From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 (2011) by Iron Maiden

Categories: 1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, and 2011.

I accidentally picked this up thinking it was a compilation of their ’80s music. Ah well. I learned a couple of things from this record: First, Iron Maiden has a formula and they stuck to it (at least on the songs considered their “best”). Second, I should never get a live Iron Maiden album. It’s pretty clear from listening to this record that Maiden is just milking their sound for all its worth. Sure, some of these songs are pretty catchy and everything is very professional and competent, but so many of these songs follow the exact same formula. And Read More

British Steel (1980) by Judas Priest

Categories: 1980 and Music.

I have heard that this was sort of the Black Album of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal – the genre’s more popular and most accessible record to date. I don’t know Judas Priest, and I have no idea how much of a departure this was from earlier Priest albums, but it’s certainly sginificantly more accessible than Maiden or Motorhead (also, obviously far more “metal” than the latter). For years I have struggled with purposefully accessible music, wondering if artists sell out when they make their sound easier to access for the public. When I was young the idea Read More

Iron Maiden (1980)

Categories: 1980 and Music.

My knowledge of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal has been confined to Motorhead and the genre’s influences (primarily Thrash) for most of my metal-listening life. I was aware of its importance but never really had the time to give it much of a chance.The joke in the older metal camp is that Maiden is just faster “Achilles Last Stand” ad nauseum. That couldn’t be far from the truth. In fact, I barely hear the gallop here.Instead what I hear is a band that has managed to almost perfectly united the conventions of mid ’70s metal (especially the guitar Read More

Heaven and Hell (1980) by Black Sabbath

Categories: 1980 and Music.

I’m struggling here, really struggling. I honestly don’t know Sabbath post 1971. I’ve never gotten around to listening to those records because…well, there’s a lot of music in the world. And I’ve been happy enough to listen to the first few albums. So I don’t know what happened to Sabbath in the late seventies. Certainly there seems to be a consensus that they sucked.And I don’t know Dio really. I know the legend of Dio, but I don’t know him. I don’t know Elf, I don’t know Rainbow, I know maybe one song of his from movies (and honestly I Read More