A couple weeks ago I decided to find some good-quality Iron Maiden boots from 1986-88. I was at a friend’s house just prior to this and he raved about the band’s latest, A Matter of Life and Death, and I just got this urge to hear some Maiden from the latter part of their “golden era”, if you will. My love affair with the band started in 1989 when I lived up nort in rural Wisconsin. A friend of mine, who was one of 3 or 4 metalheads at the small school I attended, lent me a copy of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son released the previous year. I remember listening to it for the first time very well. It was a summer night and storms were raging outside – lots of thunder & lightning and quite a show. So I’m listening to the 10+ minute title track on side two which has this slow bit in the middle that’s really evil and foreboding with a spooky chorus synthesizer in the background. Singer Bruce Dickinson is doing a spoken word part when a bolt of lightning flashes and I hear a CRASH!! in the bathroom. This freaked me out but I go investigate anyway and discover that the glass shower door had shattered into a million pieces. That’s rock’n'roll!
Maiden released Somewhere in Time in 1986 and it introduced guitar synths to the band’s sound. Fears that the boys had taken a turn towards Ultravox were allayed when listening to the album. The synths add color and fill out the songs where they’re used but the Iron Maiden sound remained quite intact. Their addition essentially codified the elements of the style now known as progressive metal. I read an interview with bassist Steve Harris several years ago in which he said that a couple of his favorite albums were Foxtrot by Genesis and A Passion Play by Jethro Tull so it’s really no surprise that the band helped pioneer this sub-genre.
The Somewhere On Tour tour began on 10 Sepetember 1986 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and ended 148 shows later in Osaka, Japan on 21 May 1987. (They stopped here in Madison on 9 March 1987 at the Dane County Coliseum.) It featured their now-customary stage setup with a giant version of the band’s mascot, Eddie. The performance here was recorded on 8 October 1986 at Colston Hall, Bristol, UK. It’s an excellent audience recording and appears on the bootleg above, When It’s Time to Rock.
(Live photos found here.)
Caught Somewhere In Time
Two Minutes to Midnight
Sea of Madness
Children of the Damned
Stranger In A Strange Land
Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Here’s a clip of the band on the same tour doing “Stranger in a Strange Land”. I am almost positive it comes from their show on 13 January 1987 in Philadelphia.
I’ve posted another Maiden show here from a different tour – 1992.