Category: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden – Killers

ARTIST: Iron Maiden                                   iron_maiden_killers

TITLE:  Killers

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: #78 US, #12 UK

SINGLES: Twilight Zone (#31 UK), Purgatory (#52 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Wrathchild, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Killers

LINEUP: Paul Di’Anno, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Steve Harris, Clive Burr

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A move away from the punk influence, and more into classic heavy metal territory, this album exposes Di’Anno’s ill-fit as a metal vocalist.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Having changed a guitarist (adding Adrian Smith), Iron Maiden’s second album was more in the now-classic New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) vein, with only a few punk influences (thanks to Di’Anno).

Steve Harris’ songs are getting more complex and could use a vocalist to really nail and punch the songs through the air. Di’Anno wasn’t it. He was fine for a song like “Murders in the Rue Morgue” but a songs like “Wrathchild” and “Killers” needed a soaring vocalist. That wasn’t him.

Even with the Di’Anno issue, the rest of the Iron Maiden pieces were there. Next time…next time.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The US version added the UK single “Twilight Zone” – and the Australian version added another single (a cover of a song by the Aussie band Skyhooks called “Women in Uniform”).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: See above

GRADE: B: A better sounding album, but Di’Anno’s vocals are a worse fit here than their debut.

Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

ARTIST: Iron Maiden          Iron_Maiden_(album)_cover

TITLE:  Iron Maiden

YEAR RELEASED: 1980

CHART ACTION: #4 UK

SINGLES: Running Free (#34 UK), Sanctuary (#29 UK) (US Version)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW:  Charlotte the Harlot, Iron Maiden.

LINEUP: Paul Di’Anno, Steve Harris, Dennis Stratton, Dave Murray, Clive Burr

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: New Wave of British Heavy Metal stalwarts first album finds them defining their sound and delivery. Some of this sounds more proggy than metal.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First albums are funny, especially for a band that evolves and changes over time. Iron Maiden’s first album definitely has some numbers that fit right in with the rest of their material, yet this album really showcases not only the prog-rock side, but also the softer side that casual fans may not recognize.

Paul Di’Anno’s vocals are gruffer than what you may be used to with Maiden, and he definitely doesn’t use an upper register like an air-raid siren, but for the songs presented here he’s effective. He does add a punk rock attitude to the songs, even if the band disavowed any connection later on.

There are some classics here (I mean, “Running Free” is an all-timer for any band)– they still play many of these songs in concert. It’s just kind of a mixed bag where the songs that tend to be more prog rock oriented don’t have the visceral excitement that you expect with Iron Maiden.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Dennis Stratton was a late replacement as guitarist, and really tried to nudge them into a prog rock (or at least a Thin Lizzy / Wishbone Ash type twin harmony guitar style), but ‘creative differences’ caused his sacking soon after.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The UK version omitted “Sanctuary”. It’s on a bonus disc now, and there’s a US bonus disc too with outtakes and live cuts.

GRADE: B+. It’s all good, it’s not all MAIDEN, y’know? “Running Free” boosts it up a notch.