Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
Release Type: Studio Album
Release Format: CD
Original Release Year: 1980
Label: Sanctuary Records, Metal-is Records
Issue of Album Being Reviewed: CK 86207
1. Prowler (3:55)
2. Sanctuary (3:16)
3. Remember Tomorrow (5:28)
4. Running Free (3:16)
5. Phantom of the Opera (7:07)
6. Transylvania (4:18)
7. Strange World (5:32)
8. Charlotte the Harlot (4:12)
9. Iron Maiden (3:34)
- Multimedia Section
Notes: This is the 1998 remaster of the album with Sanctuary restored to the track-list (it has been included on-and-off on releases of the album; the original vinyl issue in the UK excluded it from the track-listing) as well as a bunch of goodies included on disc 2 that are accessible through a computer. The first image in the slide show is the larger slipcase cover and the second image is the original art and the booklet image. The main difference between the two is the placement of the logo and how long the image is. The original artwork for the album was replaced with a newer reproduction from Derek Riggs with the original art being used on the spines of the 1998 remaster series (I personally like the newer version of the art better).
Paul Di’Anno – Vocals
Dave Murray – Guitars
Dennis Stratton – Guitars
Steve Harris – Bass Guitar
Clive Burr – Drums
Produced by: Will Malone
“Oh well, wherever, wherever you are,
Iron Maiden’s gonna get you, no matter how far,
See the blood flow, watching it shed, up above my head,
Iron Maiden wants you for dead!”
Iron Maiden’s self-titled début album is one of the most revered albums from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal containing instant classics such as the epic Phantom of the Opera, the softer Remember Tomorrow, and the rockin’ Sanctuary. The album is an essential for any Maiden fan with many of its songs being played live like the title track and Running Free. Not only that but many other bands have covered tracks from here including Metallica, Anthrax, and Tankard. There is no denying that this album rocks!
I’ve only owned this album for two weeks now and I have fallen in love with it. Before I only knew the few songs that appeared on Live After Death. Even then I only knew them sung by Bruce; the few times I’ve heard them by Di’Anno I didn’t really care for them. Now that I’ve actually listened to it quite a few times I actually appreciate his vocals and the rawer production compared to the live versions of the songs I was more familiar with. Bruce is still my preferred singer Maiden however and I doubt that will change.
My favorite tracks on here are Running Free, Sanctuary, and Charlotte the Harlot with the former 2 being the singles from here. If you read my review of Live After death, then you know my sentiments towards Running Free. It is my favorite track on this album as well as my favorite Di’Anno era song (some contenders for that spot include Killers and Charlotte the Harlot). It is a simple riff-driven song with a catchy chorus, but it is also the epitome of the NWOBHM movement: laid-back straight-forward hard rock/metal. Running Free was released as a single before the album was released and has a picture of Eddie with an obscured face so as not to give away the awesomeness that is Eddie the ‘Ead. Running Free has been played at nearly every Maiden show since and is a frequent show closer and always gets the crowd on its feet. Sanctuary is the second single from the album and another riff-driven song. It was originally excluded on the UK release of the album but included on the American release and was later permanently added to the album when the band remastered its back-catalog in 1998. It, like Running Free is one of my favorite Di’Anno Maiden songs. Charlotte the Harlot is the first song in a series of four songs (the other three being 22 Acacia Avenue, Hooks In You, and From Here to Eternity) about a prostitute named Charlotte and is the only song on the album to not feature lyrical credits from Harris (instead Murray wrote the song). The song features a smoking guitar solo and I feel the song is often overlooked since it comes right before the title track.
None of the songs on the album are too complex however that is to be expected from an early release from the NWOBHM. You won’t find any songs like the epic Powerslave or Seventh Son of a Seventh Son here, but instead you will find short riff-driven songs sounding like the band has something to prove (then again, punk rock was still at large in England and Steve Harris, the leader and founder of the band, hated it). You also will not find any over the top vocals like with Bruce, but instead you have another great singer at the helm, Paul Di’Anno, who had dug out his own unique singing style and may surprise or alienate those fans who are so used to the vocals of Bruce. It doesn’t take long to get into this rawer album from the boys if you were first introduced to songs like Wasted Years or Aces High. This album is a must-have for any NWOBHM or Maiden fan as it is what I consider to be one of the “core” NWOBHM releases along with High ‘n’ Dry, Lightning to the Nations, Denim and Leather, and a few others. I can only wonder what the initial impressions on this album were when it came out since no one had any idea what the band would become or how different they would sound in onyl a few years time.
Ratt’s Song Picks: Running Free, Charlotte the Harlot, Phantom of the Opera