How do you followup Hallowed? With something completely different. This one mixes up the Hallowed formula a bit. It relies less on a single musical idea and places the buildup in the middle of the song, instead of the beginning. The lyrics are wacky but Bruce delivers them with class. He really tops off an already world class performance by kicking it up another notch. Great guitar melodies throughout this song and has an exotic flair that is quite new for Maiden. The buildup in the middle is one of the best Maiden moments. Proggy bands like Dream Theater owe their entire existence to moments like this. I also love the way Steve's bass playing drives the ending. The song really builds in intensity as the guitarists are soloing while Steve and Nicko are already bringing it home. It's also a precursor to the more instrumentally driven Powerslave album.
The song isn't flawless, the lyrics suffer from Steve's wordiness and it is not one of my go-to Maiden epics. So I can't give it the full 10, but it comes close.
They tried something different with this song and I'm not sure if I like it. The fast paced lyrics are not my favourite. It also has some kind of a closed feel, probably due to constant key changes. It has some similarities to The Nomad, which was released almost two decades later. I can say that is my least favourite of 80's Maiden epics. But the intro is a thing of beauty.
Like with Revelations, it's a good song, but it's just not Maiden. It feels like they knew that Hallowed was a masterpiece and attempted to do something similar for POM. Didn't really work. And those lyrics are terrible. Enjoyable to listen to but not what it's cracked up to be. 7/10
Not the best of Maiden epics. That's why it gets a 9 from me, even though it's, musically, brilliant. The lyrics are a bit tame (no pun intended) and could've been developed into something far better (especially in comparison to the previous album's "Hallowed Be Thy Name").
Steve sounds incredible on this song. Bruce is great too, and it all works quite well, but overall I get the feeling something is still missing to rank this song among the great Maiden epics. 8/10 for me
This time this monster really clicked with me. I mean, really clicked. For a moment I was considering giving it a 10/10. I'm playing it safe though with a 9. The instrumental back end isn't as good as the first half, but it's still great. Solo reminds me of "Hallowed" though. Bruce is awesome. Not Maiden's best epic but this is a real grower. Weird Maiden song that works. Nice.
A nice eastern lead eventually breaks into a plodding march with a poorly phrased, off-key verse vocal. A brief interlude with the eastern lead and we get another annoying, half-assed verse that at least ends with a nice long note that carries us into a repetitive eastern lead.
This eventually gives way to a nice, atmospheric bass-driven interlude with a pretty good vocal that's unfortunately still out of key in places. This builds up nicely, then cuts into a monotonous, overly busy musical break for a while. This emerges into a simpler and more driving version of the monotonous bit, giving way to a great pair of solos and a harmonized section that starts off pretty good, but gets in a rut. Then it slows down and seems more interesting with some drum fills and such, but then it gets in a rut again. This eventually gives up and returns to an intro reprise to close things out.
I don't know why so many people praise this song -- the verses stink, and half the instrumental parts are boring. On balance I'd say it's a 6/10.
This may be Steve's song, but Bruce is the real master who "tames this land". His performance on here is excellent, and he delivers these wacky (relatively) lyrics in such style that one can't help but be impressed. While it's a bit of a weird song for Maiden musically, Dave and Adrian keep the guitars a-movin', even if it reuses some of the "Hallowed" formula a bit more than I'd like. A strong song that is a great closer to a pretty great album. 9
Ahem, as a lover of science fiction, the fact that this song is about Dune earns it major kudos from me. But that alone would mean nothing if the song wasn't good in any way. Luckily, To Tame a Land is a quite good song, bordering on really good. Steve's bass on this is the absolute highlight, but the rest of the band aren't far off.
Well, besides Bruce...which leads me nicely into the song's major problem; the fact that it's about Dune. Yes, it's really cool and everything but the references make absolutely no sense if you're not familiar with the novel nor if you're familiar with it. Every reference is taken out of its context and it's done in a point for point manner, but they're not sung in that way, so they will definitely NOT resonate with anyone. So, then, it's like a Emerson, Lake & Palmer song where it depends on Greg Lake's vocals to carry the pretentious lyrics and make them come to life. The thing is that Bruce makes it very clear he doesn't get the references and he's just doing whatever. Some high notes on some random lines here and there and it just sounds really strange.
It's a shame, too, because if the lyrics weren't there and this was an instrumental, this would have probably gotten top marks, but nope, it's going to be firmly denied that honour. Instead, it gets an 7/10.
Originally the song was meant to be entitled 'Dune' as it's based on the 1965 novel written by American author Frank Herbert (1920–1986), but after seeking permission from Herbert's agents, the band received a message which stated, "Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially bands like Iron Maiden" so they had to change the title to 'To Tame A Land'.
"I was gutted – we had a spoken intro on it as well by a guy who sounded like Ralph Richardson. We were really lucky to keep the track at all. Bruce had finished the vocal and gone off to Greece so we couldn't change it and we couldn't leave it off because it's seven and a half minutes long! The album was gonna be injected … bad news! Funny enough though, the geezer in his office was an Iron Maiden fan and was trying his hardest to sort it out! I think if Frank heard how it was done he might change his mind, because I think it really brings the book across. It's a shame really…" (Steve Harris for Neil Jeffries - Kerrang No. 45 – July 1, 1983)
4:38 Dave Murray
5:18 Adrian Smith
The song was only played during the World Piece Tour (10).
In Portugal, Italy, Canada & Iceland there are vinyl versions of Piece Of Mind that lists the track as 'Dune'.
Steve's favourite all time book is Dune. (Steve's Q&A – 19/05/2001)