Why do people like trilogies? I don’t know, maybe it is because the meaning of the number 3 in kabbalistic numerology:
“Communication, evolution, interactivity, sincerity and expression is the key to the context that this number carries. It represents the world in a clear and egalitarian way, where everyone who composes has strength, creativity and transformation. “
The number 3 idea brings strength, creativity and transformation, justifying why artists like to create trilogies. In cinema, we have, for example, the trilogy of “The Godfather”, in literature, we have several trilogies, as in “Lord of the Rings”.
Another day, in a pub conversation, where great ideas emerge, we started a conversation about trilogies. Driven by alcohol, we began to invent trilogies according to our musical taste, even though we know that the bands did not think of trilogies when they created their classic album sequences. It was a fun exercise to justify why we selected our classic albums. Coincidentally, we were 3 friends and we had drank 9 bottles of beer or (3 bottles of 600 ml each). The first friend, already with a slightly confused voice, soon started to quote Led Zeppelin’s first three albuns. The second soon spoke of three Jeff Beck albums: “The Jeff Beck Group”, “Blow by Blow” and “Wired”. Good choice!
My turn came and based on my affective memory, without hesitation, I said: “Piece of Mind”, “Powerslave” and “Somewhere in Time” by Iron Maiden. One of the friends also completed : “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, but, as we were talking about trilogies, I left this album out. In fact, my trilogy represents the band’s creative peak with completely different albums. I didn’t have to justify my choice to my friends, but I’ll write here a little about the reasons why I chose these three albums that are very important in the evolution of Heavy Metal as a whole.
My history with Iron Maiden started when I bought the “Powerslave” and “Piece of Mind” LPs together. I had already read about the band in specialized magazines and I was curious to listen to the music of the British band. I put the “Powerslave” Side A on the record player and freaked out with “Aces High”. I had never heard anything like it before: harmonized guitars and Bruce Dickinson singing that fast, breathtaking melody. Soon after, “2 Minutes to Midnight” came with its powerful riff and the beautiful solos by Adrian Smith and Dave Murray. ” Losfer Words ”shows the two aces dueling beautifully . I begin to understand better why the band was so acclaimed by the public and by magazines. Everything is perfectly synchronized. I listened to the title track and that Egyptian themed riff stayed in my head.
When I put “Piece of Mind” to play, I noticed that the sound was different, raw, with the guitars “in my face”. I listened “Revelations” with its pauses coming and going and I felt like I was in the studio with the band. What a wonderful feeling! I listened to “Still Life” and embarked on the journey proposed by the beautiful solo of the introduction. Then, the heavy distorted guitars came in and I found myself doing air guitar feeling the power of the song. “To Tame a Land” ends with an Egyptian theme that reminds me of “Powerslave” and I got intrigued. Which album came out first? I researched the album covers and found out that “POM” was recorded before “Powerslave”, so I concluded that the last track on Side B was a harbinger of what would come on the next album.
About a year later, I was wandering down the street, walking past any store and I listened to “Stranger in a Strange Land” playing on the radio. Iron Maiden, a Heavy Metal band, playing on a Brazilian radio in the 80’s! Bruce Dickinson and synthesized guitars? Yes, this is the sound of the new Iron Maiden album released in 1986: “Somewhere in Time”. I found a way to buy the album soon. It is important to remember the strategy of record labels at the time: as the only media to listen to music were LPs, cassete tapes and radio. It was common for a single to be released as a way of piquing consumer curiosity by making him buy the entire album to listen to all the songs. “Somewhere in Time” brought something new in the band’s sound: synthesized guitars. The wonderful idea came from Adrian Smith, who, keeping an eye on the new trends, brought freshness to the sound of the band. In addition to the previously mentioned track, the album had, among other fantastic songs, “Wasted Years” and “Alexander, The Great”, an epic song, 8 minutes and 37 seconds long and with a beautiful introduction. The cover is an extra trip: the band’s mascot, Eddie, was designed in a futuristic setting full of drawings alluding to the band’s music.
But then, you, who are very knowledgeable about the band will say: “Live After Death” was released in 1985, between Powerslave and Somewhere in Time. Yes, it is true, but “LAD” is a live album during the “World Slavery Tour” and contains songs released by the band up to that time.
In 1988, the band released Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, an album that closed the magic decade of Iron Maiden’s genius releases with a flourish. After the “SSOASS” tour, Adrian Smith left the band. With the departure of the guitarist, who decades later would return to the band, the sequence of magical Iron Maiden albums ended.