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Iron Maiden performs classic track “The Trooper” at the Download Festival on June 15, 2013.

Not bad for a bunch of old geezers, huh?!

Happy 55th Birthday, Bruce Dickinson!
Photo © Ross Haflin

Happy 55th Birthday, Bruce Dickinson!
Photo © Ross Haflin

Fly As High As The Sun

Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind

Piece of Mind is without a doubt the first Iron Maiden album I considered “mine.” It’s not that the preceding releases were somehow inferior, but moreso that they just didn’t connect with me like this one. For starters, I discovered the first three Maiden albums through a family friend at the same time, somewhere around the release of Number of the Beast and the very same summer he turned me onto Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne simultaneously via Speak of the Devil and the Scorpions’ Blackout. Add to that the Eddie imagery and “devil worship” claims (along with some wildly inaccurate band stories from said friend), and you can imagine how it might have been a little much for a pre-teen living squarely in the Bible Belt in rural Mississippi. I was probably more than a little overwhelmed and couldn’t fully appreciate Iron Maiden, so I promptly dismissed them. Whatever the case, it’s funny that just one short year later, you would find me listening to the vinyl version of this album, completely engrossed in the music, album art, gatefold, and lyric sheet, soon on my way to becoming a full-fledged Maiden fan.

Having long since become a fan of the earlier albums, Piece of Mind is still one of my favorite Iron Maiden releases. It spawned two hits (if you can call any Iron Maiden song a hit), “The Trooper” and “Flight of Icarus,” both of which have become staples of the band’s setlist, and it is (understandably) considered essential listening for any metal fan by more than one music publication. It is a fantastic album as a whole, especially the first half, though I do sometimes find myself skipping over the last three songs if I’m not in the right mood.

Happy 30th Birthday, Piece of Mind!

Played 139 times

Iron Maiden - “The Ides Of March” (Killers)

Clive Burr (March 8, 1957 – March 12, 2013)
Photo © Ross Halfin

Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr died in his sleep last night at the age of 56 after a very long battle with multiple sclerosis. Burr was the man behind the kit on the Maiden classics Iron Maiden, Killers, and The Number of the Beast.

In a news article on the official Iron Maiden website, bassist Steve Harris said, “This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time.”

Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson added, “He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his MS, Clive never lost his sense of humor or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family.”

Happy Birthday, Steve Harris!

Happy 56th Birthday, Dave Murray!

Burying our morals and burying our dead
Burying our head in the sand
E = mc², you can’t relate
How we made God with our hands
Iron Maiden - “Brighter Than a Thousand Suns” (A Matter of Life and Death, 2006)

Happy 54th Birthday, Bruce Dickinson!