The Nomad

How good is The Nomad on a scale of 1-10?

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This is my 2nd favorite song on Brave New World after The Thin Line Between Love And Hate, these 2 songs completely make the entire album IMHO, though I absolutely despise Out Of The Silent Planet between the 2 songs. Of course my 2 favorite songs of the album weren't performed live, at least in Rock In Rio. This song is rather unique, very strange atmosphere fitting the song.
9/10.. It's a great song.

A musical masterpiece, despite some average lyrics. The Eastern melodies are fantastic and the progressive shifts in rhythm are inspired. Bruce belts out pseudo-mystical lyrics about a mysterious nomad wandering the desert who may be a spirit, or a killer, or a god reincarnate, or…something. There’s a truly bizarre line about “genius” that makes no sense. The guitar solo section is brilliant, however, with each player getting a chance to shine in sequence. Murray’s final solo is perfect, I honestly don’t think any musical section has ever been more perfect for his playing style. The tone of the song and the (Phrygian? Mixolydian?) scales Davey plays are perfectly complimentary. Musically, The Nomad is a triumph, it has a unique power and beauty all its own. Lyrically, it’s more reminiscent of something from the Piece of Mind era (To Tame a Land obviously comes to mind). I wish the song had ended with a moody instrumental. The final verse and chorus feel tacked on and unnecessary.
Yeah, it's time for me to attack that holy rock which MaidenFans everywhere know of as Brave New World. Let's start this evening's siege with The Nomad, which people everywhere consider to be one of the album's best. Eh. It's not as bad as I thought the first time I heard it, but despite re-listens I'm still not 100% impressed. A song about a nomad is potentially interesting. Here, however, I find myself going, "It's a song about a fucking nomad..." The choruses aren't that great, though I do like the music this song has, so that brings it higher up in my ratings. Still, Becket rip-off or not, I'm only giving it a 7/10.

Bite me.

And here is my second and final 10 for this album. "The Nomad" is by far the strongest effort on this album and possibly the best one. I don't get the "simplistic lyrics" I've seen many talk about (here and elsewhere). Actually, I find them to be very haunting and fitting to the music (which is really, really brilliant). My favorite part is the transition from Janick's solo to Dave's. Sends chills down my spine every time! Well, the whole song does, actually. Such a shame it was never played live. :(
I don’t think the recent controversy can take much away from the song itself. Sure, the instrumental section is extremely similar to Beckett’s, but I’m not even sure it could be considered as plagiarism (or messing up) if it wasn’t for Hallowed, which is pretty undeniable. Anyway, if we judge the song itself, it’s a great piece of music, which to me deserves an 8/10
A pretty good pulsing riff gets some eastern lead accompaniment. A brief detour into dreamy vocal noodling comes back to a simple guitar lead before rolling into a pretty lame plodding verse and pre-chorus with bad phrasing and rote backing music.

The chorus is bright and appealing, and leads into a nice extended solo section broken up by the dreamy vocal noodling again. Back into the lame pre-chorus for a bit, and then we get more respite in the chorus.

A classy extended soft interlude follows with some horn accompaniment. This builds over time into something slightly heavier, but more plodding.

Just when a nice groove has been established, we kick back into that icky pre-chorus before returning to the much better chorus and finishing off with an intro reprise.

There's a lot of good material in this song, but the verse and pre-chorus are so lame that I usually skip it when it comes on. A very mixed bag, but I'll give it a 6/10.
Jer I quite enjoy your song descriptions.I agree with your points. I however have to add that the stolen instrumental part and also the whole song suffer from the repetitive, uninspired and just awful drums. This song was a leftover from VXI and it shows for all the wrong reasons.
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Another super underrated song. Bruce is on fire(just like on every song of the album). The rip-off mid section is great as well. 9
A very vivid opening conjures up picture of the eastern lands before some suspect but perfectly executed lyrics take the stage. Bruce's performance on the song's chorus is epic. The instrumental section may have been ripped off from Beckett, but Maiden do it better than they did and it works quite well. As a whole, this is one of my least favorite songs on the album, but that's not saying much. 8
Awesome melodies through the whole song. Great drumming, the verses are good and the chorus is amazing. All solos are so good and fits the atmosphere of the song perfect. The highlight of the song is the middle part. 10/10
Some good ideas in the first section, but it is unnecessarily too long and the song sounds messy to me, sometimes it seems that they couldn’t come up with a transition between sections so they went straight through it: verse -> chorus 1 -> verse -> chorus 1 -> verse -> chorus 2 -> solo -> "AAAAH!" -> solos -> verse -> chorus 2 -> unnecessary plagiarism.
It's too fast and confusing. Also the transition between Janick's solo and Dave's solo is awful.
It sounds hasty, like a jam session, which is even worst if you think that they originally wrote the song for Virtual XI before discarding it. That means they had 2 years during which they could have worked a bit on the music, but apparently they didn't.

It’d have been a not-so-solid 6/10 (more like 5.5, TBH), but I’ll lower it to 4/10 because of the best section being a clear and shameful plagiarism. Something I wouldn’t expect from a Dave’s song (although I think that Steve wrote that section). Worst track out of the record.
According to Dickinson, the lyrics are
inspired by the Bedouin way of life,
tribes of the Arabian desert. These tribes have the
their roots in sexes that descended to the vast
deserts of Sinai and Negev in the 14th to 18th
century. Their name comes from the African
word “bedu” which translates as “resident of
desert ».
The Bedouins were nomadic tribes (Negev and
Sinai) who traveled in cycles from oasis to oasis,
exploiting their resources up to
their exhaustion, at which point they moved to
renew the resources of the oasis.
During the middle orchestra
part of the song, low in production
there is an orchestration composed by Harris and performed with keyboards
by Jeff Bova, while the other keys are played by him
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I love this song. Sure, the instrumental passage is almost entirely "borrowed" to Beckett, but what they did with it is fantastic, and I get the idea: making the best of a great potential. I'd love to read/hear Steve about that, but that will never happen. The lyrics are not his best, but I don't care, as the music is great.
Due to the generic lyrics I gave it a nine. They actually go well with the song. The first half is absolute diamond with its solos, the cuts and the oriental feel. The other half is as cinematic as you can get, it took Maiden 21 years to reach similar lever with the Pankrement. I don't care that much about the Beckett controversy, quite the opposite. Led Zeppelin ripped whole songs, yes plural and many and get away with it.
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There are not that many Maiden songs I actively dislike but this is one and stands amongst the worst they've ever released. The only section of it that doesn't aggravate me is the bit they didn't write.
This song has a lot going against it. That main riff/melody is kind of grating to me and it carries a lot of the song. The chorus (which also uses the same melody) is not very good and I find the harmonies to be really obnoxious. I do like the half time chorus and the verses are pretty cool. Obviously, the biggest problem with the song is that the most interesting thing on it is plagiarized. I am a pretty big proponent of the “great artists steal” argument, but implicit in that is the ability to take previous works and reimagine them. Here it feels like Maiden took an unrelated piece of music and inserted it (with minimal changes) into the middle of a piece of filler. The lyrics suffer from a very similar problem as The Mercenary, i.e. vague to the point of being uninteresting. This song is a mess all around with few saving graces.