without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Maiden’s second single from Somewhere in Time once again was a Smith penned track. This time one of his heavier ones. Based around a simple yet effective main riff and a bass line which is almost too simple for Harris to play. It’s a song I always liked because it was extremely different from the rest of the album yet still immensely heavy, catchy and therefore Maiden-worthy.
Filling up this EP were two covers which earlier had been played by ‘The Entire Population of Hackney’, Nicko McBrain’s project in 1985 together with Smith and some ex-Urchin members. The FM cover ‘That Girl’ is great stadium rock and with this production it almost sounds majestic. The Marshall Fury cover ‘Juanita’ is slightly less impressive, being pretty one-dimensional, but still sounding great in the hands of Maiden. The riffs are played with such ease it’s nothing short of impressive and convincing.
‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ is definitely one of the better Maiden singles from the Dickinson-era due to the well chosen a-side and having more than one great cover.
I've always liked Iron Maiden and this song just happens to be my favourite from them. It stands out as different to me because of course you've got a quiet drum beat to start with indicating, as it does most of the time, that a great track will unfold. As it slowly fades in to the almighty riff which personally I think is just brilliant. A slower track than ones like Heaven Can Wait and Deja-Vu, tracks also on the same album, but it has a lot more power to it than those tracks. The vocals are slower allowing more time to finely tune them, and finely tuned they are. The high notes are hit without a trace of a flat start and not a single note is out of tune. As a matter of fact, it may seem strange but as the chorus says"Land of ice and snow", as you listen to the song, the guitar effects actually give the song a cold, wintery feel to it, or it could be just me.
The bass sounds semingly complacently played but the guitar solos make up for that. The playing isn't quite as thrashy or heavy as some of their older stuff, but it's a good song and it's worth a listen.
This song might be called one of the more forgettable songs on Somewhere In Time, it's Maiden Hit Single formula being lost under underrated 'classics' such as Caught Somewhere In Time, Sea of Madness, The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner and Alexander The Great. Presented by itself in single form, however, you may begin to appreciate how fine a song it is in it's own right. The bass intro is nothing as great as those we've had before in Running Free, Wrathchild or Innocent Exile, but just wait until those chords come crashing in, backed by synths which create great depth in the sound. Look out for the Walk This Way-esque riff that comes after "no brave new world...".
Undoubtably, the best part of the song has to start from Adrian's solo. Similar in a sense to what he does on Powerslave, he starts off slow and beautiful, before stepping up a gear with the rest of the band, but instead of the Powerslave shred-fest he keeps it in the spirit of what came before...almost relating somehow to the lyrics of the song, of lost Artic explorers trapped in ice. Maybe it's just me, but you might some of the same feeling in there too. After that comes the pre-chorus section, which rocked first time round, but this time after the solo it's way of building and building subtley before releasing into the chorus is damn fine. Gets me every time!
The B-sides are some of the most enjoyable ever recorded by Maiden. That Girl is a fine piece of stadium rock, a melodic intro turning into an almost tearful lead part before the vocals (probably singing for your sister) come in. A typically Maiden-style jumpy chorus and a girly sense about it make you wonder if it really would've been that bad if Maiden went glam about this time...
Juanita is a relatively more straightforward rocker, it's guitar sound keeping in the same style of this era. Not much to say about it, it's a nice listen but kinda forgettable after what came before. Still, a damn fine collection of songs an' no mistaking!