When the Wild Wind Blows

How good is When the Wild Wind Blows on a scale of 1-10?

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This is my favorite song of the TFF album. I give it a 9/10. Although I was thinking of a perfect 10, it's very near to that, but I feel that it might lack some metal edge to it, and sometimes I just feel its several songs put together and not a real whole. Minor things though, mostly it's spellbinding, demands your attention. The lyrics can feel a bit cheesy first, but once you get sucked into the story here, the song kind of gets very short.

I acutally like it better today, than what I did when TFF come out, or rather I liked it at first, then got a bit tired of it, but now I love it again.
I'll be honest, upon first hearing WTWWB, it didn't really click, and I felt it was the weakest of the last 5 tracks. It did grow on me, but its standing remained the same.
Then I bought En Vivo...

The live version is just stunning, absolutely flawless. It could very well be my favourite performance from any live maiden album.So powerful and emotive. The story telling is superb (something I feel is often compromised in live performances, but not this time) with the music perfectly emulating the narrative.

This also made me appreciate the studio version significantly more.
Just a few months back I also watched the film from which the song was based. I HIGHLY recommend watching it, as I once again developed a new appreciation for the song and realised that, tonally, it is such a perfect adaption. Capturing the naivety and innocence of the old couple both musically and lyrically was a stroke of genius. The progression of the song , from an almost playful innocence, to sombre reminiscence and finally stark realisation is done ridiculously well.
I could write so much more, but this'll do for now.

Initially score (pre En Vivo & film viewing)- 6/10
Final score (post En Vivo and Viewing) - 10/10

Yeah en Vivo version is 10/10, I agree Bruce. Excels on that one. I give the album version 9/10.
I remember when the song titles and lengths got announced for this album, everyone saw When the Wild Wind Blows and got really excited. There are very few songs that cross the 10 minute length for Maiden, so this was going to be something special. Funny to think there are two songs that exceed its length on TBOS. Anyway, this definitely is a special song. It's got a bit of a 90s feel to it, which makes sense given the bulk of it was likely written in the 90s. I can even picture Blaze singing on it. The thing with the guitar melodies following the vocals was a very common thing in the 90s too.

I feel like what makes this song so different for Maiden is that Steve is putting extra focus on the story here. It isn't a very dynamic song, it kinda treads in one tone for its entirety, Steve is letting that stuff take a back seat so you can really focus on his words. There also aren't many extended instrumental sections. You have the solos, but they don't spare any time to get back to the lyrics. The instrumental stuff isn't as elaborate as what we heard on other songs or For The Greater Good of God. It's a fresh way of doing things, which is welcome.

The twist at the end is great too. Very Genesis.

I could say some arguments against this song, but I won't. I loved it at first "sight" and it still is an 'Arry epic done right, IMHO. Very emotional and very Blazish, as Mosh correctly noted. Enjoyable from start to finish, it feels much shorter than it is for me (just like Rime or DoD, for example).

This song played at my wedding nearly two years ago. And I'm still proud of that. Purely personal 10/10 from me.

EDIT: Forgot to mention the lyrics. Let's put it this way - the themes of a fatalistic romance, seclusion and of individual subjective interpretations of any signs (God-given or other) speak to me a lot. :)
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Very emotional, and the subject is very untypical for Maiden. Who would have thought we'd ever hear the word "snug" in a Maiden song? It's a very good ending to the album. It gets better a couple of minutes into the song. The intro is good, but too long for its own good. I like the heavier parts towards the end where Bruce sings "they've been preparing for some weeks now". Janick does one of his best solos ever.
I really want to love this song. But I just don't. There's parts I think are fantastic. There's parts I think are just fucking terrible. I'm gonna go low on this one and say 7/10.
I dont like it. Never have. The album is great but this song blows. Its almost as weak as Mother Russia. The subject matter would have beem more timely on the Piece of Mind album.

Quite possibly my favourite post reunion track.

The story is captivating. The structure is reminiscent of DoD with no real chorus yet the mellow verses still build beautifully to the darker, more aggressive second half. The heavier 'They've been preparing' segment is just brilliant. Awesome guitars then that superb bit where the tempo drops into the final section with a stunning clean solo.

I agree with another poster who mentioned the En Vivo version which is amazing. That has also influenced my view of the album version. Absolutely love them both


When the Wild Wind Blows is a typical Harris epic and a true masterpiece. At the time, this would be Maiden’s third longest song (after Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Sign of the Cross, respectively). It is chock full of classic Maiden melodies and harmonies. Bruce sings in a notably lower range for most of the song and I love it. Let’s face it, Bruce Dickinson is aging. Sure, he’s still got pipes of gold, but I personally feel like this is his most comfortable range and he sounds rich and full on every line of Wild Wind. It begins very singsongy, almost like a campfire tale, with a massive wall of lyrics, but Bruce portrays the simple story with such conviction and skill that it just works. Celtic guitar melodies played by Gers drive the vocals towards an unexpected, and welcome, octave jump. Three fabulous guitar solos round out a beautiful bridge. One of my favorite vocal melodies Steve has ever written occurs in this song during the final movement, specifically the "can't believe all the lying” section. It's such an atypical bluesy melody for Bruce and he sounds great in that range. Steve calls on Janick for another solo that represents the madness of the ending to the story before things calm down again. The song comes full circle with the sound of the wind that these two tragic characters believed was nuclear fallout.
Really captivating Harris epic. Sends the album off on a very strong note, telling an exciting (yet fairly disturbing) story with a fantastic and very chaotic instrumental to follow. A masterpiece in its own right and the best song on the album for me, along with "The Talisman". It doesn't really sound like anything we've heard from Maiden before it, but it does sound like something written around Blaze's tenure with the band. 10, no doubt!
I think this song should remind Steve and Maiden in general that you don’t need extremely complicated music or lyrics to make an epic. Actually, I think the simple yet captivating lyrics are what makes this song great. After countless songs about recurring themes, it’s nice to see a song that describes well an original and interesting topic. Bruce’s vocals, without requiring crazy high-pitched screams, are perfect and emotional. I don’t see it as too long, as no part feels boring or too repetitive to me. 9/10
I think LC sums up my thoughts on this song very well:
I really want to love this song. But I just don't. There's parts I think are fantastic. There's parts I think are just fucking terrible. I'm gonna go low on this one and say 7/10.
I too am going with a 7/10.
An ominous yet bright intro leads into a beautiful soft verse 1 with great delivery from Bruce. The guitar doubling the vocal actually works well here. A brief pause and we kick into a heavier version of verse 1 that still sounds great.

Another pause, then we break into an excellent vocal bridge. A superb solo follows, then a strong extended interlude / solo section that builds into something brighter before breaking into a driving verse 2 and an appealing chorus that doesn't drift too far from the verse.

Another round of verse 2 and chorus, then a pretty good solo, and we head into another melodic interlude that returns to the haunting intro and soft verse 1 to finish things off.

I love the lyrics, love the feel, and like the unusual structure. Bruce sounds great here, and there are some great instrumental sections too. The minor weaknesses aren't enough to chip away at this song's 10/10.
I do not find this song unusual nor the instrumental sections great. The song rehashes ATSS.
I surely agree that the atmosphere, the topic, the lyrics and especially the way Bruce sings them so fluently, are of the highest order.

There's one thing though, which I'll try to explain (and which was already mentioned by EW and some others).
It's about some of the instrumental segments: In my ears they honestly sound like recycled parts from Afraid to Shoot Strangers. I don't like the idea of Nicko thinking this is the greatest song Steve ever wrote, while he plus the whole band completely "forget" that song from which these ideas were taken. Even though these are small parts in the song, the associations with my favourite song from the nineties are big.
This is what makes this song less perfect for me.
So you guys are ok with Bruce following the same melodies again and again for almost 4 minutes?!
So you guys are ok with Bruce following the same melodies again and again for almost 4 minutes?!
There's enough variation in the melody that it doesn't feel repetitive to me. And it sounds great.