Monday, March 17, 2008


Over the weekend, I listened to a lot of Iron Maiden. They played a sold-out arena show on Friday night, and I couldn't go. So, yes, it's time for Coping Via Mixtape.

Maiden is on a tour that is adopting, for the most part, the setlist from thier 1985 tour for Powerslave, and even the stage set. I saw them on that tour at Radio City Music Hall, it was the third concert I ever attended and my mind was blown.

Iron Maiden was one of the first bands that I considered to be "mine." I got into them around the time of 1982's The Number Of The Beast, which was their third album, meaning I didn't have to do a ton of going back to find their old music (as I did with, say, Rush , who had been around for a long time when I first got into them). In fact, I was aware that Number was their first album with singer Bruce Dickinson, and I somehow wasn't interested in hearing the stuff with the original singer, who I was told wasn't as good.

Of course, later on, I ended up getting all of their albums (and I actually prefer original singer Paul Di'Anno, with no disrespect to Bruce). They were also the first band I knew of who had cool B-sides to thier singles, so after getting all of thier albums, there was more stuff to discover. Plus, they had super cool imagery, courtesy of the great Derek Riggs, and of course, they never seemed to "sell out." Even when they started using synthesizers on 1986's Somewhere In Time, they never seemed to be pandering to get a hit single.

Bruce Dickinson quit in the early '90s, and by then I had lost interest in their new music. But around '99, he rejoined (as did guitarist Adrian Smith) and I saw the band's reunion tour at NYC's Hammerstein Ballroom (I think it was renamed the "Hammersmith" for the night). It was one of the best shows I've ever seen. People were just so happy to see them back together. I've seen them a few times since then, but that show kind of took the cake. So, I missed them this week at MSG, but they're coming back to the area, so hopefully I'll catch them in a few months. Now, for my mixtape:

From their 1980 self titled debut: "Prowler," "Remember Tomorrow," "Transylvania," "Strange World," "Sanctuary," "Charlotte The Harlot" and "Iron Maiden." For b-sides from the era, the live version of "Drifter," and their cover of the Montrose song, "I've Got The Fire."

From 1981's Killers: "The Ides Of March," "Murderers In The Rue Morgue," "Another Life," "Genghis Khan," "Innocent Exile," "Prodigal Son," "Purgatory" and "Twilight Zone." And the b-side "Invasion," not to be confused with the Number Of The Beast track, "Invaders."

From the live Maiden Japan EP: "Phantom Of The Opera," "Wrathchild" and "Running Free."

From The Number Of The Beast: "Children Of The Damned," "The Prisioner," "22 Acacia Avenue," "The Number Of The Beast," "Run To The Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name."

From 1983's Piece Of Mind: "Revelations," "Flight Of Icarus," "The Trooper," "Still Life," "Sun And Steel." And the b-side cover of Jethro Tull's "Cross Eyed Mary."

From 1984's Powerslave: "2 Minutes To Midnight," "Aces High" and "Powerslave."

From the live 1985 album Life After Death: "Rime Of The Ancient Mariner" and "Los'fer Words (Big 'Orra)."

From 1986's Somewhere In Time: "Wasted Years"

From 1988's Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son: "The Evil That Men Do"

From 1992's Fear Of The Dark: "Fear Of The Dark" (I didn't really like any of the songs on the previous album, 1990's No Prayer For The Dying)

From the 2000 reunion album Brave New World: "The Wicker Man" (I didn't really like any of their albums with Dickinson's replacement Blaze Bayley)

From 2003's Dance Of Death: "Dance of Death"

From 2006's A Matter Of Life And Death: "These Colors Don't Run" and "The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg"

Well, if it were a "mixtape," it would be a few 90s: all these songs together add up to nearly four hours. So it's a few workouts in a row. But back in my high school days, these songs (through Somewhere In Time) were my boombox tracks of choice on many a Friday and Saturday night. Long live Iron Maiden. Up The Irons!

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