Point of fact: I love to rock. I can be seen most days shooting in and out of Belfast playing air drums to whatever music is travelling with me. Second point of fact: Growing up, I never once thought Iron Maiden were cool. I always pegged them as a one-trick, denim-rock band along the lines of Status Quo.
I picked up Maiden’s greatest hits package, Edward The Great about 18 months ago from Tower Records in London, listened to it a couple of times and abandoned for a while. The disc found its way out to the car again about a week ago and isn’t showing any signs of leaving!
Edward The Great has the unique privilege of providing two spine tingling moments, which is more than most albums! The first is definately track two, The Number Of The Beast with it’s almost whispered first verse building up into that scream, bringing the rest of Maiden thundering in. It’s hard to believe this song is 23 years old!
The second spine-tingler is the live version of Fear Of The Dark from Rock In Rio. I don’t think it’s the tightest performance ever, but the atmosphere, especially with the crowd almost drowning out vocalist Bruce Dickinson is sooooo electric! It’s an amazing performance and a great end to the album.
But what about the in-between bits?
All excellent. To be honest, I really only took a second look at Iron Maiden when bands like Sum 41 started to cite them as influences. Shallow? Probably. Anyway, most of the songs on there were familiar to me – I might not have liked them back in the day, but I couldn’t completely avoid them. With the benefit of hindsight and a touch of nostalgia, I really enjoyed the whole album. Like a reviewer on the Amazon website, I wondered why there were so many songs on there from the Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son album, but didn’t dwell too much. The album rocks, that’s all you need to know!
The Worst Bits
I almost always skip the two tracks by Dickinson’s replacement, Blaze Bayley (why?). While Man On The Edge and Futureal are both competent tracks, I just don’t want to know! Even The Wicker Man is a bit of a stretch for me. I suppose none of them are ‘classic’ Maiden.
On the whole, though, I’d say this is a 9 out of 10! If I was compiling the album, I’d cut out Man On The Edge, Futureal and Wicker Man and replace them with stuff like Phantom Of The Opera, which is notably missing.
This review was originally written by me on 1 December 2006 and has been posted on various places online over the last few years. I’ve moved it here to keep a complete archive of my single and video reviews from my entire blogging career.