Up The Irons
Iron Maiden - 1980
And so it begins. Awesome isn't the right word to describe this album. How about fucking awesome. This is such an underrated Iron Maiden album these days, and yet it has to be put up there as one of their best. Yes, I do genuinely think that. This can stand with The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind and Powerslave as one of their all time greatest albums. This album has one of the best track lists I have ever seen. I struggled to find any cons with each track, and as you will know with their later albums, they weren't exactly consistent like this. When you think of Iron Maiden, you go straight to Bruce Dickinson. And rightly so. The majority might prefer Bruce Dickinson, but Di'Anno deserves his credit as well. The rawness of this album is what stands out to me. The vocals might not be top notch, but that isn't what they were going for. It has a very punky vibe. At the time of writing, I have listened to all of their albums, and as much as I love Bruce Dickinson, Di'Anno does it for me. I have listened to Maiden's first two albums at least 4 times now, and I love Di'Anno a lot more. Wish he stayed. Let us go through the tracks.
We begin with their first track, "Prowler". The lyrics are pretty shitty, but nonetheless, this is such a fun song. This was a brilliant opener. You can hear the raw energy coming from Di'Anno. Loved it. "Remember Tomorrow" is perhaps one of their forgotten gems. Not one of my favourites, but a solid track. The atmosphere on this is awesome. Paul's vocals were a lot softer in this than other songs, but it worked perfectly. A brilliant solo on this as well. "Running Free" is one of my favourites on this album. Iron Maiden are known for their hella awesome catchy singles. And this is one of them. I found myself singing along with the chorus every time. From a technical point, it is one of their weaker songs, but I just love it because of how flipping catchy it is. "Phantom Of The Opera" is a beastly song. Definitely the best song to come out of the Di'Anno era. Every band member gets their time to shine in this, being that it is their first, and one of their best epic progressive tracks. The guitar solo was on point, and Steve Harris just owns that bass guitar. This is another of my favourites.
The next track is their first ever instrumental track, and by god does it impress. "Transylvania" is a perfect 4 minute track. Some impressive riffs that flow through the whole song. Amazing drumming. Just a brilliant fast song. "Strange World" is another brilliant track. It all slows down for this track, and Di'Anno delivers one of his best emotional songs. You can definitely hear the emotion in his voice. A brilliant bass line breaks up the song, and sounds perfect. And we get another impressive solo from Dave, before the song goes back to it's slower pace. "Charlotte The Harlot" is a fast and fun song. We are introduced to a recurring character called Charlotte, and Di'Anno sings it perfectly. My least favourite track on the album, but a solid one nonetheless. And that brings us to our final track on the album. "Iron Maiden" is another fun song. Not their best lyrically, but it has a catchy chorus that makes you want to sing along. It's disappointing that there was no guitar solo, but other than that, a pretty awesome track to end their debut.
2. "Remember Tomorrow"
3. "Running Free"
4. "Phantom of the Opera"
5. "Transylvania" (instrumental)
6. "Strange World"
7. "Charlotte the Harlot"
8. "Iron Maiden"