Re: Band Eras

Date:2020-05-16 22:17:24
In Reply To:Band Eras by Nosferatwo
Iron Maiden has a number of overlapping eras. Most people separate them by singer, which is a natural way to go, but Adrian Smith’s presence or absence has a big impact as well.

I would compromise and split them up this way:

- Punk era (Iron Maiden and Killers): Not high on my list. Di’anno has his moments, but the lyrics and songwriting aren’t on the level of their later work. Adrian Smith noticeably elevates Killers, but I rarely listen to these albums.

- Classic era (The Number Of The Beast through Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son): Starts off a little uneven, with TNOTB and POM being half brilliant and half filler, but then things ramp up on the way to their masterpiece, SSOASS. I love most of this stuff.

- Growly Bruce era (No Prayer For The Dying and Fear Of The Dark): Adrian Smith is replaced by Janick Gers, Steve wants to go back to basics, and Bruce is clearly starting to get bored, and decides that going husky and growly is a good idea. Needless to say, it’s not. NPFTD is actually a pretty solid record with a surprisingly decent showing from Janick, but FOTD is a bit of a shit show with only a handful of good tracks. And Bruce sounds silly on many of these songs.

- Blaze era (The X Factor and Virtual XI): Poorly produced, weak songwriting, and weak performances all around. Blaze was a bad choice for a singer, and Steve couldn’t produce his way out of a wet paper bag. So much off-key, off-timbre singing here, it winds up sounding like a garage band instead of a top-tier metal band. And without Bruce and Adrian there to counterbalance Steve’s worst tendencies, we get a repetitive slog with terrible vocal phrasing. I really only listen to about 4 songs from this era, and not that often.

- Reunion era (Brave New World to present): Uneven, but has its brilliant moments, and I think that A Matter Of Life And Death in particular is one of Maiden’s very best albums. Aside from a handful of solid songwriting contributions, I kind of wish they’d ditched Janick Gers when they reunited, because he’s very obviously the weak link in the group, and overall I think it’s a net negative to have him involved. I also think that Bruce and Adrian stand up to Steve less on the creative front than they used to, and this prevents some songs from reaching their full potential. The production has also been weak on the albums after BNW.

- Jer
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