Review: "Piece of Mind" by British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden
Piece of Mind is one of the best Iron Maiden albums of all time
Iron Maiden the British heavy metal band that is known for such outstanding albums as Somewhere in Time, Powerslave, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son actually got into peak greatness even before that. Their 1983 album called Piece of Mind should be given absolute consideration for being one of the top 5 Iron Maiden albums of all time. I have said repeatedly that the band may have reached its peak of greatness in 1986 but this one may be just as good of an album if not better. Is that really possible? I was wondering this same question myself. We shall see as we go on this musical journey of one of the most melody filled albums in the band’s history. The bass lines played by Steve Harris in the first song Where Eagles Dare are very memorable. Bruce Dickinson sings “no one should go where eagles dare” and this early vocal line shows that early on in his career he was already great and this was in 1983, many, many years ago. The song gradually builds up and just gets better.
Why is Bruce Dickinson better for Iron Maiden than Paul Di'anno?
Bruce Dickinson who had joined the band in 1982 proves that he is a far better vocalist than Paul Di’anno. Bruce can sing very high and he can sing very low and he has the ability to change octaves VERY effectively. He is the best fit for this band.
Songs such as Where Eagles Dare and Revelations really set the tone for this album
Where Eagles Dare has an excellent catchy bass line with a terrific guitar part as we mentioned before but there is one specific part in the song that is the catchiest part. It starts around 3:14 and goes until around 3:42 or so. Bruce Dickinson also shows his supreme vocal prowess when he sings “they chose to fly where eagles dare.” This is a memorable vocal line because he holds his powerful voice for several seconds. The album gets even better as it goes on. The melodic song Revelations is about asking for GOD’s help and guidance as the leaders on Earth on faltering in their leadership and the world is getting divided. We need to unite and come together especially now with the events that have happened in August 2017. The band realized back in 1983 that the only way to have a better world is to be united, not divided. Flight of Icarus makes reference to the Icarus story where he used his wings made out of wax and flew too close to the sun. Bruce Dickinson lets out a little oooh!
Why is the Song Revelations Significant?
The melodic song Revelations is about asking for GOD’s help and guidance as the leaders on Earth are faltering in their leadership and the world is getting divided. We need to unite and come together especially now with the events that have happened in August 2017. The band realized back in 1983 that the only way to have a better world is to be united, not divided.
A few more reasons for Piece of Mind being so great
Die With Your Boots On is another memorable song with an excellent riff with good basslines. Can this band do anything wrong in the songwriting department? At this point in the decade, their riff construction, melody construction, and vocals were top notch.
"Where Eagles Dare"
The contributions of Steve Harris
We hear Steve Harris provide some background vocals when he says "if you're gonna die." The Trooper is a fast, melodic song similar to the song The Duellists on the Powerslave album however I think this song is a better one. The song is about the horrors of war as a soldier and his troops fight valiantly against the oncoming Russian forces only to be at a massive disadvantage. The brilliance pf the melodies continues with the song called Still Life.
"Die With Your Boots On"
Piece of Mind: the Last Three Songs
The song Quest for Fire is a song about the prehistoric era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Man made an attempt to use fire for hunting and gathering purposes. The last song called To Tame a Land is a song about a king that is so strong and powerful that he will take down all his foes. He is the best king that his people will ever have.
Piece of Mind Iron Maiden's Best Album
This is a huge statement to make here but Piece of Mind may even surpass the greatness of Somewhere in Time, maybe not in terms of vocals but the songs are equally as good! Is Piece of Mind now Iron Maiden’s best composed album? There is a great chance that the answer will be yes. The strongest songs in this album are most of them with the exception of Sun and Steel. Yes, Iron Maiden has so many great albums that it is very hard to say with any certainty which album is their finest moment but Piece of Mind may be their peak and they would be VERY solid all the way until 1990. The vocal range of Bruce Dickinson was high and possibly he did his best vocal performance here in this album. Sun and Steel though not a bad song just isn’t as good as the other 8 songs on this album. Even so, Piece of Mind may have been the peak greatness of Iron Maiden and the next 5 years after this could have been their peak musically because the songs in this era with the creativity, synth use, and vocals were just awesome!
Final grade: 99 out of 100 points
© 2017 Ara Vahanian