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Iron Maiden have always been one of my favorite bands. I've pretty much grown up listening to them and i've seen them live more than a couple of times! They're just one of those bands that never gets old. They have the perfect blend of beauty, riffs, catchy chorus's and just pure 80's style metal. Many like to compare Maiden to Judas Priest but personally I don't think they come anywhere close.
This album takes a slightly more modern twist in comparison to Maidens older albums and even has the addition of keyboard (it was the 90's afterall). It's kind of the bridge between their older 80's classics and their modern albums.
Starting with Bruce's amazing voice accompanied by fairly minimalistic acoustic backing, you just know this album is going to be pretty epic. The synth intro is breathtaking and those chords behind it just add drive and power to the introduction. This song is a great opener to the album and is one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs of all time. The verses are fairly quick paced with brutal basslines from the one and only Steve Harris (He gave me a hi5 when I saw them live in Dublin!) The guitar is strong as ever however at this stage Maiden still only had 2 guitarists in comparison to the 3 that they have now. There's a pretty awesome solo section here too, I always like how Maiden share the glory between all members rather than just having a good singer/drummer like a lot of bands do.
This introduction is very modern Maiden! This technique of having the bass play a slightly acoustic line with guitar harmonies over the top became popular with the fans and has been used over and over. If you listen to the guitar and bass in detail during the verses it wouldn't be out of place in the likes of a Chilli Peppers album. Didn't see that coming did you? Songs like this make it difficult to call Maiden metal sometimes, they're just their own epic genre.
Can I Play With Madness
One of their best known songs here, catchy, fast and got those trademark bass lines that helped make Maiden famous. Bruce's excellent vocals make it easy for anybody to listen to. I enjoy the cowbell on the drum kit the whole way through this song, it's the little things that help make songs unique and stand out.
If you're reading this and you're not a metal fan, maybe this album could persuade you otherwise?
The Evil That Men Do
Once again we have a bass introduction featuring harmonies from both guitars. I just love this song.... Something about Bruces singing in this song is just mesmerising and strangely beautiful. More excellent song writing from Steve Harris. I'm not sure if i'm just being overly dramatic about my music (as music is a huge part of my life) but the lines "don't you cry for me, I will pray for you" are just touching and beautiful. Something about this album touches me in a way no other album has been able to. The song also has a good message, criticising the bad things that men are doing on the earth so parents, this album is suitable for your children (I grew up on this stuff and I turned out fine!)
Seventh Son Of a Seventh Song
Coming in at a whopping 9:54 we have the longest song on the album. This song is kind of a step back in time to the Powerslave era with catchy melodies over the bass lines. The drums are more typical maiden style, but so essential to the feel of the song. The chorus has breathtaking vocals again, this is Bruce in his prime! All the high notes come with ease and he sounds like he was lifted straight from an opera choir.
The song keeps the listeners interest by dipping down to a slower paced lighter section before escalating again into full blown chorus's and vocals.
Very synth orientated opening with more guitar harmonies. These harmonies have inspired so many modern metal bands, from Metallica to Lamb of God almost every band can trace it's roots back to Iron Maiden. Another interesting and catchy chorus with lyrics fitting in with the theme of the album. (a son that has got special powers of healing etc). Iron Maiden do tend to write their songs around legends, myths, bible verses and historical events which I find interesting. It's a lot better than those stupid modern metal bands that just write about hurting people and being tough guys (when they're not). Take a look back in time guys, it's Iron Maiden that know how to write lyrics.
Epic bass line in this song! It made me want to buy a bass. The introduction escalates into more catchy verses teeming with emotion. I can remember listening to this in the car when I was a kid, and listening to it now in detail is bringing all those memories back!
Only the Good Die Young
For some odd reason people think this is a Queen cover. Really guys?... Same name but nowhere near the same song. Out of the entire album this song would be the one I listen to least, it's still good don't get me wrong! There's just nothing really unique about it like with the other ones. The song closes the album with the same acoustic intro we heard in the begining of Moonchild.
"Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" is the 7th studio album by British heavy metal giants, Iron Maiden. It was released in 1988 on EMI Records and produced by Martin Birch. The line-up for the album was Bruce Dickinson (vocals), Dave Murray (guitar), Adrian Smith (guitar), Steve Harris (bass) and Nicko McBrain (drums).
The album is a concept loosely based on a series of novels by Orson Scott Card, entitled "The Tales of Alvin Maker", which is focused around the seventh son with a horror/futuristic feel to it as noticed in the majority of songs.
"Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" captures Iron Maiden at the peak of their careers and although its successor, "No Prayer For the Dying" spawned a UK number one single, if you asked Maiden fans around the world which album they preferred between the two, they would say "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". It gave four UK top ten singles in "Can I play With Madness" (#3), "The Evil That Men Do" (#5), "The Clairvoyant" (#6) and "Infinite Dreams" (#6) which isn't a bad haul by any means. The video for "Can I Play With Madness" features Monty Python's Graham Chapman who died a year after it was made.
"Moonchild" gets the album off to an epic start with a wonderful intro before Dickinson's vocals jump in with plenty of power. The song is about the coming of the seventh son and the devil tells the parents that the child will be his son and there's nothing they can do about it. The song is a reminder of how good Iron Maiden was at that time, and for me they were probably the best heavy metal band on the planet in 1988. Steve Harris' bass clanks through the song, matched for pace by McBrain's timely drumming, and the main guitar riff is exceptional. This is one of the best songs off the album, but then again, there really isn't a bad song.
"Infinite Dreams" begins at a slow pace with Bruce's vocals almost whispering over the downturned instruments but it's the pre-chorus where things get interesting. Some would call this song a ballad, but not me. I've never been a fan of keyboards with a straight out heavy metal band like Iron Maiden but they definitely add to the song here and in the bridge before the solos, Nicko's drumming shines through, and Steve Harris' bass is as good as ever. It's a song about the father of the seventh son (who has not yet been conceived) who has visions of the future and doesn't like what he sees but is too scared to do anything about it. The vocals of Dickinson are absolutely outstanding on this song, and the duelling riff near the end is great. That riff, incidentally, can practically be heard on Papa Roach's "Last Resort", although slightly slower. I knew there was a reason why I don't like that band!
"Can I Play With Madness" is perhaps the most well-known song off the album, and continues the story with the father going to see a prophet to find out what his visions mean and what, if anything, he can do about them. The prophet is telling him he really doesn't want to know what he knows but the man needs to know. It's a cheerful song with some great guitar work by Murray and Smith who seem to be on another planet when it comes to recording music, in the sense that they're together in perfect unison. You don't really hear Steve Harris' bass too much on this song, but that's not the be all, end all, because it's a song that doesn't require much bass or drums, and when you've got those twin guitar attacks backed with Dickinson's amazing voice, the rhythm section is barely noticeable.
"The Evil That Men Do" is one of my favourite songs on the album, and it's pretty difficult to choose favourite amongst these fine specimens. There's a soft guitar intro before Nicko chimes the rest of the band into the song and classic Iron Maiden, packed full of riffs, wonderful bass tones, great drumming and, of course, the excellent vocals of Bruce Dickinson, who, it has to be said, has never sounded any better than on this album. The song is about how the seventh son has now been conceived and the devil's daughter is very prominent in his life with her wishes and commands. The devil wants nothing more than for her to seduce him so that he will give his life to Satan but maybe his daughter is having second thoughts. Maybe she is not beyond saviour.
The title song is up next, and it's a song about how the seventh son of a seventh son has been born and is growing older, wiser and stronger. He's also starting to develop powers beyond his thought and is swayed by good and evil to learn to harness his powers for their own need. It's an epic song of nearly ten minutes in length and begins with a haunting riff backed by synthesizers before the first verse comes in with evil-sounding riffs, almost as if the guitars are marching to the beating of a newborn's heart. Dickinson's vocals are once again on amazing form and the guitars accompany his melody in the chorus. The slow part in the middle has spoken word which goes like this:
"Today is born the seventh one
Born of woman the seventh son
And he in turn of a seventh son
He has the power to heal
He has the gift of the second sight
He is the chosen one
So it shall be written
So it shall be done"
What follows is an eerie bridge before the main part of the song starts back up again and launches into guitar solo heaven. It's an incredible piece of music of which the band rarely plays live, which is a shame because it sounds excellent on stage.
"The Prophecy" continues the story and picks up where the seventh son learns of his role as the chosen one and how he is part of the prophecy. He has a vision and tries to warm people but nobody will listen to him leading him. He tells them that if they'd listened he could have saved them from the impending doom they are now fated to. This is the song where Nicko McBrain plays an important part in keeping time with his drumming, as there are many changes throughout. The masterful instrumental guitar at the end of the song brings us back to earth from where the song has just taken us.
"The Clairvoyant" begins with Steve Harris' unmistakeable bass playing before the guitars and drums join in. This is the turning part of the story as far as the seventh son is concerned as he loses the battle with himself. He's getting stronger by the day but loses complete control of himself which leads to his death and being reborn again. With the story taking the path that it does, you'd imagine the song would be sombre and heart-felt, but instead it's pretty up-beat. With a brilliantly catchy chorus of lyrics which end with the true statement of "As soon as you're born, you're dying". This is one of my favourite songs on the album and I love the artwork on the single.
"Only the Good Die Young" is the final song on this incredible album and ends the story with the seventh son dying and being reborn, then pondering what has happened. He's saying that even though he tried to do what he thought was best, he still feels he fought a losing battle and that only the good die young and all the evil seem to live forever. It's a sad end to an epic story, but a heavy metal band wouldn't write music about love, peace and flowers, now would they.
In summary, what you get with this album is what you'd grown to expect with Iron Maiden at that time. Elaborate musical pieces, which, even over 20 years later, sound intricate and hard to pull off. That was the genius of Iron Maiden, though. Is this an Iron Maiden album your collection can do without? It wasn't just one of the best heavy metal albums of 1988 - it was one of the best heavy metal albums of the decade.
2. Infinite Dreams
3. Can I Play with Madness
4. The Evil That Men Do
5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
6. The Prophecy
7. The Clairvoyant
8. Only the Good Die Young
My rating: 9/10
I recently went to see Iron Maiden in concert and during their performance they played 'The Evil That Men Do.' This got me thinking of the album from which it came, the album that is Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I started to rediscover this album and recalled just how good it is. It is the first album in which the band use keyboards and the direction they took was slightly different to the ones before. Don't let that put you off, it is not that Iron Maiden went all synth. Gowd, could you imagine that? No, they just sounded a bit less heavy and a bit more creative.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is also a concept album, something that is not heard much of these days and more normally found in the annals of Prog Rock. It is the story of a young boy (the seventh son of a seventh son) who is destined to become some great clairvoyant.
A look at the band:
Bruce Dickinson - Vocals
Dave Murray - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Adrian Smith - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, synth
Steve Harris - Bass, String Synth
Nicko McBrain - Drums
'Moonchild' (Dickinson/Smith) kicks off the album with a gently intro with just Dickinson singing along to a strumming guitar. Then the song slowly builds up with a mixture of keyboard and guitar, flowed by thumping drums and quick-paced metal. A good song. Another quiet intro for the next song, 'Infinite Dreams' (Harris). This laid back intro continues for a minute then the loud guitars come. This is a very good song. Lots of changes to guitar riffs which fit well. It all builds up to a pounding rhythm and excellent instrumental and guitars solo(s). Have I said this is a very good song?
'Can I Play with Madness'(Dickinson/Smith/Harris) is a stonker of a song and is one of those songs that most people will know, even non-fans. A vocal intro (Can I play with madness) is quickly followed by a frenzied riff and great chorus.
'I screamed aloud to the old man,
I said don't lie, don't say you don't know...
I say you'll pay for your mischief
In this world and the next...'
Next up is the awesome 'The Evil That Men Do' (Dickinson/Smith/Harris). A harmony guitar intro that builds up well to form a fine riff and foot-tapping verse and chorus. Come on, let's all sing... 'The evil that men do lives on and on... the evil that men do lives on and on...' The title track 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' (Harris) is next. At 9.53 in length it is the album's longest song. It is one of those songs that twists and turns and moves from gentle, emotional tones to fierce rock and loud guitars with ease. It has an almost 'Egyptian' intro that slowly builds up. Look out for a great quiet moment in the middle with operatic voices and expressive guitars that evolves into a fine solos.
The sixth song on the album is 'The Prophecy' (Murray/Harris). Another quiet intro, then rocking guitars. This is a good song, but I have always thought there were too many lyrics fitted into short verses. Another of my favourites 'The Clairvoyant' (Harris) is next. A great bass intro, then crunching guitars and a searching lead - from then on it is a real foot tapper. Get you air guitars out and dust them off people.
'There's a time to live, and a time to die
When it's time to meet the maker
There's a time to live, but isn't it strange
That as soon as you're born, you're dying... '
The album rounds off with the foot-tapper that is 'Only the Good Die Young' (Dickinson/Harris). Good solid metal and then a quiet ending...
The album was produced by Martin Birch and recorded in Germany in 1988. The album cover features their mascot Eddie, as all albums do, and was illustrated by Derek Riggs. Eddie appears to have lost the bottom half of his body and is holding an 'embryo Eddie' in his left hand. The back cover has other Eddies of varying shapes and sizes and deformities.
So... I have to say that of all the Iron Maiden albums this has to be my favourite. Where other albums have the odd 'not so good' song, this has everything. The overall feel of this album is one of enlightenment, but it is also sad too. The 'son' is destined for greatness, but also for a young death. The music, the melody, the passion in Bruce's singing, the Metal encapsulates this very well.
It is a fine album...
1988 was an exciting year for an Iron Maiden fan, as was practically ever year of that decade. But '88 was especially exciting because the previous year had been the band's first barren year in terms of records. From 1980 until 1986 the band had unveiled a fresh release annually. There was an immense sense of expectation in the run-up to the 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' album. 1988 was also going to be the year the band played the Castle Donnington 'Monsters of Rock' festival for the first time. In theory, it had been decided in advance that 1988 was going to be Maiden's Great Year. The only thing which could destroy this belief would have been a poor quality record. And it HAD to hit the charts in a very high position, because by '88 Heavy Metal was partly about being despised, especially in the UK. Mike Myers has commented on the NAHME (North American Heavy Metal Experience) in the United States in Canada, where everyone had at least one Maiden album or t-shirt. Things were very different in the UK. At times, the metal fan felt despised and dejected and was occasionally beaten for his / her choice of music. New Order fans were safe. Curiosity Killed the Cat fans were having a right old time. Depeche Mode and INXS fans could proudly wear their t-shirts on the main street. British and Irish metal fans needed 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' to be exceptional. And then it happened; Maiden announced it was to be a 'concept' album.
The first thing the younger metal fans did was try and work out what a concept album meant. The words 'Rick Wakeman' and 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' swam through the mind. The 'Topographic' album by Yes had been intended as the crowning glory of concept albums and had ended-up destroying this entire musical deviation / sub-culture. A concept album tells a story; all songs being linked. The previous album from 1986 had all featured songs about the nature of time, but had never been called a concept album.
When 'Seventh Son' was released my memory is of it reaching number 2 in the album charts, held off the top by Erasure. I appear to be mistaken as every source I have consulted states the album was indeed a number 1, the first since 1982s 'The Number of the Beast'. I must have had a bigger heavy metal persecution complex than I realised. The album I held in my hands off course featured the bands mascot 'Eddie' on the sleeve. The illustration by Derek Riggs was superb; with vocalist Dickinson subsequently stating he believed it was inspired by Dante. The full wrap-round sleeve has the reconstituted remains of 'Eddie' hovering above a wasteland of ice. Above him in a surreal twist are light bulbs floating in the sky. His cranium is exposed, revealing a flame. His heart is replaced by an apple (presumably rotten) and in his hand he holds a child within a womb, apparently plucked from his own innards. In the background, persons are trapped within the ice; seemingly still alive. If Dickinson is correct, Derek Riggs has placed 'Eddie' within Dante's Ninth Circle of Hell, with 'Eddie' presiding in the centre. Dante reserves this circle of Hell for traitors, with Satan in the middle as the ultimate traitor (against God). I saw a UK television programme at the time, with Dickinson holding up an illustration of Dante's Ninth Circle of Hell in order to explain his point. Could you imagine Jon Bon Jovi in a similar scenario?
The album begins with a gentle acoustic piece; Dickinson backed by 1 guitar. He takes the role of minstrel; half entertaining and half threatening. He dwells on the number 7 - the deadly sins, etc. He tells us there are '7 Holy Paths to Hell' before our trip begins. This is almost the Siege Perilous of the Holy Grail. We are being dared to listen to the story. We are being dared to sit on the deadly chair. As Dickinson stops, a keyboard riff suddenly opens up; heavy synth bass. This doesn't sound like Maiden, but I like it. It is menacing. Then drums and guitar arrive together, like a massive bell being sounded. It is an astounding introduction which build up to become the metal equivalent of Richard Wagner. The first verse of 'Moonchild' is full of mystical lyrics. This mysticism was also prevalent within the inner sleeve, with each lyric partnered by an occult / esoteric symbol. Dickinson's voice is rich and clear as he sings 'Lucifer's My Name!' The title evokes Crowley and the Golden Dawn. A child has been conceived within magickal circumstances and the powers of good and evil must now battle for his soul. He is literally the seventh son of a seventh son. According to legend, such people are blessed / cursed with occult powers. This is a deliberately dark song. The band has invoked King Herod as we listen to lyrics of death and slaughter.
The pace of track 2 is the complete opposite. 'Infinite Dreams' is one of Maiden's slowest songs, their equivalent of a ballad. Again Dickinson is crisp and clear. The musicianship is both dynamic and bold, with fluid production from Martin Birch. Our hero / villain is coming to terms with his insights and powers. Like Nostradamus and Russell Grant, he is having visions. The bass / percussion interaction is actually very laid back for a Maiden track. I would love to hear the original tapes, just to listen to McBrain and Harris. The song undergoes a successful chord change and the pace builds and then takes on another chord change, taking us to familiar Maiden galloping bass territory. A swashbuckler of a guitar solo leads onto a twin lead guitar melody from Smith and Murray. A second solo is added towards the end, before the twin guitar melody is re-harnessed. A live version of the track - from Castle Donnington - reached number 6 in the UK charts.
The third track is the big one in terms of singles. 'Can I Play With Madness' was released as a single prior to the album's release and shocked the UK record buying public when it went straight in at number 3. Very few bands had achieved this in the 1980s, with Duran Duran being the finest exponent of the high chart entry. With such a catchy song and high chart debut, some decent radio airplay would have been expected. BBC Radio 1 were not playing along however; their anti-rock policy helping ensure the song never made reached the top of the chart. This song reflects the teenage angst of our seventh son; arguably an occult precursor to 'Smell Like Teen Spirit'. The song is pacey with a forthright chorus and a slick, short guitar solo which always reminds me of the country Japan for reasons I have never been able to fathom.
Track 4 is 'The Evil That Men Do' - another top ten hit in the UK (number 5). The mystical lyrics caused indignation when printed by Smash Hits magazine, prompting jeering letters from Bros and Brother Beyond fans. The track starts mid tempo before launching into Maiden's trademarked 'galloping' Black Beauty bass / percussion. Dickinson starts low and then goes through a whole range of vocal styles. Any Bruce detractors really should listen to this one. Vocally, he does it all here. Side two of the album starts with the title track. At just under 10 minutes long, this is the epic piece. An Iron Maiden album always has an epic track; some great, some not so great. This one is superb. The song is backed by a choir (possibly keyboard generated). Dickinson sings his heart out, with lengthy vocal operatic pieces at the end of each verse. The chorus is basic, but what it lacks in imagination it make up for in verve. Then Dickinson is off again, all operatic and Wagnerian. The guitar is solid, going from traditional rock to searing laser melody. Bruce then gives it some welly, with an extended operatic chant, before the volume drops considerably. There are strange noises reminiscent of the theme from a US slasher movie; all very unsettling. The choir builds and the guitars are like lightning strikes. Nico McBrain's drums build in volume and pace, before the band crashes in metal harmony into a climax. Suddenly a tremendous double layered guitar solo arrives, as Murray and Smith battle it out.
The next track 'The Prophecy' sees our seventh son battle with his gift / curse. He has had a vision of a disaster to befall his village, but no one is listening. He is trying to follow the path of good but no one cares. In the background, Lucifer waits and smiles. It is all very Star Wars. Will the lad choose the dark side? The outro to this track is beautiful. The song fades into an acoustic piece, two guitars in harmony, sounding like something from a Royal Court in the middle ages. The next track 'The Clairvoyant' then kicks in with a sensational bass introduction. It's hard and vibrant and so utterly Steve Harris. He has a way of slapping those strings which make it sound like he is playing two instruments. Then the guitar joins in with a glorious and uplifting melody, before the drums crash in furious perfection. The seventh son is worried. He doesn't know if he can control his powers. Another top ten smash in the UK charts; a phenomenal hit single achievement, far exceeding any of their previous triumphs.
The final track is 'Only The Good Die Young' where we are informed the 'evil seem to live forever' - the album ends with a very similar piece to that which introduced the work. Presumably our hero has popped his clogs. Or has he? Maybe he has chosen the dark side after all. When you think about it, this album is Harry Potter as much as it is Star Wars.
This album was vastly superior to the previous Maiden album and for me is their last classic release. It represents their high water mark and should be regarded as a cornerstone of heavy metal. The music establishment at the BBC didn't appreciate how many millions this band made for the record industry or had to hand over in income tax, etc. The like of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard were propping up the UK economy at one point.
'Seven deadly sins, seven ways to win, seven holy paths to hell and your dream begins....'
*adopt moshing stance now!*
From the acoustic strummed opening that builds into synthesizer and then a proper metal intro - you know this album is going to rock.
With surreal artwork - Eddie again! - to the decidely fantasy/lore based theme - this is not metal for the lighthearted. This album needs, nay deserves respect from the listener!
A story - loosely - of a 7th son of a 7th son, long considered to be blessed/cursed with mystical powers, it charts the life of a boy who discovers his true powers, predicts his village's doom, which is self-fulfilling as some try to kill him, to the final revelation of his evil side.
(at least, I think so - it's hard to keep up with Bruce's wailing).
Epic songs like the title track - how long can Bruce sustain that 'ohhhh'! - to the Rock Club floor filler 'Can I Play With Madness' (frequently misheard as Magnets), and 'The Evil That Men Do' - this is a non-stop assault on your ears (if played at the correct volume... full.)
Marking the peak of Maiden's powers - with their best line up in many fans opinions, this is truly a landmark in Heavy Metal - and the considerable bow to Progressive music by way of a Theme opened up a whole new avenue for the listeners.
If you don't have any Iron Maiden records - buy this first - it'll change your ears forever!
Continuing in the progressive vein of their 1986 album 'Somewhere in Time,' Iron Maiden bass player, songwriter and founder Steve Harris decided that the time was right for the band to produce their 'classic' album, and discussion with the rest of the band led to the decision to attempt a difficult but creative task: a concept album. The consistency and originality of the eight tracks have eanred this album the position of one of Maiden's most recognised albums to date, possibly more so internationally than 1982's 'The Number of the Beast,' although compared to that earlier album the style is very different. Following their incredible and draining eighteen month World Slavery Tour from 1984 to 86, Iron Maiden had presumably become fed up with performing the same kind of songs every night and decided to expand their range. 'Somewhere in Time' was their first album to feature prominent guitar and bass synthesisers to enhance the depth of the songs as well as the infamous 'over-production' that left the album with very distinctive and clean-sounding guitars, bass and drums. Songwriting duties were shared between Harris and guitarist Adrian Smith for that album and its release so soon after the crippling world tour, which reportedly led to vocalist Bruce Dickinson experiencing a minor breakdown due to stress, meant that the album was not all it could have been in most peoples' opinions. Despite the fact that I disagree with this, it is clear that 'Seventh Son' involved a lot more effort and direction. PREMISE As a concept album, Seventh Son's songs focus on an ancient Greek prophecy regarding the seventh son born to a man who was, himself, a seventh son. Apologies if you found that sentence patronising, but
I had to clear it up. Unlike some other concept albums, the tracks do not narrate a continous story through a group of characters, but there is a definite sense from start to finish of the prophecy's conception, its consequences, and the life of the eponymous seventh son. The myth of the seventh son of a seventh son's powers is described by Dickinson in the title track: he will have the power to heal, he will have the gift of second sight, he is the chosen one, but he must decide himself whether to take the path of good or evil. According to internet searches, there are a number of famous ancient texts, including the King James version of the Bible, which could have provided the inspiration for this record, but it is the notion of the Seventh One more than a particular story that is the focus. Casual fans of Iron Maiden will also find it very easy to distinguish a song as being on this album due to the Seventh Son sound; unbelievably clean guitars, some of Bruce's best vocal work with the band, and the interesting use of keyboards to heighten the songs. Hearing the chorus of the title track would also give a pretty good indication that it came from this record too. TRACKS I am aware that many readers will find a track-by-track listing tedious and worthy of skipping, I often do myself, however the eight tracks on this album all deserve a brief exploration: 1. MOONCHILD Beginning with a quiet acoustic incantation regarding the evil nature of the number seven, a deceptive keyboard intro that sounds very eighties leads into what is the heaviest track on the record, at leats in terms of Iron Maiden. Fantastic vocals in the chorus and great subtle guitar work makes this Bruce Dickinson/Adrian Smith opener a solid song, but one that
may take a few listens to get in to. A story of Lucifer's desire to create his 'moonchild' on Earth among men. "Seven deadly sins, seven ways to win. Seven holy paths to Hell and your trip begins... "Seven downward hopes, seven bloodied hopes, seven are your burning fires. Seven your desires..." 2. INFINITE DREAMS A slower, ballad-esque song and one of the four tracks eventually released seperately. Yes, Iron Maiden released half of their album as singles. It took a long time for this song to grow on me, and it still doesn't impress me as much as the rest of the album. Like many of the songs on here it is not immediately apparent that it relates to the prophecy, but the lyrics imply that a dreamer has been having visions of the arrival of the evil one. 3. CAN I PLAY WITH MADNESS One of the first Maiden songs I heard and the first I hated, however over time its sheer catchiness has grown on me. Often regarded as the stinker that doesn't fit into the feel of the album I now love this song, despite its dodginess and over-use of keyboards, and it has an excellent music video featuring one of the last performaces by Monty Python member Graham Chapman before his death. The more commerical nature of this song makes the lyrics much easier to decipher, as it is told from the viewpoint of a man, presumably the dreamer from the last song, visiting an old man for advice and help in preducting whether disaster will indeed strike. The lyrics are very reminiscent of old Maiden in their upbeat, comically evil way, which makes them all the more memorable. 4. THE EVIL THAT ME
8; DO Almost a rant about the fact that evil will continue to survive, this is the most popular and possibly well-known track on the album and has an excellent and memorable chorus. The keyboards are back to their less dominant position which allows the regular instruments to achieve their full potential. More fantastic vocals from Dickinson on this one, which was released with a less interesting music video that was simply the band performing live. You can't win them all, as the song demonstrates. 5. SEVENTH SON OF A SEVENTH SON Maiden's title tracks are always progressive, heavy and complex, and this is the prime example. Definitely a song that needs time to grow on the listener, this ten-minute epic really hits its stride after the three minute mark when Bruce leaves the instrumentallists to fully strut their musical stuff; Iron Maiden's best work can be found in this song, which makes it my favourite on the album. The lyrics towards the start essentially bring the listener up to speed on what this seventh son thing is all about, as I've attempted to do myself, before leaving guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, bass player Steve Harris and crazy drummer Nicko McBrain to communicate the story in music... well alright it doesn't really do that, but with an instrumental this great, who cares? A more straightforward opinion on this song was given by the vocalist from the excellent tribute band Ironically Maiden: "Great song that, shame about the vocals." 6. THE PROPHECY The easiest song to overlook, this begisn with a quiet and slow guitar piece, presumably to give a breather after the last song, and despite the fact tha
t it obviously isn't an instant classic, the change in style means it is still essential. "Now the impending disaster has come, my prediction must surely be true," begins the character, indicating that this child has been born. The song is quite slow and unimpressive, but fades out into an unusual and welcome Medieval-inspired acoustic section. 7. THE CLAIRVOYANT In contrast, this song, released as a single also, is an instant classic. Nothing too complex, but the incredibly catchy guitars mean this song could only be taken seriously when performed by Maiden. Clearly the Clairvoyant has been having some difficulty in persuading his village-folk that Lucifer's child has been born, and it's now too late. Fans of Iron Maiden's simpler and catchier songs will find this a real treat which they may not have previously heard. 8. ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG A negative view to end the album on, but the uplifting guitars and beat don't let the enjoyment slip up. This is a great ending to the album, despite feeling like a less impressive version of the previous song, and ends with a reprise of Bruce's acoustic intro from 'Moonchild.' OVERALL Iron Maiden are one of my very favourite bands, however I don't consider this album to be their finest for several reasons. If I feel like listening to an entire album, this is usually my safest and most enjoyable bet, however many of the tracks only really work when listened to in sequence. I couldn't slap in tracks 1, 2, 6, 7 or 8 when feeling like a bit of Maiden as they feel so interlinked, whereas others (especially the singles) are different and seperatr enough to wor
k alone. I'm also not a huge fan of this 'polished Maiden' era, where the guitars sound so clinically perfect that it takes something away from the chugging rhythms present on previous albums 'The Number of the Beast,' 'Piece of Mind' and my personal favourite, 'Powerslave.' If this were not a Maiden album I don't think I would have given it a second chance initially, despite the excellent performances from Bruce Dickison and the rest of the band. Although the band are clearly enjoying themselves, there is little emotion to be felt behind this over-production. I also hesitate to suggest that this is the band's most accessible offering; Maiden have always been chart-toppers and easier for the general, non-metal public to get into than heavier acts, but the complexity of most of these songs would leave many people feeling bored. On the positive side though, the album should be considered a metal classic, and none of the songs feel like they're simply there for padding. Despite seeming a little short, this is interesting enough for me to listen to on full volume from start to finish and feel satisfied that Britain can produce more than just Queens and stuff.
Iron Maiden was, in 1988 - Bruce Dickinson - Vocals Adrian Smith - Guitars Nicko McBrain - Drums Steve Harris - Bass Dave Murray - Guitars Iron Maiden is THE classic power metal band. Ask anybody that has an appreciation for metal, and they will like Iron Maiden. I don't know anybody who likes true metal that dislikes this band. This album was released in 1988, during the thrash era which was shared by the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. But this is the best album to emerge from that year of 1988, this is music at its best. If you are into really heavy metal with satanic lyrics, this album may not be for you. Iron Maiden relys on brilliant songwriting, excellent vocals, and very gifted musicians to make you bang your head, and they do not need death or black metal lyrics to make them seem cool. The first thing that I noticed about this album is the awesome cover, with a picture of like an undead dude holding an internal organ. Cool. Now, without further hesitation, let me break down the songs one by one using my alphabet rating system. 1. Moonchild - To be perfectly honest, I did not like this song for awhile. There are not to many great parts to the song, and I usually just skipped it. But now, as I listen to it more and more, the tune is definitely growing on me and it is one of my favorites on this album. The song starts out with some cool keyboarding, and then the guitars come in. The thing that stands out in my mind about this song is the amazing vocal performance by Bruce Dickinson, who is in my opinion one of the greatest singers in heavy metal history. Also, the lyrics are great, and they carry a pretty deep message. All in all, a well-written song. A 2. Infinite Dreams - This is, without question, the best song on this album and one of the greatest songs in metal history. The lyrics are dead-on with another stellar performance from Dickinson,
and the music towards the end is incredible. These words that I am saying cannot really describe this song, so I say you go and listen to it for yourself. A+ 3. Can I Play With Madness - This was the first single off of this album, and it is okay. It is definitely not the best song on the album, and it feels a little out of place, but if you listen to it by itself you will see that it is a pretty good song. B+ 4. The Evil that Men Do - This song was the second single off of the album, and it is much better than the first. It has a much darker sound to it, and the music and lyrics are really complicated and hard to play, so you appreciate it more. A- 5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - This is another song that over time has started to grow on me. I used to think it was not very good, but now I really like it. It is an epic song that tops ten minutes, and the lyrics are great and the music at the end is some of the best ever written. A 6.The Prophecy - This song has a killer intro and outro, but the middle portion of it is not that good, but just the intro gives it a high rating. A- 7.The Clairvoyant - This song is up there with Infinite Dreams as best songs on the album. Again, I can't describe this song that much, but it definitely sound very good. A+ 8. Only the Good Die Young - This song is another classic song and it fits very nicely into this great album. A Ah, what an album. A terrific piece of classic power metal, with Iron Maiden being the very best in the game. If you are a fan of metal, and you don't already own this one, definitely go out and get it right now. It will be well worth your money. Overall-A+
This is quite simply a stunning album bordering on the surreal and occult. The Album could almost be a concept album although not following a storyline they do have a common theme, that being things like the chosen one second sight power of healing etc. Keyboards were introduced on this album which brings the edge of surealism and haunting melodies to the songs and makes quite an effect The opening track Moonchild kicks of with the surealism and the guitar playing of Adrian Smith and Dave Murry comes through a blinder and of course the unmistakeable scream of Bruce Dickinsons Vocals make it a classic Maiden album. Even a famous Python got involved in this Graham chapman (Monty Python!) was in the video to Can I play with madness! The title track itself explains the meaning of the seventh son title being that the seventh son of a seventh son has the power to heal second site and so on and how good and evil try to sway him to their sides to use his powers. This was Iron Maidens second No1 Album and in my opinion one of their best and my favourite untill they released their latest offering. It has recently been remastered with bonus tracks and cdrom videos so its even better than before Go buy it and remember Wherever you are Iron Maidens gonna get all of you.........
This must be Iron Maiden's most controverstial album, musically speaking. (For their most controverstail album generally, you're probably talking 'Number of the Beast' but that's another story.) People either love it or hate it. I have never found anyone who was on the fence about it, although some people are rather reluctant to give an opinion simply because they don't know how the listner will react. 'Seventh Son of a Seventh Son' is not an album for die hard rockers. This was a little dissapointing for the Iron Maiden fans who had moshed along with Di Anno: you won't find anything coming close to the same sound on this album. What happened then? As far as can be ascertained, after the success of the guitar synths used on 'Somewhere in Time' the band went full out with keyboards. Or as full out as Iron Maiden could. Far from the swelling electronic noises you might expect from such a statement, the sound is really very understated. Obvious, but we're not talking 'Emmerson Lake and Palmer' here. The influence in the sound that the band has created can probably be laid at the door of Adrian Smith, who has proven time and again then that he is the 'catchy' member of the band. He writes the most tuneful numbers, which are often the more complicated and experimental tracks, ironically enough. After his work on 'Somewhere in Time' it doesn't seem a long step at all to move to this album. The songs: Moonchild: Here you go. A perfect example of Adrian Smith at work. The steady keyboard arpeggio with descending chord sequence beneath. It's a cliche, sure. But it's a great one, and it make the knees go all wobbly. Using the keyboards instead of a guitar comes as a bit of a surprise but the effect is pure Iron Maiden and their trademark repeated theme with variable backing shows up well. Add to that some pretty damn fine lyrics and Bruce Dickinson almos
t busting a gut with a maniacal laugh at the end of the track (I wonder if he'd been hanging out with Rob Halford at all?) and you get a stonking opener to an album. Infinite Dreams: One of the best constructed songs the band have ever done. A slow blues based intro and gentle vocal opening bursts into a total riot of guitar lead harmonic anarchy. Interesting lyrics too. Can I Play With Madness: Do not dismiss this track as being the 'single' although it clearly was a huge hit song. It's another great little Adrian Smith keyboard effort. Absolute joy to listen to, even better to dance to. I'm listening to it as I write and can't praise it enough. Not typical Iron Maiden as it doesn't go too much into the long guitar solos, but it doesn't need that. Rock! The Evil That Men Do: Adrian's been at it again hasn't he? From the opening this song sends a shiver down my spine. Unusual that it is a song that mentions love: not a subject Iron Maiden have delved into very often. It's catchy and grooves along with a nice pace. Actually, musically it is an Iron Maiden traditional sound. Much as many would hate to admit it, they tend to have a few formulaeic sounds. I learned to play lead guitar by playing along to their albums and matching them note for note, and they tend to be rather 'samey' at times but it's a winning formula. It sounds great! As does this one - another HUGE hgit for the band. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son: Iron Maiden had a tendency to release 'epic' tracks during the mid eighties. 'To Tame A Land,' 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' and of course 'Alexander The Great' were all like this. Sadly, they're not their best work. The band excel at fast, snappy songs with blidning guitar solos, but when they extend these songs out to a considerable length, they can be a little weak. Not so here, as the introduction of the keybo
ards actually bolsters the rather cringeworthy lyrics and makes the song quite catchy. I do think it was a song written about a title rather than a title found for a good song though. The Prophecy: I've always thought it to be a shame that Dave Murray doesn't write more for the band, as when he does he usually turns out a good song. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about this track, as it is definitely the weakest on the album. I would describe it as 'filler' at best, as the great intro turns into a chugging mess. Sad, but there's always one bad song on an album I've noticed. The Clairvoyant: Oh yeah. This is where we wanna be. A brilliant multi-speed effort that rips right through all the rubbish that people spout about Iron Maiden not being inventive enough at times and really just being yet 'another heavy metal band.' Unusual in the extreme, but well worth the listening. Only The Good Die Young: Iron Maiden always know how to milk an idea to the full. This album had the whole keyboard and catchy tunes idea, which was used to the full in the first four tracks. It comes out again here and is superbly done. A show stopper. This album has been accused of being a concept album. Not just for the keyboards alone, but for the subject matter, but I don't see how it could be - unless 'Powerslave' and 'Piece of Mind' are as well.. It's not my personal favourite as I think it is possibly a little TOO catchy and a-typical of the band's work. Almost as if they were trying to write catchy singles. However, that isn't true of the 'Seventh Son...Prophecy' set which really should have been done as one number as it works better that way. It's still very, very good though. Enjoy it!
This is without a doubt Maidens most prolific album. It is simply amazing. It is a rare Album that can that can boast not a single bad track but this makes it look easy! Every track ofers somthing different and you can rock to Moonchild making your parents ears bleed or marvel at the progressive writing skill of Infinite dreams. This is an album that no self respecting person should be without. Even the artwork on the album is breath taking, the inside cover is simply great. But this as is so often the case with maiden this is more than adiquitly backed up, by the genius of Harris's boys music, not only the the best maiden Album, a strong contender for the best Album of all time.
Seventh Son of A Seventh Son has to be my all time favourite Iron Maiden Album…it was the first I ever bought. I got into their stuff because my boyfriend (now husband) use to like it and I was forever subjected to Number of the Beast. I love every track and they bring back such good memories for me – always remember driving down a road with my windows open listening to Moonchild – fantastic stuff. Anyone who says Iron Maiden is just a load of noise is completely wrong. There songs are well written, well produced and they are an overall good bunch of guys. If you have never listened to any of their stuff just try this one – you will be hooked.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Infinite Dreams
3 Can I Play With Madness
4 Evil That Men Do
5 Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
8 Only The Good Die Young
9 Can I Play With Madness
10 Evil That Men Do
12 Infinite Dreams