rate all 17 Maiden albums best to worst

Samantas5855

Ancient Mariner
1.Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
2.Somewhere in Time
3.Powerslave
4.Piece of Mind
5.The Number Of The Beast
6.Killers
7.Iron Maiden
8.The X Factor
9.Brave New World
10.Virtual XI
11.The Final Frontier
12.Fear Of The Dark
13.Senjutsu
14.Dance Of Death
15.No Prayer For The Dying
16.A Matter Of Life And Death
17.Book Of Souls
 

____no5

Free Man
I'm noticing a trend, both Di'anno era albums are rated very low by most people here. Why?
Both albums, especially the debut are great, raw and very influential, they're top 5 in my opinion.

Who knows why.. Maybe because many members starting listening Maiden post 2000?
During the 80s the first 2 Di'Anno albums had the status of holy cows by journalists & Metal scene in general.

Thus the fans of 80s -mid 90s they weren't critical of these albums. Later with 90s decline and BNW era this Di'Anno impression started to fade and the new generation of fans listened to those albums without any prejudice. And the result was as you describe,

Same happened to me, when I came in this forum I was surprised by how the Di'Anno album were generally not appreciated in contrast with a relative high esteem for Blaze albums.

*Check this interview ~2:20 how the journalist clearly expresses the opinion that the first 2 albums were the best. This was 1992.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I can certainly say for myself that learning to enjoy the Di'Anno albums was a challenge at first, with a few songs as notable exceptions (and they're the ones you'd expect them to be, Phantom of the Opera, Killers, Wrathchild). Paul's punkish voice hasn't aged well with the curve of metal. I got in around 2001, and even the Blaze stuff sounded more vibrant to me - but of course, I was coming in from the 90s hard rock/nu metal scene, so darker themes and sounds were familiar at the time.

I don't really like punk, so the rawness of those earlier albums, the poor production on the first one, those are dissonance factors to me, rather than appeals. While I have wondered what it might be like to have grown up in the East End, seeing all those different iterations of Iron Maiden in the 70s at your local pub, I am far more often likely to imagine myself seeing the World Slavery Tour.
 

Iron Lurker

Ancient Mariner
I'm noticing a trend, both Di'anno era albums are rated very low by most people here. Why?
Both albums, especially the debut are great, raw and very influential, they're top 5 in my opinion.
Killers was the first Maiden album I ever heard and immediately fell in love with it. The next was the debut and I didn't like it nearly as much though Phantom was my favorite song of the two. The production had something to do with it. Killers just resonated with me more.
 

MindRuler

Found in a lost world
I'm noticing a trend, both Di'anno era albums are rated very low by most people here. Why?
Both albums, especially the debut are great, raw and very influential, they're top 5 in my opinion.
Why? Because there are better albums than those 2 IMO. Nevertheless some awesome songs can be found on the both Di´Anno´s: Phantom, Killers, Murders, Prodigal Son.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
I'm noticing a trend, both Di'anno era albums are rated very low by most people here. Why?
Both albums, especially the debut are great, raw and very influential, they're top 5 in my opinion.
Fans like Iron Maiden for different reasons. Some people don’t like the rawer sound of the Di’anno albums. Some people find the early songwriting and lyrics to be sorely lacking. Some people don’t care how influential something is when they’re assessing it on its own musical merits.

Personally I’ve found that Bruce and Adrian’s contributions, and about 2/3 of Steve’s contributions, make up the core of what I love about the band. Dave and Nicko have their moments too, but Janick’s contributions are a net negative for me. Based on that it’s not hard to guess that I like Killers more than the debut, that I don’t find much to like during the Blaze era, that NPFTD and FOTD generally don’t rate as highly for me as the albums with Adrian on them, and my relationship with the reunion era albums is up and down depending on how much influence the different band members have, and whether Steve is playing to the 2/3 of his instincts that I like or the 1/3 that I dislike.

Other people are ALL STEVE fans, or they really like Janick, or Dave, or Dennis Stratton, or Paul, or Blaze, and that influences their views. Some people really value high-quality production, and that influences their views. Some people don’t mind repetitive noodling and bad vocal phrasing, while other people are driven nuts by it. Some people don’t mind out of tune vocals, other people hate them. Some people can’t get into a song unless it has a galloping rhythm and is at least 140bpm, while others don’t have that issue. We all come in with different preferences and biases and get something different out of the music.
 

Brigantium

General of the Dark Army
Staff member
I think many fans here are here because they want to talk about the new(er) material, an awful lot sign up when a new album is released. It makes sense then that if they like post-reunion Maiden's style they might not be as keen on the Di'anno era music. I tend to find more Di'anno era fans around places - a couple of Facebook groups I've been in spring to mind - where there's more Maiden nostalgia and far less interest in present day Maiden.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Is that based on solos, songwriting, or both?
Both. He’s up and down, but for me mostly down. I think his best performance as a guitarist with Maiden was on the NPFTD album. As a songwriter, probably Out Of The Silent Planet and The Book Of Souls. And maybe 4-5 other songs he co-wrote are pretty strong. But even his stronger songs are usually derivative and self-plagiarizing in some way, IMO.
 

TheMercenary

Ancient Mariner
Bruce is undeniably the best singer of Iron Maiden. Because he can sing high, medium and low notes really easily. Paul and Blaze were great too, but while Paul's voice was very rough, Blaze's voice was more emotional. The two combined could lead to Dickinson's voice. Personally, I love the three singers, the three eras and all the albums the band has released since its debut in 1980. IMHO, all the records have something different and interesting to offer to the fans. That's why I don't like to rank the albums. It's complicated and, for me, utterly useless.
 
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Helmuth Von Moltke

Educated Fool
Both. He’s up and down, but for me mostly down. I think his best performance as a guitarist with Maiden was on the NPFTD album. As a songwriter, probably Out Of The Silent Planet and The Book Of Souls. And maybe 4-5 other songs he co-wrote are pretty strong. But even his stronger songs are usually derivative and self-plagiarizing in some way, IMO.
Harsh and undeserved, in my opinion. Fair enough if that's what you think, but there is one obvious error in your view.

His 'self plagiarism' cannot have crept in until he had written enough Maiden material to plagiarise in the first place.

I agree that the intros to Time Machine and Talisman bear similarity, and Jan is a co-writer on both. And Shadows of the Valley or Book of Souls each carry clear imprints of past Maiden songs. But this is all material from the last decade or so.

The same simply cannot be said of Janick's contributions to most of the albums up to AMOLAD. What exactly is he copying here? So I ask: how can you level the accusation of 'self plagiarism' to the full extent of Jan's Maiden career as a songwriter?

Another question: if you think (like me) that the main guitar motif in The Edge of Darkness sounds a bit like the Trooper, how do you know it was Janick and not Steve who came up with it? Or, if the start of Man on the Edge reminds you of the start of the Evil that Men Do, shouldn't we actually applaud Janick for keeping Maiden's classic sound alive in the 1990s...??

Harris is as bad at moments of self plagiarism, as Senjutsu seems to have shown, and he seems to have avoided your criticism. The bigger point is that men in their 60s are still writing songs for a band that has existed for 40 years and that never changes it style in fundamental ways.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
Harris is as bad at moments of self plagiarism, as Senjutsu seems to have shown, and he seems to have avoided your criticism. The bigger point is that men in their 60s are still writing songs for a band that has existed for 40 years and that never changes it style in fundamental ways. th
"self plagiarism" is very strange concept. A composer is perfectly entitled to reuse his own ideas in another context if he thinks it works. It's not only bad memory or laziness. I really wouldn't mind Harris writing a song entirely based on former ideas, as long as the dynamics works. How many symphonies or sonatas are based upon musical themes borrowed to another piece, by the same composer or another? Dozens. And that's fantastic, because it gets the full potential out of an idea. Anyway, I fail to hear those repetitions or reuses in Harris'tracks on Senjutsu.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
His 'self plagiarism' cannot have crept in until he had written enough Maiden material to plagiarise in the first place.
“Wasting Love” reuses the opening guitar bit from Bruce Dickinson’s “Son Of A Gun”, which Janick had written only 2 years prior. Boom.

I agree that the intros to Time Machine and Talisman bear similarity, and Jan is a co-writer on both.
And The Legacy, and The Book Of Souls, and Dance Of Death.

The same simply cannot be said of Janick's contributions to most of the albums up to AMOLAD. What exactly is he copying here?
His own material and Maiden’s. I already called out “Wasting Love”, the noodley guitar interlude from “Afraid To Shoot Strangers” shows up with only minor changes in “Sign Of The Cross” and elsewhere, the opening to “Lord Of The Flies” is a mild modification of the opening to “From Here To Eternity” from the previous album, etc., etc. It’s all there if you’re paying attention.

Another question: if you think (like me) that the main guitar motif in The Edge of Darkness sounds a bit like the Trooper, how do you know it was Janick and not Steve who came up with it?
Fair point, though it would depend on whether the lifted bits were songwriting or arrangement. Does Steve actually write every note of songs credited solely to him, or does he write lyrics and melody and set up the general structure, but the other players still contribute riffs and solos on their own? I’m assuming that the reuse of the ATSS boring noodling is Janick, since he’s the one playing it, but you’re right that it could be Steve.

Or, if the start of Man on the Edge reminds you of the start of the Evil that Men Do, shouldn't we actually applaud Janick for keeping Maiden's classic sound alive in the 1990s...??
Not if it sounds both too similar and not as good, which would be the case here.

Harris is as bad at moments of self plagiarism
I never said he wasn’t. As I’ve mentioned, I dislike roughly 1/3 of his musical ideas, and the bad recycling would go into that category. But Janick is a more blatant offender, IMO.

I get it, you like Janick and see this as an attack, so you feel compelled to leap to his defense. I’ve been here before. But if you look at his work with a critical eye the evidence is all there.
 
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Edington

Last Son of The Miracle
I get it, you like Janick and see this as an attack, so you feel compelled to leap to his defense. I’ve been here before.

I'm past caring about you not liking Janick's contributions at this point so I'm not "leaping to his defence", but I did have two little gripes with your post:

And The Legacy, and The Book Of Souls, and Dance Of Death.

I've seen others call out Dance of Death as one of Janick's "plagiarisms" but I hear no similarity to any of his later songs, aside from the use of an acoustic guitar in the intro. The music itself is quite different.

the noodley guitar interlude from “Afraid To Shoot Strangers” shows up with only minor changes in “Sign Of The Cross”
Does Steve actually write every note of songs credited solely to him, or does he writes lyrics and melody and set up the general structure, but the other players still contribute riffs and solos on their own? I’m assuming that the reuse of the ATSS boring noodling is Janick, since he’s the one playing it, but you’re right that it could be Steve.

Steve has said before that he writes "everything except the guitar solos" on songs with only his name on, so the ATSS/SotC connection has nothing to do with Janick.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
I've seen others call out Dance of Death as one of Janick's "plagiarisms" but I hear no similarity to any of his later songs, aside from the use of an acoustic guitar in the intro. The music itself is quite different.
The melody is different, but compare the openings of Dance Of Death and The Legacy and the rhythmic structure and even the shape of the notes played on each chord is very similar. It’s disingenuous to say that their only similarity is being played on an acoustic guitar — Writing On The Wall sounds totally different, as does Tears Of The Dragon, or just about any other song where Janick didn’t compose the acoustic bit. You may choose to call it style instead of recycling in this case, and that’s a subjective determination.

Steve has said before that he writes "everything except the guitar solos" on songs with only his name on, so the ATSS/SotC connection has nothing to do with Janick.
Fair enough, strike it from my hastily assembled list and just look at the rest of the body of evidence.

Believe it or not, I’m really not that interested in relitigating the argument that got all of the Janick fans’ panties in a bunch a few years back.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
You’re definitely right about (most of) his solos, but for me his songwriting skills are a huge benefit to Maiden. Even when he repackages the same or similar music, there’s always a different theme that makes it stand apart. “The Time Machine” pulls from “The Talisman”, “The Book of Souls”, and “Ghost of the Navigator” pretty obviously, but it reworks these elements in new ways that make them sound different and actually fresh. It’s the kind of ‘self-plagiarism’ I like. He’s a three-dimensional autocannibalizer, instead of like… Sabaton rewriting the same four minute song a hundred times. There are dimensions to Janick’s compositions.

Also he’s so much fun to watch on stage lol.
 

Edington

Last Son of The Miracle
I sometimes wonder if it's intentional. Not every time of course, there are too many instances, but with the Son of a Gun/Wasting Love or The Mercenary/That-White-Spirit-song-I-can't-be-arsed-to-search-for-the-name-of connections, perhaps Janick wanted to rework/reuse those parts now he was in a higher-profile outfit with Maiden. It obviously worked, as both were played on Maiden tours and Wasting Love got released as a single.
 
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