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I'm going to assume that there are children out there, budding young boys and girls who are, understandably, being exposed to Iron Maiden for the very first time. Or perhaps some older, ripe fans who just never gave the band the time of day based on a hostile predisposition towards metal music or metal fans. Perhaps some sap was simply unaware of the band at all...having spent his/her life under a rock somewhere, or with a nose so far up a book or his own arse that he's never seen the logos, heard about the concerts, seen a kid with a T-shirt. I admit that I may look down upon such ignorami, but that sentiment is coming from a guy who always makes a point to see and hear everything around him, striving to ever improve upon his situational awareness.
But EVEN to these people, who are theoretically discovering Eddie, Bruce, Nicko and Steve for the first time in their lives, I will say: do not waste a fucking penny on the 2008 compilation Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of: 1980-1989. Not only is this collection void of any worth due to its redundant track listing, but to purchase such a thing is only to encourage wasteful, crass commercialism. I address this command towards these initiates only because I cannot imagine any studied metal fan, even the most casual, wasting his hard earned cash on this heap of nonsense. Now I don't know if this album was some sort of contractual agreement or what, but do we all remember the constant tirades Bruce Dickinson was offering on stage when Maiden performed at Ozzfest? Remember the egging incident?
Remember all that talk about American corporations, and greed, and how it was killing our rock shows? Well, Bruce, Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of: 1980-1989 is perhaps the most telling example of hypocrisy I have ever seen in Maiden's history. Whether you wanted this compilation to exist or it was just the record label farming for a few more dollars to stuff in their obese breeches, it is a waste of space, suitably only for immediate recalcitration into the component elements that caused its very being. Round up every copy of this album, take it to a goddamn refinery or recycling pit, and make it so.
Does the track listing even matter? Should we bicker and argue about the contents, about which song deserves to be here and which does not? Has every Iron Maiden fan not already gone through the ultimate Maiden set list countless times in their imagination? As the title would imply, this is a collection of their popular material from the 1980-89 albums. All of which are albums you would already own in full if you give a damn about this band or 80s metal period. There are 15 of them, and the compilation is over 70 minutes in length. Iron Maiden and Killers are ignored with the exception of the live versions of "Phantom of the Opera", "Wrathchild" and "Iron Maiden" from the Live After Death record. Most of the remainder are the more notorious sing along tracks that we all know and love, and probably own somewhere else: "The Trooper", "2 Minutes to Midnight", "Wasted Years", "Can I Play With Madness?", and so forth.
Beyond the inherent, recycled hogwash of its musical content, I can't believe someone had the indecency to mutate the covers of my favorite Maiden albums (Powerslave and Somewhere in Time) into this abomination. Tack on a logo, copy over some master tracks, print a booklet, and profit. What is next, EMI/Maiden, X Factored: The Best of Iron Maiden: 1990-1999? Let me guess, will it contain "Fear of the Dark", "Tailgunner" and "Bring Your Daughter...to the Slaughter?" Don't get any ideas!