The Three Amigos solos & songwriting stats per Maiden album (2000-2015)

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
As we can see, Janick contributed less and less solos, when you look at his percentage of the total amount.
He started with 35% of all solos on Brave New World, went to 33.3%, 23.5%, 20% and ended up with 19.4% (6 out of 31 solos) on The Book of Souls.
On TBOS he did play a solo on more than half of the album songs though, which is somewhat of a more important stat imho. That was more than on the previous three albums.

Other particular low Janick statistics are:
- the amount of songs co-written by Adrian he played solos on.
- from the 3 songs written by Bruce without a guitarist (so written by Bruce alone, or together with Steve), he did not play a solo on any of these.

Janick wrote the most songs on Brave New World and also played solos on the biggest amount of songs, while Dave played more solos on the album, but on a lesser amount of tracks.

It's fun to see how even the amount of solos were distributed on Dance of Death. 6 each. :)

Also particulary interesting: Janick did not play a solo on all of his own co-written songs! He did not play one on The Mercenary.
A rare feat. The only other example I'm aware of where a (co-)writer does not play a solo is Sun and Steel (co-written bt H, solo by Dave).
However, The Mercenary had two solo spots; still no Janick.

Adrian wrote the least amount of songs and played the least amount of solos on Brave New World. After this album he "scores" very high. He "wins" most of the time all stats.

The Steve-only tracks: on every one of them all Three Amigoes played (a) solo(s), apart from Blood Brothers (no Adrian).
 
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Smither

Educated Fool
Thanks for the effort Foro, really appreciate it. I think we all had the impression that after Adrian became a more prominent songwriter he also started to play a lot more solos than his average, but those numbers on TFF are pretty impressive. It's a really H heavy album.

Another particular low Janick stat that I always thought about it is that rarely he plays a solo on a song with just 2 guitarists soloing. Most of his solos are on songs with just him soloing or all the three amigoes. The only exceptions I can think of right now are BNW (Janick/Dave), Blood Brothers (Dave/Janick) and BTTATS (H/Janick). It seems that when Maiden wants to have just 2 solos on a song they mostly prioritize the classic duo. That might also have to do with Adrian and Davey being friends for such a long time and most of those tracks with both of them soloing are Adrian's.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
BTTATS (H/Janick).
And this is ultra rare. The only song with two solos by different guitarists, without(!) Dave being one of them.

You're welcome Smither. I did not realize there were only 3 examples of 2 solo spot songs with Janick combining this with another amigo (in The Three Amigo Era, naturally).
 
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Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
IMO Adrian/Dave complement each other better than any other 2 guitarist combination. The Adrian/Janick combination is perfect for BTATS, but there aren’t many songs where that contrast works (the section Janick solos over is unusually fast and manic for a Smith penned song). Usually Dave needs something more melodic and technical to play off of his bluesy legato types of licks.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
most of those tracks with both of them soloing are Adrian's.
This is it I think. I suspect Smith isn't the biggest fan of Jan's style, so rather not (too) many of his solos in his own songs of which he is extra proud (and sort of protective). If you want to say it more positive, he is more charmed by Dave's soloing.
 
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D

Deleted member 7164

Guest
You suspect wrong.

The sole reason behind Janick's less solos and less variety in solos is his choice of this subtle, no-ego character in Iron Maiden.

Smith intentionally wrote songs with parts dedicated to push Janick into shredding but this seldom happens. Glimpse of what this might've been you can see in El Dorado live. When Gers comes along stuff explodes even more.

Janick is technically the most proficient guitarist out of the three, and he also knows a fair amount of music theory and uses it for songwriting.
If he wanted to blast out, he would, but he chooses not to. Maybe it's the part of the chemistry.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
You make very big compliments and interesting descriptions of Janick's capabilities, Zare.

I do doubt or misunderstand stuff you say though: you think that Smith constantly (or often) offers a spot to Janick and then Janick says "no thank you mate, you and Dave should be on this particular track", again and again?

Or do you mean that Adrian constantly (or especially) writes a type of song in which Janick's style does not "fit" in his opinion?
But that is about the same as: I prefer Dave's solo on this track. He fits best to my style. But in essence that means he prefers Dave on his songs.
He simply prefers him, I'm not sure if we should make that more complicated. So I can't imagine this has anything to do with Janick being polite, unless he's really constantly asked and then he constantly refuses.

(sorry if I misunderstand your point, maybe some more posts and I'll get there)
 
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It is hard to disagree with what you said and you make very big compliments and interested descriptions of Janick's capabilities, Zare.

I do doubt about something: you think that Smith constantly (or often) offers a spot to Janick and then Janick says "no thank you mate, you and Dave should be on this particular track", again and again? Or that Adrian constantly writes types of songs in which Janick's style does not "fit"?
But that is about the same as: I prefer Dave his solo on this track. He fits best to my style. But in essence it means he prefers Dave on his songs.
So I can't imagine that has anything to do with Janick being polite.

(sorry if I misunderstand your point, maybe some more posts and I'll get there)
Foro, I think it's more like they know Jan's personality. Also H has his particular style of composition, and it not always matches Jan's style.
 
D

Deleted member 7164

Guest
You make very big compliments and interesting descriptions of Janick's capabilities, Zare.

I do doubt or misunderstand stuff you say though: you think that Smith constantly (or often) offers a spot to Janick and then Janick says "no thank you mate, you and Dave should be on this particular track", again and again

No, it's about songs that Smith (co)wrote and that have Gers solo on them. Smith wanted to create a feel where Gers would just let go and provide a full on 'shredding' solo. When I say shredding I really mean super fast effortless alternate picking which Smith does not do unless in small doses and Murray seldom does at all. So it's fair to say that Smith wanted to capture on his track, what Gers could do and both Smith and Murray can't.

For me this is very indicative of his character. He shys away from this stuff, which is not what you'd expect when you see him on stage, but indeed it happens.
 

____no5

Free Man
I fully agree with Zare on Gers’ gentle character and party agree on his abilities: He’s the most proficient of all yes purely technically speaking, but Smith is working with method & precision which makes him the best of all three in my opinion.

Also I’m not sure about the sinister colors Zare is painting on Adrian, could be the case, or not.
 

Black Abyss Babe

CriedWhenJanickCutHisHair
In case anyone's interested, here are a couple of interviews in which the Amigos themselves talk about (among other things) how they divide up the parts and solos:

Janick and Adrian, circa TBOS:
https://thequietus.com/articles/18529-iron-maiden-interview

Key quote:

"If I write a song I’ll usually play the solo in it and then Davey or Jan will do the other solo - usually Davey - and then again if Jan writes a song Davey will play the solo - so Davey gets to play everything." - Adrian

Dave, Janick and Adrian, circa TFF:
https://www.premierguitar.com/artists/iron-maiden-super-troopers

Key quotes:

"It has to be something that enhances the song. It’s not about me doing a solo—not about, “Now it’s my chance to shine.” It’s about making the band sound better." - Janick

"Whoever brings the song in usually plays the main solo, and whoever figures out the best part to go with the solo will play that part." - Adrian
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
In case anyone's interested, here are a couple of interviews in which the Amigos themselves talk about (among other things) how they divide up the parts and solos:

Janick and Adrian, circa TBOS:
https://thequietus.com/articles/18529-iron-maiden-interview

Key quote:

"If I write a song I’ll usually play the solo in it and then Davey or Jan will do the other solo - usually Davey -
Yep. Usually Dave indeed. We've sure seen that. And now counted.

and then again if Jan writes a song Davey will play the solo - so Davey gets to play everything." - Adrian
This is the key bullshit quote. Adrian and Dave played as many solos on Jan written songs. Exactly as many.

Dave, Janick and Adrian, circa TFF:
https://www.premierguitar.com/artists/iron-maiden-super-troopers

Key quotes:

"It has to be something that enhances the song. It’s not about me doing a solo—not about, “Now it’s my chance to shine.” It’s about making the band sound better." - Janick
Yep, Jan knows his place, he was apparently not making the band sound better with solos, hence why he did 5 solos on TFF and the others did the other 20.
"Whoever brings the song in usually plays the main solo, and whoever figures out the best part to go with the solo will play that part." - Adrian
I wonder what is meant with "part to go with the solo"?
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
No, it's about songs that Smith (co)wrote and that have Gers solo on them. Smith wanted to create a feel where Gers would just let go and provide a full on 'shredding' solo. When I say shredding I really mean super fast effortless alternate picking which Smith does not do unless in small doses and Murray seldom does at all. So it's fair to say that Smith wanted to capture on his track, what Gers could do and both Smith and Murray can't.

For me this is very indicative of his character. He shys away from this stuff, which is not what you'd expect when you see him on stage, but indeed it happens.
I think you explained how Smith wanted to use Gers, what he was aiming for. Well, that does not exactly contradict much with what I've said.
 
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____no5

Free Man
Yep, Jan knows his place, he was apparently not making the band sound better with solos, hence why he did 5 solos on TFF and the others did the other 20.

I think it's more what Zare told. It's more about chemistry between players than whose doing the best solos. A sort of corporate power play in a band.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
I wonder what is meant with "part to go with the solo"?

There's two solos (or more) in the hypothetical song H is talking about, and 1 is already played by the writer of the song, so he means the 2nd solo will be played by whoever has an idea that compliments the first solo.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I think it's more what Zare told. It's more about chemistry between players than whose doing the best solos. A sort of corporate power play in a band.
What is more? Does this comment have any relation with this topic, namely the proportion of the solo contributions, and the reason why Janick did less and less solos over the years? Did the chemistry between Janick and others get less after Dance of Death?
 

____no5

Free Man
It has to do with the reason why Jan is playing less and less. It means that it's not about doing better solos or not, but rather some kind of band politics. In BNW where Adrian was fresh, Jan did more solos. Then as the dynamics were changing in Adrian's favor he was doing less and less.

I read your post as it's about quality and that Jan knows he's not good enough, to which I replied it's more about politics (than quality) which made him play less solos over the years.
 
D

Deleted member 7164

Guest
Foro you seem to exhibit a pretty narrow view of this topic in couple of your last posts.
Is the point of the topic an analytic discussion or push of an agenda - that someone brought injustice on Gers?

If it's the latter then I can't help you and I don't believe anyone here can. We don't have access to that kind of info and we will never have it.

From what we know, when guitar experimentation occurs it's between Smith and Gers. Like attempt to downtune Brave New World. I'd say that by counting moments and anecdotes about reunion albums recording in last 20 years, Gers and Smith have been pretty tight.

If you want to quota things out, then I'd say TRATB is the worst Maiden song ever not only due to it being bad, but the role of Dave Murray is strumming 5 different chords for 5 minutes straight. What's the thing with that? In 13 minutes Harris can't find a better role for Murray?

There are many pointless discussions to be held in this direction. You can pick up a moment from any album and then create a narrative behind it.

Until there's clear information that Gers isn't satisfied with his roles in Maiden - and up to now we only have proof for otherwise - this statistic you kindly pulled out for us all is just a curiosity, not an indication.

I fully agree with Zare on Gers’ gentle character and party agree on his abilities: He’s the most proficient of all yes purely technically speaking, but Smith is working with method & precision which makes him the best of all three in my opinion.

Also I’m not sure about the sinister colors Zare is painting on Adrian, could be the case, or not.

Sinister colors? I still and probably always will keep him as greatest guitar player in Metal, Gers or Roy Z or Malmsteen or anyone being faster and technically more capable doesn't mean much. DG is my favourite guitar player ...

During the years and as pieces of info were found and put on the puzzle board , I found myself being opinionated about Gers in the vein of what Dickinson said when he left Maiden - they are not utilizing him at what he's capable of doing. So I believe we're seeing more % of total capability, inside framework of Iron Maiden, of Murray and Smith than Gers. Then again I fully stand behind what I've said before - it's more of his choice, than a band decision/direction thing.
 

____no5

Free Man
Sinister colors? I still and probably always will keep him as greatest guitar player in Metal, Gers or Roy Z or Malmsteen or anyone being faster and technically more capable doesn't mean much. DG is my favourite guitar player ...

Sinister wasn't meant for his playing, but nevermind I misunderstood what you said, all good just forget about it.

EDIT: @Forostar I think we both got Zare wrong. I see why you reacted to my post.
 
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