Somewhere In Time: Album Discussion

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I think SIT is directly responsible for the band's 90s decline. The overcomplexity seemed to be in direct conflict to the direction Bruce wanted to go, and the reaction to this direction after Seventh Son led to the "simplification" around NPFTD and FOTD. Quite simply, SIT is when Maiden pushed it too far in one direction.

Also, I don't like it that much.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
I think SIT is directly responsible for the band's 90s decline. The overcomplexity seemed to be in direct conflict to the direction Bruce wanted to go, and the reaction to this direction after Seventh Son led to the "simplification" around NPFTD and FOTD. Quite simply, SIT is when Maiden pushed it too far in one direction.
That's theoretical, but possible. It kind of correlates that the Blaze era was mostly comprised of complex songs and Bruce matured upon his return to the band, working on complex music. As a counter point, Bruce has the sole writing credit on Revelations, arguably the most complex song written at the time for the band. Even a more complex song in the Di'Anno era (Remember Tomorrow) had the Steve Harris writing credit.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Though we all know the most complex song was written during the Decline Era.

:ninja:
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Revelations, arguably the most complex song written at the time for the band.
You gotta be kidding me. This song probably has the least variation of all Maiden/w Dickinson songs from the eighties. The progression is very predictable, monotone (constantly the same chords) and repetitive. The "ta da da" theme runs though the whole instrumental mid section. When I hear it, I wait til its over quickly. And that isn't a good sign when I'm listening to Maiden. Instrumental sections are usually for me highlights of the song. Not this time. The whole thing just "happens" and doesn't go through any interesting direction.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
As a counter point, Bruce has the sole writing credit on Revelations, arguably the most complex song written at the time for the band.
I wouldn't say it was the most complex song up to then, but certainly up there. However, there has been some debate on this board over whether it was really written by Bruce only. Somebody somewhere made the pretty good point that Bruce may have gotten the sole credit because he didn't get any on Number of the Beast at all, although it's rather well known that he contributed to The Prisoner and Run to the Hills.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
You gotta be kidding me. This song probably has the least variation of all Maiden/w Dickinson songs from the eighties. The progression is very predictable, monotone (constantly the same chords) and repetitive. The "ta da da" theme runs though the whole instrumental mid section. When I hear it, I wait til its over quickly. And that isn't a good sign when I'm listening to Maiden. Instrumental sections are usually for me highlights of the song. Not this time. The whole thing just "happens" and doesn't go through any interesting direction.
The subject material, delving into spiritual alchemy and using clever metaphors to convey this is pretty complex for the band at the time of PoM's release. From a technical standpoint, it's very smart too, calming but still distinctly metal.

@Perun : I'd never considered that actually. I knew Bruce didn't receive writing credit on NOTB because of legal reasons. I don't know if I'd go as far to say Steve gave Bruce the sole credit to Revelations as some kind of compensation, but there is probably more that meets the eye in this case.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
@Perun : I'd never considered that actually. I knew Bruce didn't receive writing credit on NOTB because of legal reasons. I don't know if I'd go as far to say Steve gave Bruce the sole credit to Revelations as some kind of compensation, but there is probably more that meets the eye in this case.
Well, we don't know exactly what happened behind the scenes in 1983, but I could imagine Bruce's ego needed some taming. Of course, it's still possible that Bruce wrote the song in its entirety. After all, he did play guitars on it when they played it live in the eighties, so maybe he did venture down that avenue.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
he did play guitars on it when they played it live
Although to my eye, he looked distinctly uncomfortable doing so on the LAD vid. Which would be odd if he'd really written the song. I mean, he had to stare down his guitar to play the easiest guitar part in the song, and this at the end of a tour when he'd (presumably) done it many times already.

I think it may be something like Nicko and New Frontier: Bruce hummed or sang some riffs, and Steve found the notes for it and fleshed it out. Even without guitar skills, Bruce could still have generated all the main ideas, but he couldn't finish it alone I bet.
 

RTC

Libera et impera!
I think it may be something like Nicko and New Frontier: Bruce hummed or sang some riffs, and Steve found the notes for it and fleshed it out. Even without guitar skills, Bruce could still have generated all the main ideas, but he couldn't finish it alone I bet.
But Nicko wasn't the sole credit of New Frontier though.
 
As a counter point, Bruce has the sole writing credit on Revelations, arguably the most complex song written at the time for the band.
I have to agree with Foro. How is Revelations musically complicated? Lyrically, maybe it's above the Maiden norm.; musically, hardly. It's total bog standard rock fair.
I think SIT is directly responsible for the band's 90s decline. The overcomplexity seemed to be in direct conflict to the direction Bruce wanted to go, and the reaction to this direction after Seventh Son led to the "simplification" around NPFTD and FOTD.
Are you confusing the "complicated" mix (more than one studio, synths, etc) with the songwriting?
Quite simply, SIT is when Maiden pushed it too far in one direction.
Since everything after is being judged as inferior, was this not a good direction?
Also, I don't like it that much.
Perhaps why you're blaming it for all Maiden's 90's woes? Adrian (disinterested), then Bruce (disinterested), then Blaze (not a patch on Bruce) would be more likely suggestions for Maiden's "decline".
 
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LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Are you confusing the "complicated" mix (more than one studio, synths, etc) with the songwriting?
I think, on SIT, both the mix, including the addition of synths, and the songwriting are complex. SIT has some of the more complex songs from a songwriting perspective, and some of the harder to play ones (such as the sublime Sea of Madness). So no, I am not confusing the two aspects of complexity, I am suggesting they both apply.

Since everything after is being judged as inferior, was this not a good direction?
Actually, I think Seventh Son is a superior album to SIT - where there was the most synthesis between Bruce and Steve and H as the primary songwriters. I also think everything post-reunion is better than both albums, so I'd say they got there eventually. I'm not saying SIT is bad, but I just don't think it is nearly as good as people here seem to believe.

Perhaps why you're blaming it for all Maiden's 90's woes? Adrian (disinterested), then Bruce (disinterested), then Blaze (not a patch on Bruce) would be more likely suggestions for Maiden's "decline".
Why were Adrian and Bruce disinterested? Because it wasn't what they wanted to do. Both men's post-Maiden solo offerings can give us a fantastic insight to the music they wanted to make instead of the albums they had to make as part of Maiden. Quite simply, SIT started the process of pushing Bruce out of the band - but it also led to Steve wanting to go back to basics, which is what pushed H out.

I cannot blame Blaze for anything. I maintain what I have said previously - without Blaze Bayley, Iron Maiden died in 1993 and remained dead.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
Actually, I think Seventh Son is a superior album to SIT - where there was the most synthesis between Bruce and Steve and H as the primary songwriters. I also think everything post-reunion is better than both albums, so I'd say they got there eventually. I'm not saying SIT is bad, but I just don't think it is nearly as good as people here seem to believe.
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This. (Except Seventh Son is my favourite album).
 
I think, on SIT, both the mix, including the addition of synths, and the songwriting are complex. SIT has some of the more complex songs from a songwriting perspective, and some of the harder to play ones (such as the sublime Sea of Madness). So no, I am not confusing the two aspects of complexity, I am suggesting they both apply.
Hmm, maybe. I just don't think SiT is that complicated an album, from a songwriting perspective.
Actually, I think Seventh Son is a superior album to SIT - where there was the most synthesis between Bruce and Steve and H as the primary songwriters. I also think everything post-reunion is better than both albums, so I'd say they got there eventually. I'm not saying SIT is bad, but I just don't think it is nearly as good as people here seem to believe.
I prefer the mix/production of SiT over Seventh Son, personally. I can't agree with some of the post-reunion albums being better than SiT I'm afraid. Only AMoLaD comes close in my opinion.
Why were Adrian and Bruce disinterested? Because it wasn't what they wanted to do. Both men's post-Maiden solo offerings can give us a fantastic insight to the music they wanted to make instead of the albums they had to make as part of Maiden. Quite simply, SIT started the process of pushing Bruce out of the band - but it also led to Steve wanting to go back to basics, which is what pushed H out.
Personally, I think H's output was pretty poor. Bruce's latter output in awesome tho'. But a huge share of that must come down to Roy Z, surely?
I cannot blame Blaze for anything. I maintain what I have said previously - without Blaze Bayley, Iron Maiden died in 1993 and remained dead.
I don't really blame him either. I just said he ain't no Bruce; from a songwriting &/or singing perspective. It just kind of showed how really important Bruce was to the band. Or, at least, that's the view I take.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I suppose it could be considered a peak of Maiden's sound fully maturing, they'd come of age, so to speak. But after SSOASS they couldn't take this road any further and had to do something else. That coincided with the no frills trend of the 90s.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I don't think Maiden works this way. They start every album without a plan (or road), and do what they feel like at the moment they're starting with the new album (songwriting).
 
I finally got around to get me an old 86 vinyl of this record, and it really is a lot more enjoyable than the remastered one I've had so far. I never liked the sound very much and found the guitar tone and the synthesizers a bit headache inducing to be honest. But it's very much better on the original and I like it a lot more now than i did before. Still don't like heaven can wait and neither Sea of madness or Deja vu gives me much. But the rest is a lot better than remembered, especially the long distance runner (which has always been a favorite) ans the titel track are awesome. And singles work really nice as well. Alexander have some great musical stuff but the lyrics annoys me so I still after maybe 25 years or something i can't make up my mind about it.
But I really suggest (as mentioned a lot before around here, I'm sure) anyone who doesn't like the sound of it to get an older version, it's really worth it.
 
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