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The year was 1980. The recent hippie movement is finally coming to an end with punk and heavy metal bands taking over the extreme music scene. And what a good take over it was. After over a decade rule of the dead-beat hippies, bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath (among others) were just making their debut’s which would change the world of music forever. This was Iron Maiden’s first mass produced material of their career, and it’s obvious that it is. Both songs on the EP take huge influences from 70’s rock.
I like Burning Ambition more than Running Free. The song has a kind of sound, and melody that mixes dance, rock, and metal to create one awesome hybrid song. I know it might sound like an odd thing to say for an Iron Maiden song, but this song is a great song to dance to. It has that uplifting, groovy, melody with a slight hint of aggressiveness. Burning Ambition is also the best I have heard Paul Di’Anno’s voice. On Iron Maiden’s self titled album his voice is much grittier than on this song. On Burning Ambition his voice has a much cleaner sound to it, so much so that it is very close to Bruce Dickinson’s voice, which may be the reason I like the song so much. Either way, it’s a shame this song never made on the self-titled album, and never heard again as far as I know. It surely out-shines many of the other songs of the days of early Iron Maiden. In fact, I would support the purchase of this release just for this song. It’s definitely a very unique sounding release, far different from Iron Maiden’s other material. Of course it’s different in a good way.
I enjoy Running Free very much as well. This song has extreme rock influences on it, but is nevertheless the true essence of Iron Maiden’s early days. And I could think of no better fitting title for this song than Running Free, because the song makes me feel like I’m young again and brings me back to the time that I could run free. In my opinion it is also the only song of the self-titled album to be named a ‘single’. It’s not the best song from Iron Maiden, but it’s the perfect song to compliment Burning Ambition, even though this song was supposed to be the face of this release.
As the other reviews say, this is definitely a great piece of Iron Maiden history. With the first sighting of Eddie on the cover, Burning Ambition that only showed up once, and the second ever Iron Maiden release. So this is obviously one for extreme Iron Maiden fans, and not someone just becoming familiar with their material.