on 2 February 2007
It doesnt surprise me that this sits (at the time of writing) at 17 in Amazons order when selected via Bestselling. This album always seemed to fall somewhere short in a lot of peoples opinion. Not as punky as "Iron Maiden" not as polished as "Number of the beast" it seems to sit awkwardly between the two releases either side. But I love it. It has some of the best Maiden tracks ever released, the kick ass Purgatory, Drifters and Wrathchild, the beautiful (yes beautiful) Prodigal Son, the foot tapping Twilight Zone. All great tracks supported by some solid fillers (although 2 instrumentals is perhaps a tad much) but the crowning glory has to be the unbelievable title track. Killers the song is, in my view, the best track Maiden ever wrote. All these years on and my neck hairs still stand up the second that cymbol and bass line start up. The album is worth the cost for the pure headbanging pleasure derived from that song (trust me my head damn near came off when they played Killers live the first time I saw them). But you dont just get one for your money you get 6 or 7 tracks of Maidens best stuff, not enough to warrant 5 stars I hear you cry-it is an album of 11 tracks after all. But you see the other tracks are still very good and how many Maiden albums have classics from start to finish? Go and listen to Number of the beast again and tell me you think all tracks match up to the singles or Hallowed be thy name. No this album is a great one, perhaps not their best, but definitely better than 17 on the Amazon ranks.
on 4 April 2007
Quite simply their best album. A great combination of heavy metal aggresion, melody and strong songs that they have never managed to achieve again.
As for all this reference to a "punk" influence; this is total nonsense. I can remember when this and the previous album came out and neither I nor any of my school friends would have anything to do with the punks of the late seventies. This is a total 1990's distortion of musical history that the values of NWOBHM had anything to do with the "it's not fair, I don't care" punks of that decade.
on 10 November 2015
Iron Maiden, one of British heavy metal's finest,has rocked my world since I was a teenager,and they still do to this day. Killers has always been my favourite at it's just total raw power from beginning to end. Murders In The Rue Morgue is definitely one of my favourites. Man, I really miss Paul Di Anno as I'm sure do many other Maiden fans.
on 23 February 2005
I am a fan of other New Wave Of British Heavy Metal bands and kept this album and "Iron Maiden" kept on coming up as highly rated NWOBHM albums, so I decided to give them a try.
Prior to the perchasing of this album I was only a casual listener of Iron Maiden. I knew most of the "classic" songs ("Run To The Hills", "Bring Your Daughter...") but had not heard anything from the Di'anno era. I though I was taking a gamble, but it turns out that I made a good investment!
This album sounds very similar to their debut, but for me it just edges ahead with some superb tracks. Di'anno (singer) really makes his presence felt on this album with a powerful and very versetile voice which works extremely well with the subjects of many of the songs. He still retains the "punky" East-end accent from the first album, but manages to reach some high notes ("Twilight Zone")
The rest of the band also perform well on "Killers", which as I understand was recorded almost as a live album (being that the tracks were layed down in one take as though being performed live). New guitarist, Adrian Smith, seems to be able to work even better with Dave Murry than Dennis Stratton and the two play some great harmonic duets (although not as sublime as on Metallica's "Master Of Puppets") and superb solos (this can also be seemn in the video's available on the enhanced CD) such as in the opening instrumental "The Ides Of March". Steve Harris, on bass, is still the power house behind the beast that is Iron Maiden and, as on the first record, he is the main songwriter and lyicist.
Arguments as to who was/is the best Maiden vocalist aside, this is still a brilliant album and it is good to see that the Di'anno era isn't totally overlooked in Iron Maiden's live shows.
Highlighted songs are: "Wrathchild", "Killers" and "Twilight Zone"
Also recomended by myself: Iron Maiden - "Iron Maiden", Diamond Head - "Lightning To The Nations (White Album)" and Various - "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited" (its out of print now, but if you see one get it!)
on 17 May 2008
The official line on Killers is that it is a 'difficult' second album and, indeed, something of a blip in the career of Iron Maiden. This was certainly the view of the UK music press early in 1981 when the album was first released and it remains a kind of received wisdom to this day. Well, the received wisdom is wrong. Killers is a fantastic record for a number of reasons and I'll go as far as saying that it is actually my favourite Iron Maiden album. Nearly 30 years on I feel that the second Iron Maiden album is due a major re-evaluation. Here goes:
Killers is an important rock record and something of a game changer for the entire metal scene. It was the first Iron Maiden album to sell globally in any significant quantity. It made the top 20 just about everywhere and it put Maiden into the Billboard top 100 for the very first time. So Killers was a success- we've established that-it is also the right kind of success. The record is very, very hard. You could never describe Killers as a 'sell out.' If anything they've toughened up their sound.
Killers was the first Iron Maiden album to really gel on record. This might be down to the bands frantic touring schedule at this time; this is probably why the band sound so tight and focussed. The record also marks Martin Birch's production debut (what an improvement!), as well as Adrian Smith's debut as second guitarist: he had been in the band only a matter of weeks and yet his playing seems so assured, it is like he had always been there. The chemistry between Smith and Dave Murray is palpable, I must also say something about Clive Burr. What a drummer! And has he ever sounded better than on here? Listen to him on 'Purgatory,' Respect is due! Killers was also Paul Dianno's final Maiden record. Paul is remembered (and sometimes dismissed) as a sort of punk singer but his vocals on Killers are powerful and operatic. Listen to how he holds the note towards the end of 'Drifter' (around the 4.07-4.17 mark). Yeah, Paul rocks.
Granted, the album lacks a 'Phantom of the Opera' or a 'Remember Tomorrow' but it is- undoubtedly-an album with a soul. The cover art is cracking too. Play loud!
on 30 December 2012
This was the first album I ever bought (technically I bought Number of the Beast at the same time but I'll split the difference as this was released first). It strange listening to this album now after hearing Iron Maidens whole repertoire of albums, Killers is a very edgy and raw album that feels almost like it could fall apart in places but it never misses a beat. All of the later albums have heaps more polish thrown onto them whereas this you could almost imagine being recorded as a series of full band live takes in the studio. Although Number of the Beast trumps it with sound production I think Killers is the better album as everything seems to fit on it. Despite the fact vocalist Paul Di'anno was sacked for his unpredictable behaviour post-release he performs admirably on this album, his rough and ready howling and screeching and at ease with all the other instruments. This album also lays the foundation for Maidens galloping lines more so that the self titled debut (which is also a great album).
The albums opener is the instrumental The Ides Of March which is presumably a reference to the assassination of Julius Caesar (although being an instrumental it could have had any old title). The track has some nice guitar work and the drumming has a pretty nifty crash beat followed by rapid tom-roll fills to start things off. It moves smoothly into the next track Wrathchild which gives us a great sounding Harris bass line that serves as a launch pad for some nice guitar licks from Smith and Murray. Even this early in their career these two guitarists are already top of their game and it's no wonder the pair of them regularly make just about every guitar magazines top 100 guitarists polls. Weather their soloing alone or playing in harmony they always deliver the goods be it on stage or in the studio. Speaking of guitar harmonies, they are not as apparent on this album as the later stuff where they really lock it down and they could probably have done a fair chunk of this album with one guitarist. But when they do double up it really punches through the mix.
Next up we're given a slow and soft introduction that picks up the pace into another fast and heavy track titled Murders in the Rue Morgue. This is based very loosely on the story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. This time the story is told from the perspective of someone who finds the grisly scene, calls for help and then runs away when the people who answer his call think he did it. Whilst not the easiest of titles to sing they actually make it sound like a catchy chorus line. The next track, Another Life, has quite possibly the worst lyric Iron Maiden have ever written: "As I lay here lying in my bed"; aside from that, this is another great rocky Maiden number.
The title track kicks of with a thumping bass line and bass drum beat intercut with loud guitar stabs and Di'anno wails. Killers is one of Maidens darkest tracks lyrically, told from the point of view of the actual murderers thoughts. Special mention has to be made for Clive Burr. Not only on this track but also on the album as a whole his drumming is superb. Whilst Nicko McBrain is one of the best drummers on the planet; Clive Burr is almost as good, both of them have the kind of drumming skills that that fit perfectly in with the other guitarists and Harriss' galloping bass lines.
Prodigal Son is the albums slowest number and shows a softer side to Di'anno's voice (although he does ramp it up a couple of times) and the band also tone it down a bit, even switching the rhythm to an acoustic guitar.
When I had this originally on vinyl it was a track shorter than my current digital version. That track is called Twilight Zone and it's fantastic. I don't know why it was left off (it was released as a single only) but it was definitely part of the Killers recording session. It is perhaps Iron Maiden's only proper love song (with the twist of someone trying to contact their lover from beyond the grave).
There are a few other tracks I haven't mentioned, but they are all great with no `fillers'. The rough and ready sound on this album actually adds to these songs rather than taking anything away. You could almost believe it was recorded in the 70's rather than the early eighties. It's almost in complete contrast to Maiden's later pristine produced cuts; but at the same time the Maiden trademark sound is stamped deep inside it. For newer Maiden fans this is a very worthy addition to the collection and contains the earliest drafts of the blueprint they would later follow. An excellent album with quite a lot of ideas thrown into the smelting pot and yet it still holds together fairly well. This is closer to your more traditional mix of rock and heavy metal than the style they develop after this album which I think leans towards a more progressive metal sound. There isn't really a bad track on the album and although I'd neglected it for a few years for the later stuff it's grown on me once again and it stands up shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Maiden catalogue.
on 21 March 2013
This is by bar and a way one of the greatest classic metal album's every done, Paul Di' Anno's Vocals are superb, and OK they are very different from Bruce Dickinson's but that's no bad thing. The album springs to life with track 2 Wrath child and carries on shredding and bass thumping till the end.
Steve Harri's Galloping bass playing and Di' Anno's dynamic powerful vocals combine with some of the finest ear candy guitar playing to produce what I can only describe as pure metal bliss. These days there isn't really that much to be proud of that's British, even Dyson ships production over seas, Maiden is British however and is soothing we can all be proud of; sorry England football :(
In conclusion if you say your into Metal and you don't own this album, get it now and understand where most of your music began.
on 31 May 2016
Exit Dennis Stratton, Enter Adrian Smith, the Guitar God paired with Dave Murray and came to form the twin axe assault that would characterise Maiden's output in the 80s and Beyond, Killers takes the Punk influences of the self titled album and amplifies it tenfold, but is it better than the superlative debut? Let's see
Track 1: The Ides of March - Not much of an instrumental but a lead up to Wrathchild, regardless the track of less than 2 minutes builds up the following ones with gusto, Burr's drumming is excellent here and the riffs climb perfectly, a great opener
Track 2: Wrathchild - A Classic, showcasing Dianno's vast Improvement from the first outing with some incredibly tight bass and guitar riffage, however the vocals definitely take centre stage here, Dianno's screams and talents with falsetto create an unforgettable mid section, that only the Rock in Rio performance has ever came close too
Track 3: Murders in the Rue Morgue - Slow intro, fast verse, punchy chorus, a Maiden Classic that yet again showcases the Late Line-Ups strengths together in one package, I find there isn't much to say, but what's already been said, a song that deserves a place in more setlists than it ever got
Track 4: Another Life - Strange? Yes, it's no Strange World though, a frantically fast riff introduces Dianno's signature growl and carries the song with a Punk Edge for the whole runtime
Track 5: Genghis Khan - Arguably Maiden's best instrumental, the real star here is Burr, drums that clash and smash their way through a seminal song that truly encaptures the tale it's telling through 3 minutes of riffs and beats
Track 6: Innocent Exile - Like Strange World, an incredibly underrated Maiden track that permits one of Dianno's best performances with his time at Maiden, a powerful vocal passage throughout, with a bridge that couldn't be catchier if it tried, Maiden at their best
Track 7: Killers - An intro for the ages, one that hooks you from the moment the needle drops, Dianno's key changes frantically keep the head banging drum riffs alive and well through the finest 5 minutes of raw punk magic maiden commited to tape
Track 8: Prodigal Son - Well, this is weird, Certainly different, a more relaxing ballad amongst the chaos of Killers, with Dianno's old school baritone rearing it's head once again, some tight riffs from Murray and Smith cement their chemistry In a admittedly weird but definitely worthy Maiden track
Track 9: Purgatory - Murray and Smith scorch the tape deck with some absolutely mesmerising riffs while Burr compliments them with some impressive symbol work, meanwhile Harris and Dianno follow on with some pounding bass playing and vibrato filled into falsetto that any vocalist can aspire too, best track, no question about it
Track 10: Twilight Zone - Short and Sweet, a song typical of the album it originates from, regardless it has a chorus that builds with confidence and pays off in spectacular fashion with a typical punk shriek that characterises Dianno
Track 11: Drifter - One of Maiden's least famous closing tracks, for a band known for their closing tracks, typical of a lot of Maiden's first 2 album's output, it is deserved of much more recognition than it receives, and serves as unrestrained closer to one hell of an album
Killers proved that Maiden weren't a one trick pony, Killer, after Killer cements.. Killers? As one of the bands most consistent releases and one of the most overlooked Punk, and Metal Albums of not the just the 80s but History, lost in the curse of the 'pre-number of the beast' era Maiden
But with Dianno shortly exiting after a long and tiring world tour, could Maiden reinvent themselves?
on 5 March 2013
Just received this but upon playing was confronted with awful surface whooshing noise throughout both sides. Checked my copy of Iron Maiden and the same noise is present there but much much quieter. I believe this may be due to these reissues being picture disks but still ... suggest potential buyers bear this in mind!
on 21 February 2013
I just had to give this album 5 stars as it still remains one of the best metal albums to come out of the early NWOBHM era,following on fast,and i mean fast,from Maidens classic first album. When this first came out I could never understand why it was not that well received in the metal press,i seem to remember Sounds only giving it 3 stars! Well this is faster,heavier and more kick ass than that first album. Maiden dont fail to disappoint here,with all the band members delivering the goods - superb lead guitars,what a rhythm section(one of the best ever in the history of metal) and Pauls vocals scare the pants off you. A real shame this was to be Pauls last album with the band,kinda makes you wonder what would have come next! Full of classic Maiden style tracks,and a great start to the album with the powerful Wrathchild,followed by the speedy Murders In The Rue Morgue...the list go on...whilst i remember i also have to mention the Killers track...one of my all time Maiden favourites,and oh those vocals! Also please dont forget that this was Adrian Smiths debut with the band,and he fulfills his role admirably,proving to be a worthwhile addition to Maidens fast/slow/fast style and heavier sound.
This cd is well presented and comes with a colourful and compact inner - you get some rare photos of all members of the band(and crew!) a long with lyrics to each song,and not forgetting the Special Multimedia Section that include 2 live tracks from Maidens famous gig at the Rainbow.All in all well worth the price and also a big thanks to Amazon for getting this to me so quickly.