Where Eagles Dare

How good is Where Eagles Dare on a scale of 1-10?

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With a furious kick of a drum intro, Maiden revealed to the world that this drummer was indeed not the same as the one on their first three albums - Nicko McBrain was even better.

Awesome song, I like pretty much all of it. It gives you the feel of snowy Alps and while the lyrics aren't perfect, the instrumental section is. 9/10 because there are a few better songs on this album.
Nicko introduces himself with a drum fill and we're off. An aggressive descending riff carries us into a soaring verse. The drums continue their assault. The pre-chorus kicks it up a notch, but as it turns out, this is actually the chorus?! Another round of verse and chorus, where Bruce continues to sound great, and we kick into an extended interlude.

A swaying melodic lead carries us through a harmonized section and into an excellent soaring solo with machine gun sound effects that gives way to an equally excellent harmonized bit. This cuts into a percussive break before returning to the swaying lead.

We return to a final round of verses and chorus, ending on a long, high vocal note, with the verse riff continuing on for a bit before a big rock ending.

This song gets a bit repetitive in parts, and it doesn't have a traditional chorus; but the performances are top notch and the "theater of the mind" is in full effect here. Excellent stuff overall. 9/10.
Talk about making an entrance! Clive was a decent drummer and a crucial part of the first three albums, but Nicko McBrain shows that he's better in every way with one of the best drum openings in metal history. It lasts a mere few seconds but is oh-so-good! The song storms into being as guitars come in and Bruce gives a sterling performance, showing that his pipes have been well-oiled since The Number of the Beast. With an awesome instrumental section and cool storytelling on display - even if it feels a bit rushed there near the end - this is a Maiden classic as a whole, and a perfect way to begin the album. There are better songs to be seen, but this is a great start. 9
So, let's continue these song reviews. My last Iron Maiden one was for Hallowed Be Thy Name and that one was...uhhh, unique to say the very least. I still stand by with what I said, though.

Anyway, returning back to the fray, what have the boys brought for me to start off Piece Of Mind? Well...a song that could have easily been two minutes shorter. Seriously, Where Eagles Dare has a section that is so annoyingly repetitive and dull since it's one riff played over and over for like a minute. Then after the solo, they do it again! So you could just shorten that infernal section drastically and I think the song would be considerably better. The worst thing about is that it comes smack dab in the middle of the darn song, making it even more of an issue! Apparently, they thought THAT was a good idea. You may have expected this, but I really, really despise that section.

The rest of the song is simply fine. Bruce is definitely high-pitched here and he's on point, basically. Nicko who makes his debut here does it in style with that famous drum fill intro and all. Everyone else does good work too, with Dave's solo being a highlight despite how quiet it is compared to the other stuff in the mix, and being sandwiched between the two iterations of the idiotic section.

I can't give it higher than a 6/10 because of that.
Well... Since I have my book to sell (http://subscribepage.com/luisma666) for supporting my old folks in Venezuela, this kind of post will be one of the lasts:

"Steve said, 'I want you to do a big drum fill in the beginning of this song,' McBrain recollects while describing his first writing sessions with Iron Maiden on the Channel Island of Jersey. 'It worked out finally between the two of us, with that blap diddly boogady, blap diddly boogady, blap diddly boogady, boogady blap — which so fits, because (the song is) basically in that triplet format all the way through. After we'd finished the record and we started the British tour, Steve goes, 'Right, we're gonna open with 'Where Eagles Dare.' And I says, 'You're having a laugh! I need to warm up before I play that track!' (laughs)" (Excerpt from Nicko McBrain: Unleashing The Beast – Taken from Drum Magazine Webpage on May 16, 2014)


2014 - Rhythm Magazine placed 'Where Eagles Dare' at No. 10 in their 101 Greatest Drum intros list.

"Up until that time, EMI were allowed to visit the studio and listen to the album before it came out. And when they listened to Piece Of Mind, they said, ' You can' t have this drum intro at the beginning of the album.' There was a massive row between Iron Maiden and EMI, and it was absolutely diabolical. From then on, EMI were banned from visiting the studio while Iron Maiden was recording. The agreement was, we give you the album, with the artwork we want; you put it out, you have nothing to say about it. Otherwise we walk, and that was it. With The Number Of The Beast, they had battles over the artwork and nearly walked, so they had to really give EMI an ultimatum. And it was exactly the same with Piece Of Mind, but with the drums." (Blaze Bayley for Martin Popoff – Iron Maiden: Album by Album – 2018)

According to an interview Steve gave to a magazine in 1981, one of his heroes is Clint Eastwood (one of the protagonists of the Where Eagles Dare movie, which is also, one of his favourite movies).

'Where Eagles Dare' has been covered by bands such as Deliverance, Dream Theater, Fozzy, Mystic Force, Night Conquers Day, Spitfire, Týr & The Quill.
Iconic drum intro. Nicko shines through the whole song - immense drumming. Great riff, verses and chorus. The instrumental part is good, but the solo from Dave is not so good. The song works quite well as a opener. 8/10
Nicko is here and he’s instantly showing off. That terrific drum intro launches a really killer track with a lot of bite and a lot of firepower. Bruce is sounding more polished here than on TNOTB, which is great. This is truly the first definitive classic of the traditional Iron Maiden sound, with all five members finally here and working together on some great songs. Love that instrumental section, Dave and Adrian are truly amazing players. It’s such a strong song, tremendous stuff. 9/10
This song is better live. While watching some live performances of it, I found this version from 1983 in which Dave plays an extended solo and I have to say I like it better than his studio solo. Those ''wild'' Dave solos are always cool. Also, the machine gun sound effect is missing, which is another improvement imo.

I can't think of another song for which one of the guitarists played an extended version of their studio solo.

Nicko introduces himself with the iconic drum intro, immediately delivering some very demanding drum parts showing that Iron Maiden have entered a higher level. This album features some of Bruce's finest moments and is probably my favorite of his 80's performances, despite liking other albums more.

This song has potential, but I never really got into it. I despise it when songs keep using sound effects like sirens, helicopter noises or gun shots in a song, so the sounds during the solos is strike number one. Strike two would be the never ending repetitions of the riffs during the middle section. I'm sorry; the riffs are nice, but they aren't interesting enough to warant so much repetition. You could cut half of the repetitions, as in go into the harmonies after one instead of two playthroughs, and the song would benefit from it. Not a fan of the verses either, I only really like the last half of each. Basically, what could be seen as a "chorus". WED also suffers from something that we'll see a ton in the rest of Maiden's career: Songs that sound amazing on the record, but are next to impossible to actually perform in a live setting. I adore Bruce and he's my favorite vocalist, but the vocals on WED (along with some other songs that I'll mention when I get to them) have never sounded pleasant in a live setting. All in all a weak start to this album, a 4.
I was surfing the web and I found this Instructional video of Tommy Aldridge playing the fantastic Over the Mountain and I was asking myself if Nicko took inspiration in Lee Kerslake drum intro. What do you think?