The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

How good is The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner on a scale of 1-10?

  • Total voters


Ancient Mariner
Steve, who liked it a lot during rehearsals, got bored with it, and said it didn't work. Maybe the band could not play it as tight as he wanted, or maybe they didn't get the expected reaction from the crowd.

I remember reading he felt it didn't flow well with the set list. Maybe rehearsals were good and when it came out to the whole show, it didn't flow well. I disagree after listening to the entire bootleg from that show. But then again, they altered several songs that tour in the first couple of nights
Truly awesome song. It gets a 10 from me. You can hear the speed metal on this even before it became more popular. They never did anything this aggressive or fast ever again apart from the awesome Be Quick or be Dead. But I could be wrong though.

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Not as good as it thinks it is. It features some genius ideas (such as mirroring the lack of time by gradually speeding up the song), but it gets old quite fast. The intro melody is repeated a little bit more than necessary throughout the song, and once it reaches the final musical theme, it takes forever to end. Could've been made a little shorter, or even better developed. 7.


Amazing song. I love the ‘run on and on’ part, it really gives you the sense of speed of stress that you feel while running, and I think overall the whole song is quite emotional for anyone that has experience with running. Not quite on the masterpiece level but nearly there. 9/10
I really love this song! I just can't understand how many people seem to hold it in such low regard and/or consider it a filler track. A 10 in my world. Without a doubt.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
As I said in a previous post, this song is the literal definition of a gem. 10/10.


Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
A gorgeous soft intro slowly builds, gaining nice percussive accents, before suddenly switching to a fast gallop and an aggressive verse with a better pre-chorus. Bruce struggles a bit with the overly busy vocals that are unfortunately trying to double the guitar.

Another round of verse and pre-chorus and we break into a soaring chorus and an extended harmonized interlude with percussive breaks. The cut time drums really start to grate here, but this finally switches to a more driving feel in the middle. This eventually gives way to a great, soaring vocal bridge, a great solo, and then a pretty good one.

Another round of verse through chorus and the cut time drums are starting to annoy again. A heavier reprise of the intro leads into a so-so harmonized section and a final denouement.

This song has some nice parts, but it also has a lot of weaknesses; and by the end of the song I want to reach into the speakers and smash Nicko's snare drum. I'll round it down to a 6/10 due to the annoyance factor.


Ancient Mariner
I can't see well how you can blame these drums. It's not as if any other rhythm would suit the music better. Listen to the riffs.
It's not simple stuff either. In fact, this is so difficult that Maiden could not play the song well, live.


Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
I can't see well how you can blame these drums. It's not as if any other rhythm would suit the music better.
He mixed up the rhythmic feel multiple times at the beginning of the song and all of those options worked. The choice to stick with cut time through long swaths of the song was probably a thematic choice, as I mentioned in the album thread, but it didn't work for me at all.

Also, the verse kinda sucks. Vocals sort of doubling the guitar (which I usually hate because it creates a rote feel), and packed to the gills with too many syllables so Bruce can't sing it properly. And the chorus is pretty good to begin with, but when it comes around the second time the whole affair has become so plodding that the "run on and on" on top of those cut-time drums is just annoying to me.

I'm not saying every element of the song is bad, or that the drum parts didn't require skill to play. I'm saying that for me, the way these parts were approached produced an annoying, grating end result, and if there weren't still as many good elements as there were in the final song, it would have gotten an even worse rating from me.


Yes, Yes, Another Beer!
That is a different part.
It's just to illustrate my point. The part he's playing cut time under is a simple 3-3-3-3-4 repetition, so he could do just about anything with it rhythmically. Even half-feel cut time probably would have been fine if he wanted to go that route. But bass-snare-bass-snare-bass-snare-bass-snare really fast for minutes on end gets really, really old.


What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Worst song on their best 80s album. This would probably be the best song on No Prayer or Virtual XI. 9

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Opening with a lush piece of music before bolting off at breakneck speed to bring the lyrics to life, this is a very '80s song (with a bit of sci-fi, perhaps?) that always seems to fluctuate in my rankings. Well, it's up currently. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" is one of the best examples of how great the Somewhere In Time sound could be, and is a real gem in the band's discography. 9


Out of the Silent Planet
This song has the classic elements of Maiden that made them unique and special - an amazing haunting intro, galloping bass, thunderous drums, twin-lead harmonies full of melodies, fantastic solos, rhythm, tempo and great chorus. Maiden really need to start writing again these type of songs.... it's not a short rocker or a long epic, it's somewhere in the middle and brings that classic unstoppable Maiden feel from the 80's. I would give it a 8/10.

Again, really love the intro - one of the bests from Maiden. This song is a real gem in the discography of the band, a hidden treasure and finally a song that shows all of Maiden's magic in full. Shame it was played live only once !
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I will probably never get tired of Nicko’s single pedal bass drum work on this one. The opening melody is great. However, the lyrics are a bit lame and the vocals don’t really work that well during the verses.