Senjutsu - 3rd September 2021

Yax

Ancient Mariner
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Gk1

Here I sit in a serenade of glory!
What makes you think Martin Birch would be involved with song structures?
Well, maybe not, but he knew how to keep a tight sound and vibrant performances/grooves! Since then all albums seem to be 10% slower than what they should for their onw good! (IMO of course). Then again if this is what Steve wants...what can you do?
 
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Yax

Ancient Mariner
I might be wrong but I think Martin said that Maiden would never listen to his arrangement suggstions. But for sure he had an ear for tight sound and performances.
Yep. Maiden have been somewhat open with how their work relationship looked like. Maiden have supposedly never invited their producers or engineers to provide song writing feedback. They are confindent enough with themselves and they were never in the label's pocket in the sense that they had any leverage on how Maiden should sound anyway. Not all producers are involved with the writing anyway, and an active roll in song structures usually result in a writing credit anyway.
 

Jadukor

Can I play with Agnes
Martin Birch, 8 track album full of short songs.. i thought almost 30 years would be enough to come to terms with the evolution of Maiden. Apparently not.
 

Courbet

Educated Fool
My biggest hope for the new album is it’s better than BoS.

I don’t think it’s bad, it just lacks direction at times and memorability for me.
That’s a win win, those that like BoS would be in for a treat and those that didn’t will be happy too!
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Look up role of record producer
Finally, Adrian summed up his approach to recording; "Martin never got involved in arranging music".

 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
When it comes to fatigue of Steve's more epic tracks, I'm convinced that if songs like FTGGOG or TRATB had come out in '84, folks would hail them as classics. And by the same token, if then songs like Rime or Alexander came out on the post-reunion albums, people would still have the same fatigue.

I point this out not because there's an "incorrect" opinion out there; folks are gonna like what they like. But Steve has been doing the same thing since Phantom of the Opera when it comes to his longer more involved songs. It might get old for some, but I adore his writing and while he can be repetitive and sometimes copies his own material (and other bands), he still has a great sound, and he never phones it in.
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
I know each song gets song writing credits but this is a collaborative effort from all the guys. For example Blood Brothers is a Harris song but it would not be so epic without that Janick instrumental section in the middle. So what we can hope for is that the 3 amigos bring their A game to all the Steve epics. We need strong instrumental sections and some face melting solos in those 10 odd minutes :)
And great choruses... (riffs too).
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I think it's more likely that the recording medium of the day shifted. LPs limited what could be on a single album to ~50 minutes for a long, long time, but in the 90s, LPs died out and were replaced by CDs. Maiden expanded their songs and writing because of a lack of technical constraint. I am sure that in the 80s there was a lot of "well we can't do that like that AND put in To Tame A Land because it'll become a double album", etc.

Now, in the digital era, they don't give a shit, because many of their fans have lots of income and will prioritize spending on their media. But yeah, I think that's way more likely an explanation.
 

Arrakis

Educated Fool
Steve never revisits their old sound and songwriting again. I remember reading in the No Prayer interviews back in the days (I am that old :)) that they are never going to write songs from their early years again. Since then, all their prog influences from the 70s resurfaced dramatically, and I expect that happening heavily on Senjutsu as well. I don't have a problem with that, sometimes I long for shorter tracks though. My only problem is what you discussed earlier, I do think sometimes they are dragging a bit. While they are good tracks, they would need some cutting which I imagine would drive Steve mad, no matter which producer says it. I am not a fan of Empire of the Clouds either, while it has very good lyrics, and I like complex song structures, it just drags unnecessarily. It is just not interesting enough. If it's not interesting enough, it would need cutting.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
When it comes to fatigue of Steve's more epic tracks, I'm convinced that if songs like FTGGOG or TRATB had come out in '84, folks would hail them as classics. And by the same token, if then songs like Rime or Alexander came out on the post-reunion albums, people would still have the same fatigue.

To a certain degree, I agree with you. Maybe not all the way for those specific songs, but you know, if Death or Glory and/or The Pilgrim switched places with... say, Sun and Steel or Tailgunner, I think they'd be very welcomed to the live set as underrated/underplayed deep cuts or whatever.

Apart from the recording & performance quality, which were definitely a bit more polished, finished and thought-of in the 80's, I think that the mentioned modern "Steve epics" suffer from the weight of the past. It's not that Steve's signature elements have really lost any of their magic, or that Steve himself has, but over time, it just gets more difficult to surprise and you know, to really impress people the same way he did in the 80's. It's quite challenging to be constantly "innovative", I believe. But I think his initial hooks and songwriting tricks still work. :) The Red and the Black, for example, is (in my opinion) positively ridiculous song. An ultimate collection, culmination and mish-mash of various Maiden cliches and tropes, made to work... yeah, ridiculously well.

I can understand the problem some fans here have with it. I truly can. But for me, the coin just falls a bit differently with that one. It's dangerously close to being irritating song, but there's just something ridiculously charming and wonderful about it. Granted, it was awesome to see all those YouTube clips when TBOS tour kicked off. Thousands of fans singing along the woah-woah parts of a new song. Chills!!! Maybe that affects my opinion, maybe not, but yeah, there's certain magic in it.

I can't quite explain it, but it's just so overflowingly, uncompromisingly and unapologetically Steve :II: Maiden that I can't help but to kinda really, really like it.

Still, I wouldn't score it 10/10. It's just... ah, I don't know. As someone here said, there's so much more to music than just numbers, so I really like to stay away from "scoring" individual songs.
 

Maturin

Sköldpadda
The Red and the Black, for example, is (in my opinion) positively ridiculous song. An ultimate collection, culmination and mish-mash of various Maiden cliches and tropes, made to work... yeah, ridiculously well.

I can understand the problem some fans here have with it. I truly can. But for me, the coin just falls a bit differently with that one. It's dangerously close to being irritating song, but there's just something ridiculously charming and wonderful about it. Granted, it was awesome to see all those YouTube clips when TBOS tour kicked off. Thousands of fans singing along the woah-woah parts of a new song. Chills!!! Maybe that affects my opinion, maybe not, but yeah, there's certain magic in it.

I can't quite explain it, but it's just so overflowingly, uncompromisingly and unapologetically Steve :II: Maiden that I can't help but to kinda really, really like it.

Still, I wouldn't score it 10/10. It's just... ah, I don't know. As someone here said, there's so much more to music than just numbers, so I really like to stay away from "scoring" individual songs.

You summed up my thoughts well. I switched to that side after hearing the song live. First few times I heard it, I labelled it self parody. Now? It's one of my favourites. But it still has that sense, it's just that you have to surrender to how awesome it is still.
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
Regarding the double album question: we can all go on and on about how the band is writing longer songs because they want to, but at the end of the day the answer is marketing.

1. Release a double album
2. Make it more expensive than a regular album
3. Every album sold now counts as two records sold and adds up twice as fast on the charts
4. Chart higher
5. Advertise how great the album sold and how high it ranked on the charts
6. Sell more albums
 
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