This April, (April 11th to be precise) will mark 25 years since Iron Maiden’s magnificent Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son was released. To some Iron Maiden fans it is the anniversary of another terrific Iron Maiden album. Others may remember the first time they listened to the big radio hit “Can I Play With Madness,” or heard the pulsating bass lines of “The Clairvoyant” with fond glee. And while those are wonderful memories to look back on, the release of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son means a whole lot more to me. It marks 25 years since I became an Iron Maiden fan.
Certainly I had heard of the band prior to their 1988 record. I am sure that I heard “Number Of The Beast” or “Ace’s High” once or twice, but I never really paid much attention to them. Prior to 1988 I was still in junior high school thinking the Stray Cats were cool and believing that Van Halen was as heavy as metal music got. Then I entered high school. I discovered Manowar, Guns N Roses, and Iron Maiden. The first time I heard “Can I Play With Madness” on the local rock radio station (WDHA-FM), I was hooked. My jaw dropped. My heart pounded. What the heck was I hearing and who was the wonderful band singing “Can I play with matches?” I loved playing with matches! Yes, that’s a true story, I honestly believed the lyrics were “can I play with matches?”
Mixed up composition aside, I had fallen in love hard for this song and I had to have it. Soon after I got myself a copy of Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and proceeded to play it until it warped. From “Moonchild” to “Only The Good Die Young,” I loved it all. Every song was a gem to me. It was all fresh and unknown. This was much better than Van Halen and light years away from The Stray Cats. Iron Maiden were masters of rock to me and on the same plateau as the legendary Kiss. I had to hear more of them.
Fortunately for me, there was a nice back catalog that I slowly started to collect. Powerslave, Somewhere In Time, and Number Of The Beast were all owned before the year was over. My journey with Iron Maiden had begun. And while the other albums were fantastic, they never quite compared to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son in my eyes. To this day, they still don’t. I know deep down that Number Of The Beast is a better album overall, but Seventh Son will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the record that made me an Iron Maiden fan. I will always cherish that.
Now, 25 years later, Iron Maiden is gracing us with a remastered DVD from the Seventh Son tour. Maiden England ’88 came out this week and I am excited to get my hands on a copy and watch the magic come to life. Were I a teenager in high school, I would most likely watch this over and over and over again until it was ingrained in my brain. However, I am a full grown adult now, with full grown responsibilities. So while I may not be able to watch it more than once (maybe twice….) the time that I do spend watching it will be a cherished ride down memory lane. It will recall my past and bring back that nostalgic period of my youth where I fell in love with Iron Maiden forever … unto the end.
If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Maiden England ‘88. Not only does it contain the complete concert that has never been available on DVD, but there are a plethora of bonuses as well. Part three of the history of Iron Maiden, the original Twelve Wasted Years documentary, and five videos that you probably watched every time Headbanger’s Ball aired them. It’s the next step in a Maiden lover’s collection and definitely worth the price. (For the record that price is $17 at Amazon and Best Buy).
Up The Irons!!!
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