I compare Somewhere in Time to One Hot Minute by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Both are held in high regard by most of the fan base but the band largely ignore it live. To be fair other than HCW, Wasted Years and SIASL, I Cant imagine them playing any other songs from the album.I think it's more a case of people imagining SIT is being skipped, because they overrate it's quality as an album.
Heaven Can Wait was on every tour until fans didn't vote for it on Ed Hunter which surprised Steve and is why it hasn't feature much since then, Wasted Years was also on most of those tours too in that period.
After that Bruce came back, and SIT was his worst album so no surprise that there was going to be less emphasis on it. It also coincided with a time period when they have a lot of material now. SIT isn't that much more overlooked than SSOASS, it's just SSOASS has more hits than SIT to choose from for the usually 1 track they get in the set, 3 tracks from SSOASS get roatated around whereas it's usually Wasted Years or nothing from SIT.
I'd argue it's more a case of 82-84 being over represented in sets than SIT being overlooked.
Absolutely. It’s subjective and hard to pin down for me, because I’m not musically inclined, but I love Bruce’s diction on this album.
Bruce's voice strains to hit notes on four songs - CSIT, Sea of Madness, Heaven Can Wait, and TLOTLDR. It's just too high a pitch for his voice. No shame in that, but shows how little influence he had over what the band was creating, and 100% makes me not want to hear any of those songs live in 2021 (or later) when Bruce's voice has matured and been invaded by cancer.It's a bit beside the topic of the thread as such, but I just can't agree. Bruce sounds incredibly tired and strained on some of the songs, especially Sea of Madness.
All of this makes me wonder how much of what happened led to the departure of Adrian and Bruce not too long after. I always thought this was where blood started to get bad but you're all really digging up interesting information on it.
I think that was the theory Mick Wall was trying to push, that the seeds for Bruce's discontent were sown during the recording of SIT. I'm not sure I buy it. With Adrian, we know he began to be unhappy at around this time and he said on the Maiden England DVD that it had a lot to do with the live performances. But I think what broke the camel's back for both had more to do with Steve single-handedly deciding to do a radical break with NPFTD. For Adrian that meant he had to leave. Bruce, I think, still had fun during the NPFTD cycle, but it might have dawned on him that when all was said and done, it was Steve who called the shots and that any creative development Bruce could experience was at Steve's mercy. And I think that after doing his own thing with Tattooed Millionaire, Bruce found it hard to get back to the Maiden corset. There were hints of this again in the mid-naughties, when Bruce indicated in interviews (I don't have links, don't ask me) that he was happier with the creative freedom he had with Tyranny of Souls than having to subordinate to Maiden.
I think before AMOLAD, Bruce and Steve had a talk about this and Steve agreed to give Bruce more freedom to express himself with Maiden. That would explain why a lot more songs and moments reminiscent of Bruce's solo albums started appearing on the Maiden albums, and also why Bruce lost interest in his solo career. Why would he want to make a solo album if Maiden let him put something like Empire of the Clouds on their album?
Bruce clearly has a ton of control over the band now, I can't even imagine them making an album where he has no creative input like with Somewhere In Time. He probably has more leverage now too. In 1986, Maiden could've replaced Bruce and still made it work. In 2006, Bruce leaving effectively ends the band.
I definitely think Adrian was ready to leave by the time of SIT. He was starting to blossom as his own songwriter and was in a position where he didn't need or want to deal with the endless touring that often resulted in spotty live performances. I think it's a combination of a perfectionist nature and simply being done with touring in general. Remember also that he disappeared from the music industry for a while in the early 90s.
As for Bruce, to say that the seeds of discontent were sown during the recording of Somewhere In Time seems like a romanticized interpretation that ignores the realities of being a professional musician. Everyone experiences slumps and rough patches in any career or professional environment. If you have a bad day at a job you otherwise love, you're not going to quit over it. Bruce was clearly exhausted going into SIT, so he took more of a backseat role and came back better than ever on Seventh Son. Even with No Prayer For the Dying, Bruce contributed heavily to the album's direction. It might not have been received very well, but he was bringing in songs and even changing his vocal approach to fit the new sound.
I mean, I'm not disagreeing with anything you said there. But you also can't ignore the fact that after the Somewhere In Time tour, there was a period of about 3 or 4 years after in which Bruce was clearly in a better state of mind and contributing great work to Maiden. To say the discontent began with Somewhere In Time would suggest a more linear decline afterwards in the state of affairs with the band, which is what happened with Adrian but not with Bruce.