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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 30 September 2010
Maiden's fourth album would build upon what they had created with Number Of The Beast, giving fans another set of metal anthems. This was another huge album for the group received well by fans and critics, and selling millions around the world. Nicko McBrain joined as new drummer and remains to this day setting in place the classic line-up. After the success of their last album the band had garnered a huge following, but due to their rise to success they had also acquired an army of critics- parents, politicians, and other media types who accused them of devil worship and other treats; metal was on the verge of it's golden era and Maiden were front and centre. The band have never hidden themselves from controversy and include a few humorous references to these criticisms throughout the album. This more than any other album shows the band's love for art and literature and they manage to blend a myriad of influences and references into both hit singles and expansive epics.

`Where Eagles Dare' introduces us to Nicko with the group letting him open the album. After a splattering of drums a clattering riff starts before Dickinson chimes in at his most air raid siren style. The lyrics and themes are based on the film and book of the same name and cover the usual fare of war and bravery. The overlapping riffs, drums, and effects give a new wall of sound style that the band had not tried before. The dual attack is perfected on this album more than any, and this song highlights the harmony amongst the band as they tried ever more complex constructions.

`Revelations' opens with stadium chords showing a band full of confidence. Things slow to sludge tempo as the band go Sabbath on us. Dickinson is again on top form, bottomless lungs providing some great vocals. There is tenderness here, the dual guitars work extremely well, and once again the song never stays in one place. We get changes of pace, more F-Zero solos, shifts in tone, and all manner of ideas. Dickinson adapts many of Alastair Crowley's ideas into lyrics as the themes cover bargaining and fate.

`Flight Of Icarus' continues with the huge guitars and riffs. We have an ominous tone and a trotting rhythm to symbolize the inevitability of the character's death. This was a fairly successful single for the band helped by a big chorus which audiences could lap up, and thanks to the classic rock imagery and style it reached a wider audience- no mention of devils or demons to worry about here. Also, it ends on a classic Dickinson wail which is always nice.

`Die With Your Boots On' opens in top gear with competing guitars trying to reach the end of the riff first. The climbing melody of the guitars coupled with the pace gives a breathless song, while Dickinson belts out some war propagandist lyrics. Another classic chorus follows and the song as a whole works as a perfect partner to the next song- both clever takes on the theme.

`The Trooper' opens with one of the band's most famous riffs, a lightning fast double attack which continues throughout marking this as one of their best songs. Based on the Charge Of The Light Brigade it is a warning against war, a snarling tribute to the men who kill and are killed for their countries. The rhythm is clearly meant to evoke the image of horses galloping into battle, the lack of a chorus showing that the clash continues always without break, turning point, or winner. Maybe that's a stretch, but for the single to be a decent hit without a chorus is quite an achievement.

`Still Life' slows the album from the frenetic pace it has followed from the start. The rest of the album, starting from here follows a wider range of influences and styles hinting at the more progressive sounds the band would soon adopt. Opening with some funny background fun from Nicko (to further terrify censors) this turns with a midnight, skyscraper played solo into a more subtle epic. This one is often forgotten by fans but it just definitely be re-examined. The chorus my not be the best, but everything that surrounds it is great.

`Quest For Fire' opens with an ascent and descent of guitars before some silly lyrics and over theatrical vocals. This ends up sounding most like Spinal Tap and brings down the authenticity of the rest of the album. Melodically it is fine, there is nothing wrong with the playing, but with a few changes it could have been a much better song.

`Sun And Steel' brings back the galloping rhythm, the lyrics this time focusing on Samurais, in particular Miyamoto Musashi. The verses are fine here while the chorus edges towards classic rock territory again. This is another good album track which people usually pass over, nothing outstanding but still woth another listen.

`To Tame A Land' is Maiden's epic based on Dune. We have distant winds blowing, lonely solos, and eventually crunching guitars and bass over some Eastern rhythms. The verses aren't particularly exciting, but the instrumental sections between are strong. Everything is constantly building and threatening to explode, and Dickinson reaches some ridiculous levels with his vocals. Once the pace picks up the song gets stronger and proves an effect end to arguably the band's best album.

At this point in their career Iron Maiden could do no wrong, and no amount of negativity or pressure from certain groups could slow down their momentum. While this album shows signs of branching out into different areas of music this shows the band paying tribute to some of their heroes- Sabbath, Zeppelin, and some of the other monsters of the Seventies. There is no doubt that this is metal, but there is clearly a classic rock core. From now onwards the band would be more progressive, weaving wilder epics and more expansive sounds. This is another must for fans.
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on 6 October 2015
I am guilty of an appalling oversight here - Piece of Mind is now safely embedded into my top 5 ever Iron maiden albums - I recently decided to fill in the few gaps in my Maiden voyage (been a fan since around 1989 when I was 10 and have a taste for it again since BOSOULS is so great) and this along with Powerslave were my two shames - I may have briefly come across them whilst lapping up the wonderful Beast, Seventh Son, Somewhere in Time.....etc..........but these I missed and oh how I feel the shame right now.......especially with this album.

Revelations is such a suitable name because that track alone is a revelation - at its heart it contains everything i love about this band, the operatic metal, the spine tingling arrangements, the acoustic sections which counterpoint the strumming layered guitars.......WOw!
Do not make the mistake of ignoring this album........

Speaking objectively (since Ive only been listening to these two albums for the last week) Piece of Mind is the masterpiece of the two - Powerslave is good - but has to sit on the edge of my top five because I think the others contain more iconic moments and overall contain more focussed musical genius.....so without further ado here is my re-corrected (after 30 years of being fan) MAIDEN TOP ALBUMS EVER that you should check out if you are a newbie.....

1 The Number of The Beast (THE ALBUM)
2 The Book Of Souls (almost THE ALBUM - but BEAST has the history)
3 Piece Of Mind (a REVELATION - contains my new fave tracks ever)
4 Seventh Son of the Seventh Son (one of the strongest full of classics)
5 Somewhere in Time (full of catchy choruses - some of the best lyrics of all the albums)
6 Fear Of The Dark (The last of the iconic records from their first peak years - now is their new peak era of course.....)
7 Powerslave (love R of the A Mariner but for me I cant see how it tops the above musically as an album- not the biggest Aces high fan either- though it is quality)
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on 14 April 2005
Having broken through with The Number of the Beast, aided by new vocalist Bruce Dickinson's roaring vocal style and the unusually sophisticated songs it allowed them to pursue, Maiden continued their evolution towards superstardom with this gem. Lyrically it moves towards serious fare, with the group's trademark fascination with ancient history, particularly the darker side of oppression and brutality, really coming to the fore.
In those days Maiden only released 2 singles from each album, which continued until they bombarded the charts with 5 from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (ironically the album which perhaps marked the beginning of their artistic decline). The choices here are fairly anthemic, with Flight of Icarus featuring a chanting chorus and touching on Greek mythology, and The Trooper having a pounding guitar riff and juddering bass along with some strong lyrics.
Better still however is Revelations, Bruce Dickinson's first contribution and a gradually mounting 7-minute assault with slow contemplative verses and a pounding solo. Warfare is the theme of Die With your Boots on and opener Where Eagles dare, the latter of which is especially strong. Indeed the group was almost unique among metal bands of the time in adopting an anti-war stance. Steve Harris bravely took on a science-fiction theme with closer To Tame A Land, a track which I actually think stands up better for not being directly named after Dune.
This was the second of Maiden's string of classic albums, but in my view it's the best, with a little bit of every aspect of metal, and some of their most stridently confident songwriting. I think it exhibits a lot of hunger; a desire to reshape the boundaries and redefine what people expect of heavy metal.
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on 26 November 2003
With the arrival of drummer Nicko McBrain, Iron Maiden settled in to a rigorous album-tour-album cycle that would see them climb to global dominance in the metal world. This is not the sound of a bunch of kids emerging from the pub circuit, but a bunch of musicians growing and maturing as a band. Gone are the tales of prostitutes, subways, boozing and remembering tomorrow and in come the high concept tales of fantasy, mythology, war and sci-fi. In making that transition to global status, I feel that Maiden lost something of their earthy roots, but what the album lacks in urgency it makes up in professional sheen. Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson came more to the fore as songwriters, and Harris also weighed in with his fair share of quality material. Of said material, the pick of the bunch would definately appear amongst the first half of the tracks, as the album has often been accused of tailing off towards the end a little in awkward epics such as "To tame a land" and "Quest for fire".
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on 11 April 2016
I have loved this Album since before its release, I know this reads odd but I saw Iron Maiden perform this album before its release live in Hull, it was the 3rd time they played there before the release of an Album so we had no idea what was coming but they blew the roof off with what for me is the best post DiAnno album, the songs are all stories told wonderfully by a band truly on form, some was based on the classic stories of mythology and others on some of the best books of the 20th Century.
This is probably the most intelligent Heavy Metal album ever, not blues or soul based like many other albuns and bands, no mornful woe is me here just heroes and villains, stealing fire from the gods, usurping power and losing it to the rightful heir by strange means, spies go into the fire facing certain death and heroes fight to the death, boys own for adults.
The best album Iron Maiden have ever made, I think I can reasonably say that now and it stands the test of time
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on 19 May 2015
Piece of Mind is one of Maiden's most important albums - cementing their position as one of the worlds biggest biggest bands.

POM's predecessor Number of the Beast is a tough act to follow - but while that album combined tracks that reflected Maiden's past work and standards that would define the future direction of the band, this album is Maiden pushing forward into new territory.

The band sound tighter than ever - sharpened by touring and benefitting from Bruce's writing and Nicko's epic skin bashing; the album has a precision and depth that had been growing with each successive release. Piece of Mind is very much the product of a metal band hitting full stride after learning their craft.

The are obvious standouts on this album - The Trooper, Revelations and Flight of Icarus leap off the vinyl and grab you by the scruff of the neck; strongly supported by Still Life, Die With Your Boots On and Where Eagles Dare. The weaker songs on this release (in my opinion) are Sun on Steel and to Tame a Land - that said both of these are still very good songs. Never been keen on Quest for Fire though!

Just buy this - it's brilliant
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on 18 August 2015
This is the re-issue of "Piece of Mind" and it includes liner notes on the making of the album, band photos (live, in studio and promo) as well as other artwork used during the album promotion and live posters. This album is a Maiden classic and has some great Maiden anthems on it. This CD version is the perfect way to update your Maiden collection to the CD format as it has two promo videos as enhanced content. If you love Iron Maiden then you probably have this album on any number of formats already, if you don't have this album and you love Maiden or Heavy Metal, then what are you waiting for? This album is essential for any self respecting Maiden fan or Metal head!
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on 17 December 2012
Five stars is for the music that contains, the picture disc is beautiful, and contains liner notes and photographs that don't have the original album, I recommend this product to all people that love Maiden and to the people that never listened this band, this eight albums for me are the best of the band ever.
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on 14 November 2011
Along with Somewhere in Time, this is one of Iron Maidens most underrated albums. In retrospect people love it but at the time it had a lukewarm reaction following the huge success of TNOTB. One of those reasons being a distinct change of gear in the sound and style of the band. Not different as such, but a refinement and the sound of a band really getting into its stride. Some people, like me for example, love Iron Maiden (rather a lot of people in fact) and some don't. What can't be denied is that they have that thing which all bands need but hardly any have. Their own distinct sound; and to me Piece of Mind is the album that starts to really bring that out.

My favourite track is Where Eagles Dare. After Clive Burr's departure (apparently Steve Harris was getting much more sophisticated with his time signatures and needed a drummer who could cope with it) Maiden chose Nicko McBrain to fill his shoes, and he fitted into the band perfectly, both musically and socially. The best way to introduce him to the public is a fantastic drum fill right at the start of the album on Where Eagles Dare. Due to Nicko's stubborn refusal to use a double bass pedal (he found it un-drummer like), at first he couldn't play 30 seconds of this song without his leg falling off. But he built up his stamina and boy, are we treated to a drum fest. Perfectly syncing with Steve's unique bass style. Add Bruce's vocals onto that and you have a masterpiece.

The first five tracks are killers. I tend to skip over Still Life and Quest for Fire but the final two are great, especially To Tame A Land, which was Steve's first venture into the longer, more complicated storytelling songs (influenced by the 70's prog-rock he was a big fan of) that he further developed on Powerslave (Rime Of The Ancient Marine) and Somewhere in Time (Alexander The Great).

To me, no band came up with a continuous sequence of such good albums during their prime period between 82 and 88, and this album is classic Maiden.
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on 24 January 2004
With this album from 1983 Iron Maiden consolidated their status as Kings of Metal. New drummer Nico McBrain completed what is regarded as the classic Maiden line-up, bringing a touch of insanity with his larger than life personality and this is reflected on the album cover, which shows band mascot Eddie as an inmate in a lunatic asylum.
Opening track 'Where Eagles Dare' is based on the World War II film of the same name and sets the tone for the whole album with its relentless pounding and galloping bass lines which are an important part of the Iron Maiden sound. 'Revelations' became a live favourite over the next 2 years and is one of the few songs to get fans of the band to wave lighters in the air in true metal fashion. The great anthemic song on the album is 'Flight of Icarus' but the song to make most impact with the fans is 'The Trooper' which sees Eddie in the uniform of a British soldier during the Crimean War.
Despite all this my personal favourite track is 'Sun and Steel' because it is one of the most melodic songs from the band and helps make side 2 of the album almost as strong as side 1. This is as good a Maiden album to start with as any other for people interested in finding out what the fuss is all about.
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