Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of 1980-1989by Iron Maiden
Heavy metal stalwarts Iron Maiden have yet to receive the "royal treatment" when it comes to the anthology section of their surprisingly consistent catalog (we'll just let the two records with Bruce Dickinsin' replacement Blaze Bayley disappear into the ether), but Sony's Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of 1980-1989 provides listeners with a semi-decent set of heavy metal crib notes from the group's most popular era. Like previous compilations, the inclusion of cuts like "Run to the Hills," "Number of the Beast," "2 Minutes to Midnight," and "The Trooper" is a no-brainer, and great album tracks like "Powerslave" and "Evil That Men Do" make for a fun listen, but one has to question the validity of populating a greatest-hits collection with four tracks culled from a live performance. Love them or hate them, when it comes to live albums, 1985's Live After Death is one of the better ones out there, and there's no denying the electricity that runs through "Aces High" and "Wrathchild," but why deny first-time listeners the fine studio versions of both, especially Paul Di'Anno's "Phantom of the Opera" and "Iron Maiden?" Also, where are all of the tracks from 1983's landmark Piece of Mind album? For such a beloved metal institution, there are precious few quality retrospectives and a whole bunch of merely adequate ones, guess which camp Somewhere Back in Time falls into?
- Release Date:
- Sanctuary Records
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1. Maiden are now an institution and the classic era is covered here. 2. Agree with the AMG review that Di'Anno should be here (for many people including me, the first album and Killers are STILL the two best records they ever made). 3. Disagree with second guessing Live After Death inclusions per se -- again, I would have picked different tracks. 4. Unrelated to this record but in general, the Blaze albums are so absurdly maligned...they stand up better than half the stuff Bruce has done with the boys, and I thought then and think 10+ yrs later that they went "back to the future" with Blaze sounding like a split between Paul and Bruce, with Harris et al going much more gothic. Those albums are great, though not as great as IM, Killers, Number, Piece or Seventh Son.
For a long while, I have wanted to get some material by Iron Maiden, but I just hadn't. I wanted to check them out back when I was in Jr. High, but I was not really allowed to listen to this sort of music growing up. Finally, after years of having heard Iron Maiden at various parties & what not, and having played some on Guitar Hero, and through a friend who had a lot of their music...I finally brought myself around to buying something by Iron Maiden at the ripe age of 29. I figured that a good place to start would be a greatest hits album, so I bought this one. Iron Maiden is some pretty awesome stuff, if you're into classic metal, or even if you just like metal in general. If you are not too entirely familiar with Iron Maiden, but like heavy rock/metal stuff, definitely give them a listen. You won't be disappointed.