory":
Being dubbed by some as Speed Metal, this short burst of energy is a truly underrated gem. It seems like a cross between early Maidens' blueprint sound and Motorhead's fastest cuts, with Paul Di'Anno's screeches going along perfectly with his punk rock rough pitch. Simply brutal.

14 - "The Evil That Men Do":
Everything in Seventh Son is superb and this song is no exception. The brief intro is excellent the galloping rhythm is frenetic, the low mysterious vocals on the verses give the song an hell of an ambiance... every single part of this song is gorgeous. Nevertheless one must underline its apotheotic chorus. If it wasn't for severe overplaying I'm sure this song would rank even higher.

13 - "The Clairvoyant":
As I mentioned before Seventh Son is synonymous to quality and therefore so is The Clairvoyant. It starts gathering pace with Steve's gallop but from there on the main attraction here are the several guitar harmonies that Dave and Adrian throw at us throughout this really memorable tune.

12 - "The Wicker Man":
I don't know what the boys were thinking when they left the back vocals from the radio version out on both this version and the album's but it definitely wasn't the best of ideas. Other than this (and the striking similitude with Priest's Running Wild during the verses) The Wicker Man shines throughout its refrain, solos and mainly the glorious choral that closes the song.

11 - "Man on the Edge":
After a short but really well crafted intro, Man on The Edge kicks down the door full speed ahead. The whole track is tight as nails and Steve really pulls some great bass licks before the chorus. Once again I prefer Bruce take on this one but this version was also an excellent way to promote the first record featuring Blaze Bailey.

10 - "Sanctuary":
There are neither tricks nor great adornments here: just pedal to the metal hyper intense Heavy Metal with some Punk Rock sparkles. Even in the more "metalized" versions sang later by the following two vocalists the raw power that surrounds this track is always present (although Paul's version is still my favorite). This song is purely savage!

09 - "Be Quick or Be Dead":
Savage is a word too soft to describe Fear Of The Dark's first song and single. Be Quick Or Be Dead is a speed metal armor piercing barrage that takes no prisoners. Oddly opening a record full of so much FM Hard Rock mambo-jambo, Bruce's more crispy vocalizations work really well on this beast that simply represents one of Maiden's most peculiar and creative singles and without shadow of doubt their heaviest.

08 - "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg":
Starting with a calm yet dire intro this almost eight minute long track reveals to be an oppressive monster either through its heavy as hell verses or through the afflicted soundscape that transpires through Bruce's singing in the chorus. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg is a very unusual pick for a single but still one amazing track with some out of this world drum lines courtesy of Mr. McBrain.

07 - "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter":
Maiden's only number one single in the UK is surely divisive when it comes to fan's approval. Nevertheless ( and corny lyrics aside) Bring Your Daughter is an excellent song proving that its comercial success was not an accident. Featuring an excellent chorus, amazing bridge and horror film like passages both in the calm interlude and verses (quite fitting if we take in account its initial purpose) this song had "hit" written all over it.

06 - "The Trooper":
Easily one of the band's most recognizable tunes, at first site the main element is the dual guitar harmonizer so common in the band since the Iron Maiden theme. Nevertheless it's Harris' quite basic galloping bass that commands the dynamics of the song through variations of the song's tonic, serving as an acoustic anchor the looping dual guitars and culminating in the "oh oh" choral. The Trooper is simply put a lesson in composing.

05 - "Can I Play With Madness":
Another hugely radio friendly Heavy Metal tune, Can I Play With Madness finds Bruce Dickinson's voice in godlike status in different pitches, an over the top rumbling gallop of the string section and o hell of a performance by Nicko (seriously... who else can make a cowbell filled tune sound so metal?). After a discharge full passage a great chorus takes form based in great guitar leads supported by a superb use of keyboards. Before the last take we're presented with an awesome breakdown bridge strongly based on the blues that serves as another motive to one of the band's best singles ever.

04 - "The Number of the Beast":
Being one of Maiden's most defining songs it's easy to understand why I ranked this song so high despite its relative simplicity. From a ingeniously tension building intro to the exploding discharges and iconic scream before the song kicks in, from the mandatory headbanging verses and sing along chorus to the greatness of the guitar solos and bridges everything in The Number of the Beast is Metal at it's best.

03 - "Infinite Dreams":
Filled with Prog Rock influences, Seventh Son's fourth and last single is a monument to great intricate songwriting and even greater composing. Starting with amazing lead guitar harmonies, the vocals step in bathed in clean guitars and one of Steve's best bass lines ever till distortion pedals are hit on a progression of the same melody with Bruce's voice hitting one octave above. All of the sudden a breath taking odd tempo bridge with the keyboards making its presence being felt. Everything is suddenly interrupted by Bruce's air raid scream and the whole damn thing plunges into a fast but epic whirlwind of awesomeness granting us 6 minutes of the best song ever penned by Maiden.

02 - "Wasted Years":
Every single time I talk about Wasted Years I refer that it was the first Maiden song I've ever heard and how it was love at first listen. And It's easy to understand the reason why: starting with an absolutely catchy lead, it then flows to a simple but delightful verses featuring some great drum fills just to explode into one of the bands more anthemic yet easy listening chorus the band as ever made. The soloing is also top notch while the bass gives some delicious undertones to establish Wasted Years as one of Maiden's best songs ever. Thanks Adrian.

01 - "Aces High":
And number one couldn't be other than the absolute perfection that is Aces High. Not only this is my favorite song that became a single, this is my favorite Maiden track along with Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. Everything here is simply mind blowing: after a pompous intro a flashing riff attack hits the listener at breakneck speed and the verse part gains weight supported in gritty, crushing chords till it all enters an hypnotic pre-chorus that even makes the adrenaline rush through the veins of a dead man. The drum work here is abyssal (especially during the bridges), both solos are gorgeous but the absolute peak of this song (and perhaps of Maiden's career) is Aces High's unbelievable chorus. As proof of its excellence been listening to this monument for almost 33 years now and not once ever since did I doubted this is the place it deserves: number one!
 
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Midnight

The Ever Present "It"
Yeah... but here the cowbell marking before the song kicks in gives the song a rock vibe to it while in CIPWM does the complete opposite: it reinforces the bulk of the verses while being embedded in the gallop.
Oh, I see what you mean.
 

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
IMHO, no IM single has ever been, is and could be better than Run to the Hills (live 2001).

The rest is subject to variations, except The Angel and the Gambler which is crap in its purest form.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
I'm not much into straightforward rankings and whatnot, but as far as Iron Maiden singles go, I'd categorize and "rank" their status & quality value (not including live/video/etc. singles) like this:

GOLD TIER - The Biggest & Greatest Hits

Run to the Hills
The Number of the Beast
The Trooper
Flight of Icarus
Aces High
2 Minutes to Midnight
Wasted Years
The Evil That Men Do

SILVER TIER - "Just" classics / cult classics / hardcore picks

Wrathchild
Running Free
Stranger in a Strange Land
Can I Play With Madness
The Clairvoyant
The Wicker Man

BRONZE TIER - Essential releases - not all of them are necessarily that great songs

Sanctuary
Purgatory
Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter
Holy Smoke
Be Quick or be Dead
Man on the Edge
Futureal
Wildest Dreams
El Dorado
Speed of Light

THE OVERLOOKED

Twilight Zone
Lord of the Flies
Out of the Silent Planet
Rainmaker
Different World
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg

MEHHH

The Final Frontier
Wasting Love

The "Unworthy"

From Here to Eternity
The Angel and the Gambler (I kind of like the - assumed - idea behind this one being a single cut, but it doesn't quite kick as a single should)
 
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LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Are you ranking these for their qualities as songs, or are you ranking these for their suitability/success as singles?
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
Are you ranking these for their qualities as songs, or are you ranking these for their suitability/success as singles?

I'm trying to summarize the overall relation of both qualities. In a way, the key factor here is - highly debatable as it is - essentiality.

The first two "tiers" being songs with unquestionable, widely acknowledged classic, hit and/or cult status - that's why Sanctuary, for example, is there, even though I might personally enjoy stuff like Wasting Love or Different World more.

"Bronze tier" songs are still very notable releases, such as first singles from albums that got a lot of modern day media hype (Speed of Light, El Dorado) and somewhat (or very) successful releases and/or otherwise very essential songs, such as Man on the Edge (Blaze-era representation), Bring Your Daughter (the "number one" single) or Wildest Dreams (once again, somewhat big hype and very unique role it played in the Give Me Ed set).

"The overlooked" represents songs that aren't really first that come to mind when thinking about most essential, well-known Maiden songs & single cuts, but they might very beloved among the fans and appropriate single releases nonetheless, even if their commercial success, airplay or general acknowledgement didn't quite reach too dizzy heights. For example, Speed of Light seems to be a bit more well-known (at least around here) than the AMOLAD singles were five years after their release etc. probably thanks to the much more YouTube & streaming service centered market and the general hype and attention around the album and Bruce's condition.

Another "middle tier" is the "Mehh" category, which contains songs that are very logical single cuts, but haven't quite gotten the cult or mainstream status most of the other cuts of similar song type have. Wasting Love is debatable though.

And then there's the low, "unworthy" tier, where both songs are pretty suitable for singles, but I don't see much love, general attention or notable commercial success to really provide them any of the "titles" mentioned above.

The general idea being... well, I might have lost it already. :D
 

Murder of Rue Morgue

Educated Fool
That's a good question, I at first tried to rank them all for their suitability as singles... then the boredom (and English not being my native language) cut my work off :bigsmile:

But under that perspective, I have some fixed points, such as:
  • Run to the Hills (live 2001) still holds the pole position, being (under a lot of POVs) the perfect anticipation of the most important IM album since Live After Death
  • The Angel and the Gambler still is their worst single, 1) because the song is crap and 2) because it has little if nothing to share with the rest of the album; for similar reasons, Futureal ranks low too: it doesn't depicts the album, Futureal being a fast, minimal and (moreover) good song; at least, it had some interesting "B-sides"
  • Benjamin Breeg ranks very low; it's too long and complex to be a good single (some charts even excluded it due to its lenght), and so does Empire of the Clouds (which I don't consider a "proper" single, just like Coming Home and The Final Frontier); BTW, Benjamin Breeg was the leading single and it depicts its record way better than Different World
  • Purgatory ranks low too, but in this case its because the single contains nothing worth of buying; it's Purgatory on side A and Genghis Khan on side B, not even live or alternate versions, just the very tracks which appear on the record; basically it is Purgatory: Collector's Edition
  • Twilight Zone, albeit being a good song and less more, ranks higher than the previous, because (at least in UK) it was a non-album single, so the only way to have the song was buying the single; I regret a bit the fact that they did a double A-side over including the live version of Wrathchild they had, but I enjoy what I got
  • Singles I'm not sure where to rank: Be Quick or Be Dead, Holy Smoke, Can I Play with Madness, Wasted Years. All them are great songs, but also I have some issues:
    • Quick or Dead is a killer track, but something doesn't fit to me (nothing to do with the song's quality, which is top)
    • Holy Smoke is a bit too happy, compared to the rest of the album
    • Madness, same; also I think it's not the most "IM" song
    • Wasted Years has very little in common with the rest of Somewhere in Time, IMHO... no keys, no synths, no time change, just a straight mid tempo tune; it's a great song, but Stranger surely depicts the album better
 
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