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I could do two things here. Either I start talking about the brilliance of these two songs or I could start bashing the band for releasing nothing new. I’ve decided to do both but give points based on the latter.
I personally think Purgatory is actually the best song from Killers. No other song on the album has this amount of speed, energy and catchiness all put together into one song. And whereas the earlier ‘Transylvania’ on their debut was already great, ‘Genghis Khan’ is yet another instrumental masterpiece on which there is more room this time for Clive Burr to excel. So if I were to talk only about the songs here, this single is simply mind blowing and would've gotten 99 points from me.
However. Releasing two regular album tracks over 4 months after the album makes me frown. Of course it’s always nice to have yet another Derek Riggs painting so only for real Maiden collectors it would be worth tracking down an original copy. But for all other people, just get Killers and leave this for what it is.
Purgatory is a single from Iron Maiden’s “Killers”. This song I often describe as a much better version of the Twilight Zone, another single by Maiden. The song is very vocally oriented, and one of Paul Di’Anno’s best performances with the band. He uses a rather clear voice here, aside from a scream at the end. This song has a pretty dark atmosphere, which is strengthened by a solo with plenty of really amazing echoing behind it. Aside from the solo, the guitars tend to stay in the backround of this one. The constant beat works very well, and makes this very entertaining to listen to. Score: 90%
The other song on this single is Genghis Khan, an instrumental. The first half features some guitars that are very reminiscent of the first album, that progress the song in a way that provokes images of the man and his army preparing for, and doing, battle. A sudden change to a slower beat in the second half, then gives the song a very dark atmosphere. The solo during the outro sounds similar to Purgatory’s solo, except slower and darker; all the echoing effects are still very present. Score 90%
You are probably wondering why my score is a 65%, considering all my praise. The thing is, this is even more pointless as a single than Twilight Zone. Both of these songs appeared on the album initially. In the 80's this would have been great for promoting the album, but thanks to the internet, singles are now for collecting band material. Unless you're a collector like I am, or you find the artwork awesome, there is really no reason to get this over the actual album nowadays. It would be much more preferable to get a single with some rare music on it. As far as the music goes, this is a 90%. As a collectible single however, this release is a 65%