Although this is my first blog this story actually starts nearly 28 years ago when a friend of mine was kind enough to lend me an album called ‘life after death’ by Iron maiden. I wore his album out as well the ones of my own that I subsequently bought as well as two LP’s, two VHS tapes and countless blank tapes as we used to do in those days.I read all the books,all the back stories, bought all the merchandise, grew my hair and was totally caught up in this band. Steve Harris, the founder member became my hero and pretty much has occupied that spot ever since.
Everything I’ve ever read about iron maiden suggests that Steve rules this band not so much with an iron fist but with him right at the very front of it controlling the music and image as well as everything that goes on the albums.After all he writes most of the songs,he formed the band and has had the final say since they started back in the 1970’s. So when I first heard that he was going to release a solo album I wasn’t too sure why this was happening, I couldn’t understand why this new stuff had to be released outside the band, did it mean as a recording outfit that maidens time was up?or was this new material SO different he or the rest of the band put their foot down and mutinied?
To a certain extent this has led me to feel a bit like I’ve got home early from school let myself into my house only to find my dad in bed with someone else. In this case 4 other blokes whom I’ve never heard of and never really wanted to hear about. A disturbance in the force was definitely being sensed.
Then out of curiosity I start to read the pre release reviews which in part greet this album with open arms, curiosity and respect. In metal circles this man could take photos of topless royals, lob grenades at police and pee on the cenotaph and still be more respected than pretty much anyone else so a respectful 4/5 or 4k ratings with special mention of two or three tracks suggests its worth the purchase price ( whatever it is ) and therefore the excitement rises another level. Then 2 days ago I get an email telling me I can have a full album play through via the Internet and make my own mind up, but you know what… I don’t want to. I don’t want to open my Xmas presents early, I don’t want to unwrap my Easter eggs on good Friday; I want to wait… savour the moment so to speak.And anyway it doesn’t really matter……
If I came home from work and found him in bed with my woman, I’d simply cover them both up with the duvet and leave them to sleep, if he released an album of folk songs complete with hurdy-gurdy I wouldn’t care. He gave me ‘the trooper’ ‘phantom of the opera’ and ‘hallowed be thy name’ etc etc so without even listening to it I KNOW it will be excellent. So Monday 24th sees this album arrive and I’ll be there to buy it. It’s a kind of unconditional love really. Then next Friday see’s tickets for download go on sale where maiden will storm the stage for a record 5th time and I was there for the 1st in ’88 along with 107,000 of my good friends.
This means order is restored and the disturbance in the force is over. For now.