What does it sound like?:
In 2015 the band’s studio back catalogue was remastered for digital release, those versions of the albums being subsequently used for the vinyl reissues, and now they are on cd for the first time. This batch comprises Powerslave, Somewhere In Time, Seventh Son and No Prayer For the Dying, covering the years 1984 – 90.
First up is Powerslave, containing maybe the band’s best ever track Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, although it also has long standing favourites such as Aces High and Two Minutes To Midnight, not to mention the title track. Quite a good record, although as with many Maiden albums it has its share of filler!
Next up is Somewhere In Time, an album where guitarist Adrian Smith took a more prominent role, coming up with tracks like Wasted Years and Stranger In A Strange Land. The album marked something of a change in sound with guitar synths being heavily featured throughout. Again, a good album in parts but with the usual quota of average stuff.
Now we reach what for me is the highpoint of the band’s career, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, a classic from start to finish and an album they never bettered .At the time Harris described it as the band’s Dark Side Of The Moon, which is perhaps stretching a point, but nevertheless this is a very strong album, the zenith of their career.
Finally, No Prayer For The Dying, a rather lacklustre effort, with Smith having departed and been replaced by Janick Gers on second guitar. Holy Smoke is the best of a very run of the mill bunch, while Mother Russia tries hard to be the usual epic closing track but falls short by some distance.
Three out of four ain’t bad, and it’s good to hear these classic rock/metal albums being rejuvenated and given a new lease of life.
What does it all *mean*?
I always think it’s somewhat in the ear of the beholder as to whether remastered versions such as these do actually sound sufficiently better to justify buying them again. I’m not sure if these do, they seem louder but not that different otherwise, and as they’re straight reissues there’s no bonus tracks included.
Goes well with…
NWOBHM, classic British rock.
Might suit people who like…
The first four albums in this series appeared late last year, with more to follow in the coming months.