Yes! Day four is most certainly “Piece of Mind” day! I haven’t listened to the full album in I don’t know how long. I was a little worried seeing as how yesterday was “Number of the Beast” day. I mean, I really like the record, you know.
Turns out I still really enjoy “Piece of Mind”. A couple of the songs absolutely get a little corny but, c’mon, we are talking about Iron Maiden, right?
I’m not aware of a ton of fun facts involved with this one. Admittedly I am using a variety of sources to help me write these Iron Maiden posts and not everything is just me being a brilliant fucking human being that remembers every single thing he ever read or heard. We can go ahead and just say I am though.
One rather awesome tidbit I guess I was unaware of before today involves the song “Still Life”. I remembered that it begins with a section of audio that is a voice being played backwards. You have to love it, it was totally a joke just to fuck with religious people who accused Iron Maiden of being satanists (see yesterdays post for a word for word quote on how they perceived the band).
Turns out it the voice is that of Nicko McBrain, who also made his debut as the bands new, and permanent to this day drummer. Here is the explanation of this “hidden message” I’m stealing from the albums wiki
“At the beginning of the sixth track, “Still Life”, the band included a hidden message which could only be understood by playing the album backwards. This was a joke and an intended swing back at the critics who had accused Iron Maiden of being Satanic. The backwards-message features Nicko McBrain mimicking Idi Amin (or rather mimicking John Bird mimicking Idi Amin) uttering the following phrase “What ho said the t’ing with the three ‘bonce’, do not meddle with things you don’t understand…”, followed by a belch. The phrase itself is taken from the satirical album The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin by Bird and Alan Coren. “What ho” and “What ho said the t’ing” are phrases that also crop up regularly on McBrain’s “Listen With Nicko!” tracks from The First Ten Years collection.
According to McBrain, “We were sick and tired of being labelled as Devil worshippers and all this bollocks by these fucking morons in the States, so we thought, ‘Right, you want to take the piss? We’ll show you how to take the bleeding piss, my son!’ And one of the boys taped me in the middle of this Idi Amin routine I used to do when I’d had a few drinks. I remember it distinctly ended with the words, ‘Don’t meddle wid t’ings yo don’t understand.’ We thought, if people were going to be stupid about this sort of thing, we might as well give them something to be really stupid about, you know?”
I would venture to say that one of the best known songs from this record is “the Trooper”. Which, yes, is a great song.
A lot of the songs on this album are very keen on telling stories. The band drew on a lot of literary influence, which I think they continued on. The song “Revelations” even draws from British Occultist, Aleister Crowley.
The album art features Eddie even more evolved into the way we know him. Gone is the Glam Rock hair do (see ya!!) and sporting a fresh new skull cap scar and his soon to be well known forehead bracket. That’s not to say that the hair never makes another appearance, stay tuned.
Eddie is featured in a straight jacket chained, in a padded cell, because he is a fucking super monster that can effect super feats just after having his head cut open and screwed closed again. There is a door opened into a cloudy expanse (on the expanded gate fold) one can only assume is meant to be the “Mind” in “Piece of Mind”, that or a 1930’s smoke room.
1.”Where Eagles Dare”
3.”Flight of Icarus”
4.”Die with Your Boots On”
7.”Quest for Fire”
8.”Sun and Steel”
9.”To Tame a Land”
Well, now to get back to roughing out some THE CABINET pages. Oh, yeah, I’m doing that this week and am starting on pages next week. Exciting.
See you tomorrow for “PowerSlave”!