Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ranking Every Iron Maiden Song: 150-141

by Nathaniel Puente

Every Iron Maiden song is absolutely fantastic. What is the best one? What is the worst one? What is the 128th best one? We continue our ranking today on Heavy Metal Mania with songs 141-150!Check out the link at the end of today's list to see the other lists that have already been taken care of!

150. The Man of Sorrows - The Book of Souls

The lowest song from Iron Maiden's latest album, The Book of Souls, comes in solidly at number 150. It is the album's penultimate song as following it is the epic "Empire of the Clouds." The first half of the song reminds me a lot of a song from Bruce Dickinson's 1997 solo album Accident of Birth, that was also titled "Man of Sorrows!" Whether or not those songs share any connection is a mystery, but this man clearly is depressed, which most of us would be if we were the subject of one of Maiden's most boring songs. The instrumental piece in the middle is pretty nice, but that can hardly save this track which was doomed from the start. It should be noted that this song was written by Dave Murray and Steve Harris, so any thoughts of Bruce just bringing up an old song are moot. This is Murray's only contribution on the album. He usually only writes one to two songs per album, and it is a shame he could not whip out something like "Still Life" or "The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg." Oh well, there is always next album!

149. The Apparition - Fear of the Dark

1992's Fear of the Dark featured quite a few filler songs. "The Apparition" is probably one of those songs. It is challenging to have this song so low. The lyrics are some of my favorite in Maiden's catalog. They are very psychological and offer some good advice. Iron Maiden has some amazing lyrics through their 155 songs and these are different, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. That being said, the music in the song is not able to back up the lyrics and is lackluster. This album feels like a way for Maiden to find out what things worked and did not work, which can be felt as a different mood carries throughout the album. This is one of those songs that did not work. It will never be forgotten by me though as a line from the song is my signature on the IMFC forum.

148. New Frontier - Dance of Death

What do Nicko McBrain and Ringo Starr have in common? Besides being legendary English drummers who now reside in the U.S., they are comically known for rarely writing for their respective bands. While Ringo has "Octopus's Garden" and "Don't Pass Me By," Nicko has "New Frontier" and ... well, that's it. Nicko has only written one song during his 35-year stay in Iron Maiden. Was "New Frontier" a shot of lyrical genius that Nicko had been hiding from the world? Not really, the lyrics are tied in with Nicko's religious awakening and God's displeasure of cloning. Apparently, Nicko got tricked... or talked into being a Christian in 1999 by his wife and a church he attended. If he's happy, we're happy, but come on Nick, write a better song 20 years from now!

147. Look for the Truth - The X Factor

When Blaze Bayley was singing "Here is the dream" on this track, I am sure it was heartfelt. Bayley had hit the big time by singing for one of metal's biggest bands. The actual lyrics of the song have nothing to do with anything positive as the protagonist of the song is dealing with some awful demons from his own mind. This song follows a format that most on this album do: A soft almost inaudible intro, depressing lyrics that sequence into a fast instrumental verse and chorus, a couple guitar solos, some "woah-ohs" and the outro. It is pretty simplistic, but it works on most of the songs. This is just the weakest of the bunch. Many people completely dispell the Bayley era and would rather have me plug all 19 songs from that era at the bottom of the list, but I will never do that. The Bayley era contains some amazing music, and The X Factor is one of my favorite Iron Maiden albums, Top 5 for sure. That may be hard to believe since I have thrown now two songs from this album in the bottom ten, but I really do enjoy the album for its dark-slow paced vibe.

146. Weekend Warrior - Fear of the Dark

This is one of the songs that is the hardest to find people defend. It is far from the best song Iron Maiden has ever recorded, but I enjoy the theme of it and the music fits. It is another one of those experimental songs that they had on this album. This one obviously does not work for Maiden, but it would be a good AC/DC song. The song deals with football fans who go and see a match just to get crazy and cause havoc. One could compare it to the Hillsborough tragedy or an average Buffalo Bills home game. Dave Murray and Janick Gers lay down some excellent guitar solos on this one.

145. Run Silent Run Deep - No Prayer for the Dying

The first song from No Prayer for the Dying to make the list is "Run Silent Run Deep." The lyrics had been originally written by Bruce for the Somewhere in Time album but had to stow them away for a few years since he was denied any songwriting on the band's 1986 album. That may have ultimately been a good thing as this is a rather weak track. The intro is neat, but the verse is poor. The chorus and solo pick it up a bit, but the song as a whole just is not too thrilling.

144. Sanctuary - Iron Maiden

In comes the hatred from the nostalgic group. Well, this song is really basic and sounds a bit out of place on this record. That could be because it is not an original Iron Maiden composition. Despite the fact that most releases credit "Iron Maiden" as the writer of this song, it was not originally written by Iron Maiden. It is a little-known fact that Rob Angelo, who resided in the band in 1977, wrote the song and later sold it to the band for £300. That's quite a little nugget isn't it? Well, that, coupled with the single cover from 1980[pictured above] are the only interesting things about this song. How this song has lasted through nearly every tour is a mystery to me. 

143. Satellite 15... the Final Frontier - The Final Frontier

Que the worst title track in Maiden history. The insanely long intro to this song is what kills it for me. If it was written to be an intro for the tour, that's understandable, but why leave it that long on the album? The theme could be interesting to some people into the sci-fi stuff, but it does not hit home personally. The chorus is nice, but that about does it. The rest of the album, fortunately, features some amazing music that far surpasses the first track.

142. Sun and Steel - Piece of Mind

Once again I will reiterate that every Iron Maiden is a masterpiece, there are just some that are better than others. We all have an opinion on what is the best and worst, so do not get your panties in a twist if a song you like is low on this list. "Sun and Steel" comes in as one of two filler songs wedged near the end of 1983's Piece of Mind. The other song appears later on this list, I am sure you know what it is. The tale of this song is quite interesting. It follows the life of Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi. The one part of the song that does not sit well with me is the opening intro. Every time I hear that I usually skip the song. The placing of this song and "Sanctuary" will undoubtedly get me the most criticism, but we could not leave the 80s songs completely unscathed this time around, could we?

141. The Angel and the Gambler - Virtual XI

Fans everywhere rejoice! "The Angel and the Gambler" has finally been ranked! There was a time when I thought this song was severely underrated and deserved to be played live. Those times have passed and I have succumbed to most people's pleading and have grown to not be as fond of this song as I once was. The whole intro of the song is just not very cool. The horn sounding keyboards are just so un-Iron Maiden that it hurts a bit. The lyrics are also cheesy and uninspired, like most of the lyrics found throughout Virtual XI. This song, along with another Virtual XI track, are fun to troll people with whenever the aux cord is passed your way. For that alone, it gets a higher ranking from me than most people. The version of the music video is much shorter and probably should have been that way on the album.

So there are 150-141. Next time we will rank 140-131! What are some of your least favorite Iron Maiden songs? Leave a comment and stay on the look for the next post on Heavy Metal Mania!



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