Tournament of Iron Maiden Solos: 2nd poll (qualification stage)

Which solo do you like the most? (pick your favourite)

  • 04. The Educated Fool (see 4th link)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5
  • Poll closed .

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Great topic. Will pause and give it the attention it deserves.
But before I do that, it gives me the excuse to mention two solos I think often get overlooked because they are short and in less-loved songs.
From Here to Eternity is the quintessential Janick: messy, chaotic and perfectly befitting of the song — has there ever been a more melodic solo built around a bent notes?
Different World is quintessential Adrian: melodic, structured, great feel and perfectly fitting in the song — glad to see it made Ariana's list.
Both are completely arresting, you can't help but be pulled into them.
 

Kill Devil Hill

westwards the tide
I'm just gonna post them one guitarist at a time. Today, I composed Adrian's list. I'll post Dave's tomorrow and maybe Janick's the day after?

Adrian Smith
1. Paschendale
2. Stranger in a Strange Land
3. The Evil That Men Do
4. Alexander the Great
5. Children of the Damned
6. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
7. Sea of Madness
8. The Prisoner
9. Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
10. Coming Home

Interestingly, I prefer his older solos to his newer.

The Number of the Beast: 2
Somewhere in Time: 3
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son: 2
Dance of Death: 1
A Matter of Life and Death: 1
The Final Frontier: 1
 

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
Whew! Ok. I have Adrian and Dave done so far and I will work on Janick's tomorrow. I figured I'd get the more familar ones done and over with and it was tough!

Adrian
1. Alexander the Great (5:50 - 6:30)
2. Stranger in a Strange Land (3:18 - 4:26)
3. The Prisoner (3:43 - 4:40) Like Flash, I added the part before the solo. How can you not?
4. Wasted Years (3:13 - 3:46)
5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (7:58 - 8:17)
6. Rime of the Ancient Mariner (9:10 - 9:35)
7. The Evil That Men Do (3:17 - 3:41)
8. Caught Somewhere In Time (4:05 - 4:50)
9. Paschendale (5:14 - 5:35)
10. The Wicker Man (2:33 - 2:52)

Dave
1. Alexander the Great (6:30 - 7:08)
2. The Clairvoyant (2:31 - 2:59)
3. Still Life (0:13 - 0:56)
4. Killers (3:00 - 3:21)
5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (7:05 - 7:48)
6. Where Eagles Dare (2:11 - 2:48)
7. Another Life (0:16 - 0:31/2:13 - 2:29)
8. Die With Your Boots On (3:00 - 3:22)
9. Wrathchild (1:01 - 1:20)
10. The Final Frontier (7:00 - 7:15)

It seems my mind is stuck in the 80's when it comes to solos. Not that I don't like the more recent ones (as I do have 3 on there). I just prefer the old ones better.
 

Perun

Περούν Παντοκράτωρ
Staff member
I'm going to participate in this, but I won't lie to you: It means that I have to actively listen to each and every Maiden song again and pay attention to those solos. So it might take some time. I have a few candidates in mind, but I'm sure there is a lot that I'm forgetting.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I think I'll split it up in three posts and probably start with Janick.
By the way: really nice, all this participation. Will read later. Have to go to work now.
 

Sara

Not even Wensleydale?
Okay, I'll start with Adrian, and I'll add 2 seperate posts for Dave and Janick later. I think one or 2 of my choices may surprise some people! These are in no particular order, and where chosen as these were the first 10 that popped into my head, which I think is the best way to make decisions like this.


1. Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (9:10 - 9:39)

A lot of this solo's success has almost as much to do with the build up to it, as the solo itself. As soon as Bruce screams "Then down it falls from the raaaaaiiin!" the tension just builds and builds to a crescendo as Adrian's solo explodes onto the scene creating a sound that is truly dramatic and powerful. The solo itself is full of drama, with the strumming part in particular (9:16 - 9:20) actually heightening the tension in the solo to wonderful effect. The instrumental parts of this song tell as much of the epic story as the words, and Adrian's solo is probably the most attention grabbing aspect of it. A truly spine tingling moment, which even now gives me goosebumps as it approaches!

2. The Prisoner (3:43 - 4:37)

Again, the build up adds hugely to the effect of this solo, although in this case, the build up is actually part of the solo. The intricate (I've played it on guitar, and it is more intricate than it sounds, believe me!) hammer ons and pull offs of the lead section right after the second chorus immediately creates a sense of tension, which increases even further during it's second half once the rest of the band fully back Adrian with their thundering rhythms. Clive Burr's hammering drums backing this lead really causes the hairs on the back of the neck to raise up! When Adrian finally lets loose with his solo it's frenetic and lively, but still with a sense of class that is a hallmark of H's solo work. The way he plays this solo at the 1982 Hammersmith show is even better than the studio version, especially the choice of note he chooses to end the first half of the solo with, which is different to the one on the studio version. It just gives it even more emotion and bite!

3. The Evil That Men Do (3:16 - 3:41)

This solo really is a thing of beauty, the synth guitar he uses here just embellishing every wondrous note to take on an even more majestic tone. I sometimes tear up whilst listening to this solo, it's just so emotionally powerful.

4. Sea Of Madness (2:27 - 2:54)

Adrian totally shines on Somewhere In Time, probably overall, more than on any other album. But this solo is my fave one from either H or Davey on this album. Like the above solo this one is beautiful, but also, infused with a darkness and intensity which that solo lacks. It's a very emotional solo, and I also have to mention his shorter solo very shortly afterwards during the slower section (3:07 - 3:20), which is very subdued, and perfectly compliments the beautifully bleak atmosphere of that section of the song. This one is possibly H's most underrated solo, just magical stuff.

5. Isle Of Avalon (4:30 - 5:30)

Whilst not as emotional or dramatic as some of H's other solos, the reason why I love this one so much, is because it's style wise, very reminiscent of Alex Lifeson from Rush. Alex is a very underrated guitarist, and one of my faves of all time, and H pulls out a solo here that could have been played by the great man himself. What it lacks in drama, it totally makes up for in it's captivating, and mesmerising qualities. An understated, but still absolutely wonderful solo!

6. To Tame A Land (5:18 - 5:37)

The main thing that I love about this solo, is the Eastern vibe of it, which of course, fits the song to a tee, as well as being a style that I partiuclarly love. The section from 5:22 - 5:27 especially, makes me feel like I've been instantly transported to the Eastern sands! Another very underrated solo by Adrian, but for me, definitely one of his best.

7. The Duellists (3:38 - 4:13)

When people ask me why I consider The Duellists one of my fave Maiden songs, I always bring up it's amazing mid-section between the 2nd chorus and 3rd verse, as a key factor in my thoughts regarding the song. Again, the lead up to H's solo in this one is something that increases the impact that the solo has when it arrives. The section before H's solo is in itself, a piece of total melodrama, and the solo itself is just incredible, heightening the intensity even more. It's assured and smooth, but also explosive, which makes it such a delight to listen to! It's probably just behind Sea Of Madness as H's most underrated solo.

8. Lord Of Light (5:15 - 5:37)

Devilish, bluesy, and immensely tuneful, H's solo here is helped by being backed by an immense ryhthm riff, which he takes full advantage of. Over the crushing backdrop, he provides, a smooth, but tantalizing solo that is almost hypnotising in it's phrasing. Almost like a guitar equivelant of Kaa singing "Trust In Me"! xD

9. Caught Somewhere In Time (4:05 - 4:50)

Although Davey also plays a great solo in this one, H totally upstages him with a towering display of guitar wizadry and theatrics that's almost like fireworks going off inside my speakers! The solo itself starts off with some great harmonic tricks, and then gradually builds in tension as it nears it's conclusion. The tapping and divebombing during the solo's final section is simply breathtaking, and finishes off an amazing solo in spectacular style!

10. Children Of The Damned (3:21 - 3:41)

Like a couple of the other solos I've mentioned in this list, the prelude to the solo itself, gives it added power. The harmony section shared by H and Davey just before the solo, is itself a captivating piece of drama, which leads into a surging rhythm riff by Davey, complimented of course by a wonderful tapping solo by H. Although it's quite simplistic compared to some of the other solos I've listed here, what makes this one so great, is it's powerful execution. It sounds truly explosive, and adds an added layer of intensity to an already tension laden section of the song. There's more to this one that meets the eye.


I have missed out a few other of my fave H solos here, but I think going with the first ones that came into my head was a good way to go. :)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Good to see you back, Sara!

I'm going to participate in this, but I won't lie to you: It means that I have to actively listen to each and every Maiden song again and pay attention to those solos. So it might take some time. I have a few candidates in mind, but I'm sure there is a lot that I'm forgetting.
I will do the same. A really fine project. I'll probably end up with too many solos, but after that I'll shorten the shortlists, so the speak.

edit:
I decided that I will only read people's lists after I've done mine (because I don't want to be influenced yet ;-P ).
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I was wondering about that too. I was thinking, I really like the solos in Flight of Icarus together but they aren't so great alone...and I want to add that to the list maybe? I'd like to know how this would work too. Maybe for Adrian and Dave, add the song as the same number and put the times?
I know it's hard because both solos combined make Flight of Icarus a great song for you but the thing is, in this topic we're talking about individual guitar players and your favourite solos by them. Individual solos. So these solos need to be separated to be judged well.

Take Dave's solo and try to decide how high it ranks among all his other solos. Does it reach your top 1o of favourite Dave solos or not? Same with Adrian.

What I do is like Perun. It's a hell of project but like this, nothing will be missed and everything will be in a good context. And there's no rush! Take your time.
 

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
I know it's hard because both solos combined make Flight of Icarus a great song for you but the thing is, in this topic we're talking about individual guitar players and your favourite solos by them. Individual solos. So these solos need to be separated to be judged well.

Take Dave's solo and try to decide how high it ranks among all his other solos. Does it reach your top 1o of favourite Dave solos or not? Same with Adrian.

What I do is like Perun. It's a hell of project but like this, nothing will be missed and everything will be in a good context. And there's no rush! Take your time.
Thank you for the tip, Foro. :) But as you can see, I already came up with my list! I did actually listen to both solos separately and it really was hard to just pick one so I decided to leave them out of this.

I also did go back and listen to the solos to get a better judge. I knew there were solos I liked and wanted to listen to make sure. I also went back to check that guitar parts I did like were actually considered solos like on Another Life. I love the solos that Dave does in that song but wanted to make sure they were considered solos and I found out they were so I put them in for him. All in all, I'm happy with what I came up with for Adrian and Dave. We'll see what I come up with for Janick once I get a better listen at some of his solos.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Thank you for the tip, Foro. :) But as you can see, I already came up with my list! I did actually listen to both solos separately and it really was hard to just pick one so I decided to leave them out of this.
Just want to stress (though I am sure you meant it like that) that you don't have to choose between two different guitarists. You have to choose between Dave's and between H's. Sorry, didn't see your list yet, still busy with mine. ;)
I also did go back and listen to the solos to get a better judge. I knew there were solos I liked and wanted to listen to make sure. I also went back to check that guitar parts I did like were actually considered solos like on Another Life. I love the solos that Dave does in that song but wanted to make sure they were considered solos and I found out they were so I put them in for him. All in all, I'm happy with what I came up with for Adrian and Dave. We'll see what I come up with for Janick once I get a better listen at some of his solos.
Alright :)

I think Dave will be most difficult for me. A sh*tload of strong solos.
 

Moon Child

Ancient Mariner
Just want to stress (though I am sure you meant it like that) that you don't have to choose between two different guitarists. You have to choose between Dave's and between H's. Sorry, didn't see your list yet, still busy with mine. ;)
Oh I know. I meant the solos in Icarus. :)

Alright :)

I think Dave will be most difficult for me. A sh*tload of strong solos.
Dave was definitely tough for me. But then again, Adrian was tough too because there's soo many solos of his I like. I think it took me about an hour and a half to compile my lists.
 

Sara

Not even Wensleydale?
Good to see you back, Sara!


I will do the same. A really fine project. I'll probably end up with too many solos, but after that I'll shorten the shortlists, so the speak.

Aww, thanx Foro, I really appreciate that! :)

The main reason I went with my initial gut instincts regarding my top 10 (Of H's solos), is because I knew no matter how much I deliberated over my decisions, I would be wondering about other great solos I'd left out, and whether I should have left them out. Both H and Davey have more than 10 solos that would deserve to be in a top 10 of their solos, which means that compiling a top 10 in either instance would never leave me feeling totally satisfied that I'd made the correct decision, no matter how much time I spent making it. With that being the case, I just went with the first 10 that came into my head. lol :)
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Actually your method is very handy, but at the moment I can only name 5-7 musthave solos and not more, so I certainly need to hear more to be sure. And perhaps my taste changed somewhat since the last time I focused on this.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
That's exactly what I did - noted down the first "best" solos that came to mind. Just like Sara, I felt that thinking over this too much would cause nothing but confusion.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
You two make me doubt!

Well, I will certainly skip some stuff I am sure that wouldn't be in these top 10's.
 

Sara

Not even Wensleydale?
The way I look at it simply, is this. There are 2 or 3 solos I could have swapped out for other solos that are very deserving of a top 10 place, but I had I done so, I know I'd be thinking about the solos I swapped out, that maybe I should have put them in there instead. lol No matter what choices I made, there'd always be "what ifs" going on in my mind. I'll put up my top 10 Janick solos later, that should, hopefully be a little easier!
 

CriedWhenBrucieLeft

Meme Only Account
It's actually quite hard. I think there's quite a lot of merit in going with what initially comes to mind --particularly go-to leads; ones you know you love listening to. But, I'm super conscious of overplay tiredness pulling some (particularly older stuff) down, & some just not being in my thoughts because I haven't listened to them for a while --& these being given a fair hearing, so to speak. Also, while it might be ideal to judge the solos entirely as standalone pieces, it's pretty hard to not put them in the context of the music that's just come before i.e. the whole (or at least part of the) track. I'm also thinking (despite ruling this out initially) that some of Dave's introduction solos/leads should indeed be at least considered, as they fall within my own definition of solo/lead; namely an improvised one-guitar part, with a minimum of repeating elements.

I'm going album to album & giving everything a listen...
 
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