Sunday, March 15, 2015

Iron Maiden, "The Ides of March"

Contrarians will ever be telling you that Iron Maiden was at their best in the Paul Di'Anno era, argument which deserves about as much ground as those from listeners who've convinced themselves that Sammy Hagar was Van Halen's best frontman. However, Steve Harris' songwriting prowess and the band's chops were already clear on the first two records, both of which have enough great moments to deserve Eddie on the cover.

Killers, the band's second record, is the only one with more than one instrumetal (sic), "Genghis Khan" and "The Ides of March." The latter is a war march-styled anthem that kicks off the album, alerting the world to a band that was about to slaughter and take over (but not betray) the metal landscape. It's more solo-heavy than Maiden's usual fare--maybe they were already eager to get Di'Anno out of them. But had they kept him on, or even if they'd broken up, songs like this would have secured their spot in metal history.

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