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Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back In Time – The Best Of: 1980-1989 (Album Review)

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Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back In Time – The Best Of: 1980-1989 (Album Review)

Compilations are often thrown together with little thought and consideration. Most of the time they consist only of songs that have been hugely successful as singles. While this Best Of does include many of the songs we know and love, Maiden decided to do something a little different with this release. The inclusion of live tracks throughout the album, really sets this release apart from other compilations and encourages the dedicated fan to pick up an album they otherwise may have left in the record store. It really is a value-added proposition for the consumer and I praise the band and the record label for attempting to do something different.

Some of you may be concerned with the flow of the album and how the mix of studio and live performances blend together. Well, I can set your mind at ease by letting you know the mastering is exceptional and all music, live and studio recorded, is perfectly matched. Yes, I acknowledge many live performances are tweaked in the studio, but I’m not even going to entertain that thought as the entire album experience is a worthy piece of musical art.

Speaking of art, the cover art alone offers enough justification to purchase this compilation on vinyl. That is one badass cover!

Over the years I have always appreciated a compilation album; they are great for car journeys and gifts. This Maiden release is so compelling that I may even pick up a copy on CD for my son. I keep buying him compilation albums by all the greatest musicians, across all genres, as I feel it gives him a broad knowledge and appreciation of music. Yes, I could always set up a TIDAL Family Plan, but as much as I adore TIDAL, it is impersonal compared to a CD that can be gifted, held, and grabbed on the way to the car. Not to mention he gets to experience the all-important liner notes.  

Intro (Churchill's Speech) is simply a spoken introduction to the live performance of Aces High.

Aces High (Live) is an exceptional performance. Yes, as I mentioned earlier, I’m aware that many live recordings are not as 'live' as many would hope. However, I simply don't care as the essence of the performance is present. While I'm not saying that Maiden used studio trickery to achieve this sound, I also can't ignore the possibility as it is sonically perfect.

2 Minutes To Midnight is a killer track. I love it!

Every time I listen to The Trooper I immediately recall and want to watch, Metal Evolution – The Series. If you haven't checked it out, it is a must see! Seriously, I give you permission to stop reading and give it a look. Back to the song and The Trooper is Iron Maiden 101. You will, if you haven't already, be turning this up to 11. The Trooper has to be one of the best Maiden recordings ever with a guitar riff that is perfect in every sense of the word. However, I tend to feel that way about most of their work. They are great, aren’t they?

Wasted Years has some incredible musicality. However, I tend to get listening fatigue by the end of the song. That isn’t to say it is a bad song, just that I lack a connection with it. Perhaps it is due to listening to it countless times over the years, or perhaps it has been due to hearing a lacklustre master. Thankfully the mastering on this release is fantastic and the song has never sounded better in my opinion. It is full and spacious with all drum elements, even the cymbals, sounding just as they should. You can hear the shimmer of the high hats as they dissolve throughout the soundstage. It no longer sounds like it was recorded using pots, pans, and tin cans. The mastering is another justification for picking up the vinyl release, provided it isn't a picture disc release. While some audiophiles may still proclaim it to not be perfect, it is perfect for Maiden.

Children Of The Damned is about as mellow as Maiden gets, but what an incredible song. I absolutely love it!

The Number Of The Beast is a fantastic song, but I'm not sure which master they used as the cymbal crashes are horrid. They sound like someone has been hitting really thin sheets of aluminium. It's a shame because this one element impacts my appreciation of the song.

Run To The Hills is a favourite of mine. As I listen to this album, I am struck by the sonic journey Iron Maiden continually takes us on. They are one of the best, if not the best, in my opinion!

Phantom Of The Opera (Live) is an exceptional song and this live performance is a perfect rendition of the song. While I'm not a fan of going to live concerts, as I have had bad sonic experiences, Maiden is one that I wish I had seen when they last toured Australia. That said, I still haven’t got over the horrid sound of AC/DC’s last concert in Sydney. The music was out-of-sync and the mix wasn't the greatest, to begin with. That experience really tarnished my appreciation of the band and I swore to never let another live performance have that impact on me. Hence, I missed out on Maiden only a few months later.

The Evil That Men Do has some excellent guitar work, although that could be said about every Maiden recording. They really are the definition of a riff-based band. While The Evil That Men Do isn’t my favourite Maiden song, it is a worthy inclusion and feels well suited to the lineup of selected songs. For me, however, I believe my indifferent towards the song stems from it being too similar, in style, to The Trooper.

Wrathchild (Live) is another hard hitting live performance. The lead guitar work is exquisite!

Can I Play With Madness has some excellent elements, but I feel the repetition of ‘Can I Play With Madness’, with regards to the vocal chorus, is a little too much to tolerate upon repeat plays.

Powerslave is a killer song with an addictively smooth rhythm.

Hallowed Be Thy Name is one of my all-time favourite Maiden tunes. It really doesn't get much better than this. Pure perfection!

Iron Maiden (Live) is a fantastic way to close the album, although the song doesn’t match the tonality and polish heard throughout the album. Yes, it sounds like Maiden, but it also sounds like a bonus track was randomly included at the last minute. That said, I love this song and without a doubt, I feel compelled to listen to the compilation again and stay within Maiden's catalogue.

Overall, this is one Iron Maiden release that you must add to your collection. While it only deals with a small portion of their career, it’s an era in which they were most prolific.

For this review, I listened to the TIDAL Masters/MQA 24/88.2 kHz edition. It is exceptional and shows off the capabilities of MQA. I'll be completely honest and say that as much as I would like to own this release on vinyl, if I couldn't track down a copy, I wouldn't be disappointed with only being able to listen to the MQA edition. I have also listened to the 16/44.1 kHz TIDAL Hi-Fi edition and while the mastering is excellent, it is louder and doesn't sound as full and rich as the MQA edition. MQA is simply one step closer to the original master and while debate rages on, in the audiophile community, I am simply enjoying the music. I honestly haven't heard Maiden sound this good. Their entire catalogue is available in MQA and I can thoroughly recommend each and every one.

Somewhere Back In Time – The Best Of: 1980-1989 is available on Vinyl, CD, the TIDAL Store (FLAC 16/44.1 kHz), and iTunes (Mastered For iTunes). For those who prefer streaming, this compilation is also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Iron Maiden – Purgatory (7-inch 45RPM Single)

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Iron Maiden – Purgatory (7-inch 45RPM Single)

As I’ve likely mentioned before, the artwork that Iron Maiden uses for their albums and singles are nothing short of spectacular. Seriously, just look at it for a minute. Eddie, their infamous mascot, has lost his face to the devil within as Eddie remains in Purgatory, never to be reconnected with his beloved, as shown on the 7-inch Twilight Zone cover.

The additional story that is told through art is incredible. Derek Riggs is one of the most iconic contemporary artists as a result of his life-long work with Iron Maiden, among many others. I’ve always wondered what was in the twisted mind of Stephen King, but Derek Riggs has some serious cool stuff in that brain of his. The man needs to be entered into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Although, Maiden should be added first, but that is an argument for another day.

Speaking of artwork, I have only just noticed that the centre spindle on these 7-inch releases acts as a street light thereby illuminating Eddie as a creature of the night. It’s these small elements that streaming services just can’t offer. While I love my TIDAL Hi-Fi subscription, they’ve yet to figure out how to present artwork, beyond the cover art, in the digital era. Isn’t the technological era supposed to make everything easier and give us access to content that surpasses the analogue version? Apple had a novel idea with iTunes LP, but they dropped the ball as it was only ever functional within iTunes on a Mac or PC. Yes, iTunes is a lossy source, but as a collector I would buy the iTunes LP version as well because the artwork is often animated and uniquely different to all other releases. Even videos such as the making of the album and interviews were included in this iTunes LP format. Admittedly, the artist/record label would need to fund this additional content development, but I still declare that if Apple had allowed iTunes LP to merge to iPhone/iPad/Apple TV, then it could have been a major success. I’d pay twice as much for TIDAL if they could provide me with an exact replica of the liner notes for all albums. They do offer the basics, but it is nothing more than a listing of the production personnel and a short bio.

While no streaming service offers the kind of granularity I’m after, Roon comes close with TIDAL Hi-Fi support built directly into the application, thereby allowing your own music and your streamed music to live in perfect synchronisation. Check out John H. Darko’s exceptional Roon Reviews Part 1, Part 1b, Part 2, and Part 2b.

Getting back to the music, Purgatory was the final single released from the 1981 Killers album. Despite being a sonic wonderland, with an amazing mix of lead and rhythm guitars, the single failed to break the top 50 in the UK upon release. How is that even possible? Okay, UK friends, what were you listening to in June 1981?

For what it’s worth, I believe Purgatory is stronger song than their previous single, Twilight Zone. Purgatory just has that special signature Maiden sound. As much as I enjoy Twilight Zone, it just isn’t in the same league as Purgatory.

Genghis Khan is the B-side and one of the most exceptional instrumental tracks in heavy metal history. Honesty, I can play this song on repeat for hours and never tire of it (after a half dozen times on the turntable, I turn to TIDAL Hi-Fi. Playing 7-inch 45rpm vinyl is fun, but it is also a lot of work). I have often wondered what would have happened if Maiden released this song as a single? That has me thinking, has there ever been an instrumental track reach the number 1 position on the charts? According to the ‘always reliable’ Wikipedia, there have been quite a few in the UK, but they are few and far between. During the decades spanning the 50s, 60s, and early 70s there had been quite a few instrumental number ones, but in the past four decades only three instrumental songs have reached that highly sought-after position. As someone who doesn’t tend to listen to lyrics, I find this shift fascinating. Now I just need to see if the recording of instrumental music has also decreased following the 70s.

You simply can’t go wrong with Purgatory. Featuring two of the best tracks from Killers, my advice is to pick up a copy of the limited edition 7-inch release while it is still available. The mastering is incredible and the artwork…seriously, just get it for the artwork.

If you would prefer to access the songs on the Killers album, they are available on post 1998 CD and Vinyl editions. Killers is also available on TIDAL Hi-Fi for those of you who prefer to stream.

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Iron Maiden – Twilight Zone/Wrathchild (7-inch 45rpm Single)

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Iron Maiden – Twilight Zone/Wrathchild (7-inch 45rpm Single)

Following Women In Uniform, Iron Maiden would release their fourth single, but it would take the form of a Double A-Side. For those unaware of the concept, a Double A-Side is where an artist will release a single that contains two album based songs, rather than a B-side which is often a live performance or song that didn’t make the album cut. It is a practice that has sadly died out over the last couple of decades and while not all B-sides are great, I feel we are missing out on some hidden treasures.

In this case however, Twilight Zone was initially a non-album single in the UK, although it was released on the US edition of Killers in 1981, and would be added to world-wide distribution of the album when the enhanced re-issue edition of Killers was released in 1998. That said, not all post 1998 editions have the song. Most notably the 2014 vinyl re-issues and the 2015 Mastered for iTunes release omit this classic song, amongst other editions.  

The subsequent cover of the 7-inch release targeted the song Twilight Zone for inspiration as it showed Eddie, Maiden’s mascot, returning to his beloved girlfriend. Twilight Zone is in-fact a love song from beyond the grave as it appears that England’s then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, did revoke Eddie’s license to live, as insinuated on the cover of Women In Uniform.

Speaking of covers, Iron Maiden would once again be criticized in the media for having a cover that depicted sexism and the stalking of a young girl. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see either of those elements. Anyone who read the lyrics, or listened to the song, would understand that the artwork is a representation of the song as it depicts Eddie’s attempt to reach his beloved from his imprisonment in the Twilight Zone. Eddie’s photo is even presented on the dresser, thereby indicating a connection to the ghostly figure.

All I can say is sometimes ‘political correctness’ goes a little too far. While I don’t condone gratuitous sex or violence, within art and music, a little common sense and research goes a long way. That said, I acknowledge cultural perceptions in 1981 were quite different to how we perceive this cover today.

With this in mind, I can’t help but wonder what kafuffle was made of the original Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction cover. While that artwork is still included in the liner notes, retailers refused to stock it with the original cover, hence it was restricted in most regions and I believe on all formats other than vinyl.

As we take a look beyond the artwork, it is immediately clear that Twilight Zone and Wrathchild are both very much A-Side tracks. I absolutely love the guitar and bass introduction of Wrathchild. It is hard hitting and I feel is one of the first times we see Iron Maiden as not just a heavy metal band, but a band which can turn their music into a theatrical rock opera.

Similarly, Twilight Zone also fits into the style I have mentioned above. The initial guitar riff and drum beats set the tone, but I find I actually care more for the lyrical component of Twilight Zone as it has a story that has been enhanced in importance through the cover art design. This is why I collect vinyl as it enhances the experience.

For those interested, you can still get the limited edition 7-inch release. It is well worth owning as the presentation and mastering is superb.

If you would prefer to purchase both songs on other formats, they are of course available on some of the post 1998 Killers editions that are available on CD and Vinyl.

Killers is also available on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music for those of you who prefer to stream.

While all these options are great, the version I would recommend, for Killers, is the vinyl edition. This is because the CD, TIDAL Hi-Fi, and iTunes/Apple Music (Mastered For iTunes) releases all have low dynamic ranges that average 07 out of 20. The vinyl by comparison is 12 out of 20. For more information on these scores, please click here. That said, many of the vinyl re-issues omit Twilight Zone, so please make sure you check the track listing before purchasing.

Despite this, I still enjoy listening to my 1998 edition of Killers on CD, but it is sonically compromised when compared directly with the vinyl edition. That said, they never really did master turntables in cars, did they? 

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Iron Maiden – Women In Uniform (7-inch 45rpm Single)

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Iron Maiden – Women In Uniform (7-inch 45rpm Single)

Following the controversy of Sanctuary, Iron Maiden couldn’t help but once again show England’s then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, on the cover of their follow-up single Women In Uniform. Presented in classic Maiden-style artwork, Thatcher is seeking revenge on the beloved, but sinful, Maiden mascot Eddie. As mentioned previously, this type of iconic artwork is all tongue-in-cheek, but it does demonstrate the attitude of the times in which this single was released.

Although, it is important to note that Women In Uniform is not a Maiden original as it was first written and recorded by the Australian band Skyhooks, for their Guilty Until Proven Insane album. While Skyhooks is an Australian rock icon, and certainly a band that I have much respect for, I don’t particularly like their original composition of Women In Uniform. I find the Skyhook’s rendition is a little too pop driven and only truly becomes a rock song during the memorable chorus. It is simply missing that harder edge that I feel Maiden was able to bring to the song. That said, if Maiden hadn’t covered the song, I likely would have been smitten with the Skyhooks original.

While I feel the Maiden version is superior, it is widely regarded by the band, especially founder and bassist Steve Harris, as being a substandard recording due to Tony Platt (producer) mixing the song without the band’s input or approval. As a result, the song was only briefly presented on the original Australian release of Killers. Following the 1998 enhanced re-issue, Women In Uniform was removed from the track listing and subsequently only available hence forth on the 2014 re-issued 7-inch vinyl release. Women In Uniform was also featured on the now out-of-print Best of the 'B' Sides, that was included in Eddie’s Archive Box Set.

Women In Uniform has yet to be released on any streaming service, but the video clip is available for purchase on iTunes as it goes down in history as being their first recorded music video.

Iron Maiden has also made the song available, on their official YouTube channel, for those of you who don’t wish to purchase the 7-inch vinyl edition.

Paul Di’Anno, Maiden’s original vocalist, not only recorded the original but would go on to cover his own cover again in 2006 when he released the re-recorded compilation album The Classics: The Maiden Years. This album is not available for streaming, but you can hear the Di’Anno’s re-recording on TIDAL Hi-Fi or Apple Music as it appears on the The Early Iron Maiden Songbook album from 2010. Di’Anno also released the song on his 2012 release, Wrathchild – The Anthology.

I’m not sure how I really feel about re-recordings. Generally, they are released as a quick cash-grab and opportunity to return to popularity on the coattails of success, in this case Iron Maiden’s. That said, Di’Anno does a wonderful job with Women In Uniform and all other tracks that are presented on the before mentioned albums. They truly are worth seeking out and listening to.  

So, is Di’Anno’s re-recording better than the original he recorded with Iron Maiden in 1980?

Yes, and no! Clearly, Di’Anno’s newer release has a stronger rock edge to it and over the years his vocal delivery has developed, thereby bringing this re-recording inline with modern hard rock and metal recording styles. However, there is just something special about the Maiden original. It has their early raw sound that is reminiscent of a thoroughly pleasing live performance. That said, I don’t think you can wrong with either version.

The B-side on this 7-inch release contains the song Invasion. Unfortunately, the song is not available for those of you interested in streaming, but you can check it out on Maiden’s official YouTube channel below.

The song Invasion was originally released on Maiden’s debut EP, The Soundhouse Tapes. The EP is highly sought after by collectors and is ludicrously expensive, even for the most dedicated Maiden fans. That said, if you have a copy and would like to part with it, please let me know.

Invasion is classic Maiden and I would go as far as saying it was a stronger performance than their cover of Women In Uniform. The drum track and guitar riffs are exquisite and show a band that was well beyond their debut in terms of musicality and cohesion.

For the vinyl collectors out there, the 7-inch edition is still available and well worth owing. The pressing offers one of the best sonic representations of the band to date, although my only comparison for these particular songs is listening via the lossy YouTube quality, hence it is difficult to accurately compare. 

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Iron Maiden – Sanctuary (7-inch 45rpm & 33.3rpm Single)

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Iron Maiden – Sanctuary (7-inch 45rpm & 33.3rpm Single)

Iron Maiden isn’t a band to shine away from controversy, but that is exactly what they had to deal with upon the release of the 1980 single, Sanctuary. Although, it wasn’t their music that was the problem, but their Mascot Eddie and his murderous ways.

Adorning the front cover, of the single, is a whimsical scene whereby Eddie had just murdered England’s then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. It is a throw back to Thatcher being declared the ‘Iron Maiden/Lady’ when dealing with the Soviet Union.

Clearly Eddie was infuriated by this and decided to take matters into his own hands. Although, he didn’t do the best job as Thatcher would return on the following Iron Maiden single, with machine gun in hand, to take revenge on Eddie.  

Covers like this shouldn’t be seen as sinister as they tell us something about the period the song was written, recorded, and released. It tells us about the social and political consciousness of the time and encourages us, in retrospect, to review these now historic events.  

While initially a non-album track, Sanctuary was later added to a Maiden’s self-titled debut Iron Maiden.

Without doubt, Sanctuary has become a fan favourite, but it isn’t one of my personal favourites. I don’t mind it within the flow of the album format, but as a single, I’m not to sure it showed off the best Maiden could offer at the time. In my opinion, it was a letdown from their debut single Running Free.

On the limited edition US reissue, Sanctuary is of course the A-side while the B-side contains live performances of Drifter and I’ve Got The Fire with the small, but rowdy, live crowd is in force to support the band.

I must be completely honest when I say that I prefer Drifter, from Maiden’s second album Killers, as a potential single over Sanctuary. I absolutely love the guitar work throughout Drifter and I believe it showcases a band significantly more polished than Sanctuary does.

The live performance of I’ve Got The Fire is interesting as I hear influences of the late Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, in Di'anno's vocals. That said, the song is actually a cover that was first released in 1974 by Montrose, on their album Paper Money. The Montrose edition is superb and while I acknowledge that Maiden’s version is a live performance, there is just no comparison. Montrose owns this song. It should be noted that the original name of the song, when recorded by Montrose, was I Got The Fire, but Maiden changed it to I’ve Got The Fire. A studio recording of the cover song was also released on Maiden’s 1983 single, Flight Of Icarus. When I offer my opinion of that release, I will re-evaluate my thoughts on Maiden’s rendition.

Irritatingly, at the end of the live performances, but not in the runout track, Maiden left one of the fans woohooing. It drives me insane! I appreciate Maiden acknowledging their fans, but I wish they would do so in a less irritating manner. All I want after hearing the woohooing, is sanctuary.

Interestingly, the 7-inch single is not your traditional 45rpm record. It is 45rpm on side A and 33.3rpm on side B, due to the extended length of the live performances. Talk about crossing the streams!

This is the first time I have ever come across something like this, if you have come across similar, please let me know in the comments.

Okay, so I can switch between 45rpm and 33.3rpm, but every time I play the single, I forget. That said, it is important to note that switching speeds isn’t always as easy as pressing a button, especially when you get into the audiophile-grade level of turntables. For instance, my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, an entry level audiophile deck, requires a manual belt change to switch between speeds. It’s not a big deal if I’m going to play a number of 45s, but it is an issue when you have to switch it back and forth for one side of a 7-inch single.

That said, the collector in me appreciates this distinctiveness.

Overall, Sanctuary is in my collection because I am a collector. While I do listen to it, it is not a go-to single that I will pull out when I feel like having a couple of days filled with 7-inch bliss. It tends to only get played when I listen to my Maiden singles in chronological order.

If you feel inclined to pickup the 7-inch single, it is still available. Alternatively, Sanctuary is available on all post-1998 mastered editions of the Iron Maiden album that is available on Vinyl, CD, TIDAL Hi-Fi, Apple Music, and iTunes. The studio-recorded version of Drifter is available on the Killers album, but the live edition of Drifter and I’ve Got The Fire is exclusive to the 7-inch single release. 

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Iron Maiden – Running Free (7-inch 45rpm Single)

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Iron Maiden – Running Free (7-inch 45rpm Single)

For a while, I have been wondering how best to present my 7-inch 45rpm singles. As you may imagine, I have amassed quite a few and while I could probably do two or three at a time, in a single post, I decided that it would be best to dedicate an individual post to each single.

The reason for this is the single is important me. It was often the first connection I had with an artist and it allowed me to sample their music, without necessarily buying an album. Yes, today you would simply go to a streaming music service, but in the 90s the cassette single and CD single were popular beyond belief. I miss those days and the alternative mixes, B-sides, and live performances that would be included on singles. Needless to say, as the vinyl-revival is in full swing, the 7-inch 45rpm single is making a return with new songs being released on the format, as well as limited edition re-pressings from our favourite artists.

Iron Maiden is one such band that has re-issued their singles collection from the 1980s. Starting with the debut Running Free, from the self-titled album Iron Maiden, Maiden would release a further 18 singles in 2014 that I will document over the coming weeks and months. The editions I have are all US, limited edition, pressings. Although, these singles were also released by Parlophone for the UK audience. The only difference is the distribution and record label information. Where it is Parlophone for the UK, it is Ingrooves/BMG/Sanctuary for the US release. I’ve never found out exactly how many pressings Maiden regard as limited, with regards to these singles, but they have claimed that it is a one off pressing that won’t be repeated.

Regardless, I’m happy to have them in my collection as I wasn’t collecting Maiden during the time of their initial release and I wouldn’t become a fan of their work until a friend showed me a selection of CD’s with some of the most incredible album artwork I had ever seen, in the late 90s. Before I even heard a note, I was hooked on Maiden.

Running Free is obviously the A-side on this single and it is clear from the outset that Maiden was here to stay. While Burning Ambition is the B-side, I would call it a A.5 side as it is strong enough on its own. It is a non-album track and unavailable on any streaming services or iTunes. Other than this release, it has been released on the now out-of-print Best of the 'B' Sides, that was also featured in the Eddie’s Archive Box Set.

Both songs feature Maiden’s original vocalist, Paul Di'Anno. While I likely have a small preference for the vocals of Bruce Dickinson, I have to say that Di’Anno’s vocals are superb on Maiden’s debut album. While we can’t, and likely don’t want to, change Di’Anno’s departure from the band, it is interesting to think of what could have been, if he had remained vocalist of Iron Maiden. Alas, we will never know.

While it is disappointing that Burning Ambition can not be heard outside of physical formats, I’m actually glad that the band have kept some of these B-sides exclusive and limited. It plays into the collector’s psychology and it makes for an enjoyable process of collecting each and every song, rather than paying a nominal fee and having access to them all.

Add to this fact that each Maiden single is adorned with magnificent artwork, is reason enough to collect this series of 7-inch records. The artwork for this single also introduced Eddie, Iron Maiden’s Mascot, to Maiden fans as it predated the release of their self-titled debut album. The names of Maiden’s musical influences also adorn the artwork with bands such as the Scorpions, Led Zeppelin and Judas Priest shown on the rear wall in spray paint. This is why I collect vinyl. These small details just aren’t transferable on modern-day digital delivery services and devices.

Also, the album artwork tells a story. It is a visual interpretation of the song Running Free and it is fair to say that it adds to not only the associated album release, but the band, and ultimately the meaning and relevance of the song.

The rear cover presents a blurred black and white image of the band playing live with a ghost-style head looming above. I’ve no idea of the symbolism of this face, please let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts.

The label of the 7-inch vinyl presents Eddie in the same pose on both sides, with only textual information changing. Nothing is amiss here as it is an accurate representation of the original release.

It is important to note that there is a second single in Maiden’s lineup for the song Running Free. It is a live performance that was released in the mid-80s with Bruce Dickinson on vocals. I do have that copy and when it comes time to write my thoughts, I will contrast it against the original single.

Overall, the quality and mastering of this re-issue is immaculate. It is a must own for any Maiden fan. It is still available, but if you don’t feel inclined to pickup the 7-inch single then you can always check out Running Free on Iron Maiden’s self titled debut album that is available on Vinyl, CD, TIDAL Hi-Fi, Apple Music, and the iTunes Music Store.    

I don’t know about you, but I now have a burning ambition to run free!

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