Iron Maiden/The Essential Iron Maiden Disc 2

Disc 2:

The Evil That Men Do—-With an atmospheric intro, you are not long to wait for the onslaught of traditional Maiden songs. Again…the drums are fantastic…one of the most under rated drummers in metal. The sound is classic Maiden, as the Harris bass propels the song. Bruce is in fine vocal form as he alternates between a more comfortable tone to a higher exquisite register. Classic in all sense of the word.

Wasted Years—-An absolute Maiden classic that contains all the important elements and allowed them to also voyage into the fray of more commercial metal. This is a band that is chameleon in form and successfully rolls with the changes while remaining true to themselves and their fans. This is literally a classic, masterpiece that is one of my very favorite Maiden tracks ever. Caught in time, this is a capsule I visit often.

Heaven Can Wait—-Bass heavy from the onset and building to a nice anticipatory level, the song opens up with a full sound by the end of the first full measure. Dickinson delivers one of the best vocals of his career…the tone and emotion are a double edged sword. The song, musically, has a huge and full sound. The solos and the aggression maintain themselves through the entire song. This masterful heavy metal that is accessible to everyone.

2 Minutes 2 Midnight—-Catching Maiden at one of the numerous high points in their storied career, this song is everything Maiden. I loved this song for the longest time just for the sick and askew line “…..body bags and little rags of children torn in two…”. It was an eerie turn for a band that sung mostly of medieval and human aspects. The song has a brutal guitar delivery and an incredible drum track. Dickinson is able to sound terribly evil and possessed during the song and it adds to the effect. Fantastic!

Aces High—-Of course….the song with the famous Churchillspeech….let alone one of the fastest and most brutal delivery of Maiden in their career. The song moves at a blistering speed and the bass line is in your brain, although buried. The vocal is something out of a story book. Dickinson delivers a blistering vocal that will leave scars on you frontal lobe. The song moves and slows slightly, but magically keeps all of it;s intensity. the chorus is a grand affair that you can’t forget. And Dickinson just soras…best vocal in some time.

The Flight Of Icarus—-One of the songs that helped to cement the band in Heavy Metal history, the live version from Maiden England is historic. The song has the deep bass sound of Harris production and bass. Dickinson is at the best level of his career and the song is a big Nordic adventure. There is little that you could find fault with on this track. Classic and will live in Metal history forever.

The Trooper—-This track is one of the Maiden faithful’s favorites…..personally the song never did much for me…I would have preferred ‘Die With Your Boots On’ instead…..but giving credit where credit is due, you must notice the high points of the song. The song is aggressive and speedy in tempo. The Harris sound is more apparent than ever, and the bass guitar leads the entire tempo of the song. The drums are in perfect synch pant with the bass guitar delivery and the lead guitars maintain the same melody.

The Number Of The Beast—-Not even close to being the evil song that many chastised the song as being, the track is relatively harmless. The message hold elements of positivity and speaks of the courage to right wrongs….evil of any kind. Of course the spoken word intro is a high light of any live Maiden show, the guitars enter the fray and are masterful. Dickinson manages to evoke high levels of emotion from his voice…even at lower levels. When he lets loose with hs trademark shriek, you are shattered and welcomed home in open arms. The song increases in tempo and intensity, and Bruce keeps up the pace with blistering vocals. A classic and timeless masterpiece.

Run To The Hills—-Perhaps the best known song of the Maiden catalog, the song is what helped to establish the Maiden bass sound. The song literally speaks of Indians and Cowboys and manages to gallop at an amazing pace. Fantastic in every measure, the double layed vocals of Dickinson boosts the song to incredible heights. A true masterpiece in the history of Heavy Metal.

Wrathchild—-Ushering in some of the earliest Maiden release, this song is still a crowd favorite, although brute added much more charisma than Di’Anno did. Paul had a vocal much like Bayley and you would think the band had learned it’s lesson. The song does have it’s highpoints….Di’Anno manages some great notes, but his vocal range is limited. Of course, even in these early days, Harris was fully seated in his bass delivery…it still works today.

Killers—-Paul manages to turn in some pretty awesome vocals on this track and the vocal range is displayed a bit more. The bass guitar delivery of Harris is just screaming for a stronger vocal…the sound of the band seemed to be cemented from the beginning. The vocals are not bad…they manage to sound sinister yet un harmonic. The music more than makes up for the lack of vocal energy.

Phantom Of The Opera—-Still a live staple all of these years on, it is because the music can stand on it’s own…depite the vocalist. The song has an aggressive bass delivery that is even faster and more pronounced than ever. Paul seems a tad bit flat at times, and the song has a whole sounds much deeper and muted due to production quality. The tone of the song is very Black Sabbath, an almost dark Industrial Metal sound that was coming from the poorer counties of London at this time. Nice, but remastering could really bolster the sound.

Running Free [Live]—-Another Maiden song that is still a live stallworth….mainly because of the audience participation involved. The song inspires the audience to interact and this version with Dickinson at the helm really brings the song to life. The audience goes wild for its ability to be a part of a band that they love so much. The song is literally a love fest between band and audience….and the music ain’t half bad either.

Iron Maiden [Live]—-Another classic that never grows old and is a requirement at any Maiden show. How great to have a song named after you that includes all of the features that make you a history making band. The sound is classic Harris and the speed of the live version just makes it more intense. The drumming on this track is fantastic and Bruce is in the best voice of his career. This is brilliant….30 years old and still will rock your brain.

***** out of 5


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