I’m pretty sure I got this album after I had listened to a taped version of Live After Death. I don’t think I actually owned the live album, just a version that Mark Hodges had taped for me. I’ve bought it many times over since then though, on vinyl, on VHS and CD. But, we are here to talk about this album: Piece Of Mind.
You can’t help but love Iron Maiden. There’s that cheeky photograph on the back of the album with the band about to tuck into a medieval banquet of brains, there’s the “Britishness” [which those who know me will understand I struggle with] and there’s the public school boy humour from Bruce.
The rock and roll rules mean that if you change a band member they get to start the next release with an intro part. And thus begins Piece Of Mind with Nicko McBrain blatting out a drumming introduction to the rocking along “Where Eagles Dare”, which if I had ever really listened to the lyrics is probably a song about the second world war film about something or another.
“Revelations” is a fucking great song, so beautiful and lyrical. The worst thing is that stupid “Go” that Bruce shouts in the middle and when I first heard this song from the album I laughed at that point and I still do chuckle to myself. This song is better on Live After Death, it has a little more speed and a roughness to it. The album version is a little over-produced. I’ve just read that it was influenced by Aleister Crowley which is pretty annoying but I still like the song.
“The Flight Of Icarus” is boring and I don’t really like it. I mean, it’s a good song, I just don’t like it. The live version is a little drab too. The riff structure feels a lot like Mariner from the Powerslave album, it’s just the opening couple of beats that tell them apart!
“Die With Your Boots On” is a good song, well done live. But in reality this middle aged man struggles with the message of jolly good old bashing the enemy and dying on the field.
“The Trooper” a tour de force about another bloody battle the Brits got tangled up in. Nothing like bashing on about the glorious times. It’s a good song though. I think I’m just struggling with the jingoism and battle cry of it all.
“Still Life” has some excellent hi-hat action and it makes me excited.
“Quest For Fire” is ok.
“Sun and Steel” I like the riff and chorus structure. I like it all. It’s quite pop like in structure but I do enjoy it.
“To Tame A Land” is a good song but I think it struggles from being the last track on side two of the album and so I’ve played it little. It might be something to do with those pesky books by Frank Herbert.
Go and buy Live After Death rather than this. It’s a more powerful statement.