Tears Of A Clown

How good is Tears of a Clown on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    64
"Who motivates the motivator?"
Two slow ballads on this album. I feel the album could only handle one, and to put them both together just makes the second CD drag somewhat.
With TFF I struggled a bit with the pace and feel of Coming Home but it eventually grew on me. Perhaps TofC will do so also.
 

Garf

Galloping Hard on the Plains
Apologies if this idea about the ToaC solo has been floated before:

Adrian plays a loud but uplifting solo, like the performer on the stage who is on a roll with the audience firmly behind him.

Dave plays a more melancholic and moping sounding solo that directly contrasts with what H just played. The lights are down, the audience has gone.

Take this song in context. When the clown has no audience, there's no guarantee he's always laughing. If that was the idea behind the contrast then I am impressed.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
This song totally floored me. Easily my favorite of the short rockers on the album. There's a lot of cool rhythmic stuff happening, especially on the pre verse riff. Really poignant lyrics too and the music does a great job illustrating it. I get an Accident of Birth vibe from the whole song, which is funny considering Bruce wasn't involved in the writing. You can really tell when Bruce particularly likes a set of lyrics he didn't write though, because he really ups his delivery on them. This song is a good example, as is The Book of Souls. Not to say he doesn't put any effort into everything else, but songs like these really have that extra special tough.

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Adrian plays a loud but uplifting solo, like the performer on the stage who is on a roll with the audience firmly behind him.

Dave plays a more melancholic and moping sounding solo that directly contrasts with what H just played. The lights are down, the audience has gone.
I definitely hear this and it's a really nice touch. Both solos are excellent and complement each other really well. A classic tradeoff between Dave and Adrian.

10
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Maiden has dabbled in hard rock with mixed results in the past (see Flight of Icarus, Wasting Love, Out of the Shadows for example). This is easily the best hard rock song they've ever done.

It's used judiciously, but the key to this song is its signature riff. The way it changes the tempo and pulls you in a different direction without ever losing the groove demands your attention and emphasizes the enormity of the subject matter.
But it's not like the basic song couldn't stand on its own. Some of Steve's best lyrics wrapped in a subtle, memorable melody and the chord changes are perfect for the words. And Bruce's heartfelt, nuanced performance makes it real.

Even the details are all there. Steve and Nicko aren't in their usual element here, yet they lay down such a great, easy groove. And those solos! Talk about making it cry and sing.

Mature, interesting hard rock isn't easy, particularly when you turn up the volume. But I feel this. It touches me in real places. Bonus points for reaching in a different direction. Even more for delivering such a triumph.
 

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
One of my favorites from the last album, after The Red and the Black and the title track. The lyrics are really moving, the solos are great, and I just love chords changes. As far as short songs go, this one is really superior to Death or Glory.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Superb track. Makes me very happy to be a Maiden fan. And one I can easily show to others. 9/10.
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
One of my favourites on the album. Heavy, powerful and emotional. Maiden doing something a bit different for them. I'd love to see them do more songs like this. 9/10.
 

BeThyJames

Trooper
People complained on Montsegur about the tempo not matching the theme. I kind of feel the same about this. It's a really sad and personal subject here but the song has a jaunty pre chorus which feels odd to me. The lyrics also seem a bit..trite in places 'and now of course we'll never know', 'who motivates the motivator' etc. I'd have preferred something more metaphorical.

It is really catchy though and melody wise it's one of the best on the album. I would be happy to see the band attempt more stuff like this.

7
 

Eddieson

Nomad
This song is so much more focused then the track before for example, and a focus arrangement is so important. The song is more then the sum of its parts, and while nothing really stand out, its a very solid track overall. I enjoy hearing Bruce singing in his mid register, and while his high register is very impressive and epic, he have more character in this register. The first solo is worth mentioning, very very good.

7/10
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Robin Williams was one of the funniest men in history and one of the greatest comedians of all time. And Maiden just had to go and make the perfect tribute to him, didn't they?

Well, they succeeded. 9/10
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
9/10

Tears of a Clown is an oddball. It’s entirely mid-tempo, Bruce sings in his mid-range the entire song, and it’s about the suicide of Robin Williams. It sounds more like something meant for a Bruce solo album, but nevertheless makes for a great Maiden track. The turnaround of the main riff lead by Harris and McBrain is a shining example of how tight the rhythm section can be. Adrian’s wah-soaked guitar solo shines through brilliantly, right before Murray cuts him off with impeccable tone and a bit of sweep-picking! Tears of a Clown might have the two most memorable solos on the whole album.
 

Dentura

Invader
The lyrics are a heartfelt tribute to Robin Williams but I think the live version sounds better musically. The studio version's pacing sounds a bit clunky in my opinion. 7/10
 
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Number 6

Ancient Mariner
This was a very pleasant surprise when I first listened to the album! I wasn't expecting much from it (the title felt a bit cheesy, even though I now love it and find it to be very smart), but once I heard it it made for an instant favorite. Very insightful lyrics, smartly written to fit a subject which is very delicate nowadays. Musically, it doesn't really sound like anything we heard from Maiden before, but that's a good thing (it all adds up to how great a surprise this little song ended up to be). This one gets a very high 9 from me!
 

GiovaOfficial

Powerslave
A good approach on a very difficult subject matter. The best thing about this song are undoubtably the lyrics, which are really emotional as one would expect and are the foundation of this track. The music is very pleasant, even though nothing stands out in particular. 8/10
 

Jer

Fuddy Buddy
This song kicks off with a nice rock groove that's unusual for Maiden. A quick instrumental break and then we get a strong, catchy verse and pre-chorus, and a pretty good chorus.

Another round of verse through chorus, then a quick callback to the earlier instrumental break, a pretty good wah-laden solo, and a better clean one. Back to the chorus and we end abruptly on the earlier instrumental break.

Solid stuff, but nothing great. Bruce sounds good throughout. 7/10.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
This was one of the first songs from TBOS I heard, and completely different from most of the Maiden songs that I listened to at the time. Something grabbed me though, and finally when I discovered what it was about nearly a year later, when I had actually listened to the band's entire discography, I was floored. I don't think that anyone can deny that Robin Williams was a comedic genius who took to heart the idea that one should leave the world a better place than before they came along. He suffered from depression from years, but always helped put a smile on someone else's face and gave hope to millions of people who watched him. That's what made his suicide so shocking. I clearly remember seeing it on my grandparents' TV set in 2014, wondering why the fuck something like this could have happened. We now know, of course, that the whole thing was hastened by Lewy body dementia, misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease, and that even had he lived, it may not have been for too much longer. This whole thing is a very different subject from Maiden's normal work, but Jesus Christ does Steve Harris execute it perfectly. He really takes everything about the event and sums it up into an emotional 5 minute song. No wonder Bruce was floored upon seeing it, it's a really emotive song with a lot of heart and soul in it. There's just something special about this song. 10
 

Kalata

Out of the Silent Planet
Amazing song. Has a very meaningful lyrics and fantastic verses/pre-chorus. Both solos are unique and special, especially the Adrian one (no wonder why he cited it as his favorite along with the one on TWM). It could have been a great single - the riff is awesome and I like the actual chorus too. That song is perfect to showcase Bruce's power voice in full shine. I'm so glad they played it on TBOS tour in 2016..... 9/10.
 
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