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An interesting beginning for Maiden - 86%

VampireKiller, February 20th, 2008

Iron Maiden's demotape, known as "Soundhouse Tapes" because of it's almost constant rotation at the Heavy Metal Soundhouse in London, is a demo worth a lot of money. I've had the luck of getting ahold of a very good counterfeit copy of it for a reasonable amount of money

This demo is interesting because it is the only official Maiden recording that features only one guitar and Doug Sampson on drums. Sampson's performance is solid, although not close to Clive Burr's or Nicko McBrain's. The bass is not as audible as on the studio albums, which might be understandable

The demo begins with "Iron Maiden", and this is an excellent rendition of an otherwise pretty mediocre song. Well, at least mediocre compared to many other songs in the Maiden repertoire. This version is interesting because it's slower and the drumming isn't as furious as on the studio version. But the small bass solo is still intact

And then we go on to the demo version of "Invasion", a song that appeared on the b'side of the "Women in Uniform" single. Albeit in a faster and more upgraded version. This version lacks, as I said before, the speed of the later version as well as the furious drum intro by Clive Burr. But it's still a very good and interesting version of an otherwise largely forgotten song

And then the demo closes with "Prowler", once again being a slower version of the song than that which appeared on the debut album. There's not much more to really say about it, except that it kills!

It's strange that the band didn't include the Soundhouse version of "Strange World", an interesting version with slightly different arrangements that later appeared on the 2 CD version of the "Best of the Beast" compilation

Try to get ahold of this demo if you can, 'cause it's an important musical artifact!