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Apart from their earlier Soundhouse tapes here we have Maiden’s first official EP. The choice of songs is obviously not without reason. They already had a big fanbase but they choose to release two of their more rock orientated songs instead of their more groundbreaking material.
‘Running Free’ is a simply and catchy rock song with a nice rhythmic groove, courtesy of Clive Burr. Steve Harris is still somewhat holding back but his trademark galloping already shines through. In this song it’s only the smaller details setting them apart from contemporary artist. Those typical melodies and a few nice hooks.
‘Burning Ambition’ is a more interesting story. This song was supposedly the first song Steve Harris wrote and because of it’s changes in pace and dynamics his previous band(s) didn’t want to play it. In a way it was this song which made Harris decide to form his own group. The importance of ‘Burning Ambition’ therefore cannot be denied. But is it a good song? Well, it can’t really compete with most other songs from the pre-Dickinson era and I can understand why it never made it unto a regular album but it still holds up fine despite it’s quite cheesy seventies lead melody. The energetic vocals and tempo more than make up for it. I’m sure in the hands of any other rock band from the seventies this song wouldn’t sound as energetic as it does now. Because of the tempi and raw punky vocals by Di’Anno one can already hear that this band has the ability to make almost everything sound great.
Honestly ‘Burning Ambition’ is reason enough to get this EP. Not only because of it’s historical importance but also because it shows the extra edge and energy the youthful Iron Maiden could put in their songs, making them sound even better than they already were.