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Iron Maiden - The Trooper CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.59 | 44 ratings

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The Whistler
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Stupid story, the cover of this single is what got me into Iron Maiden. See, I am a firm believer in "if you wear a shirt, you'd better listen to the band." I saw the shirt with the Trooper image on it, and realized that I NEEDED THAT DAMN SHIRT. But I didn't listen to Iron Maiden. I mean, c'mon! Dude! Eighties metal? Wasn't that the genre in which the words "love" or "rock" had to be in the title by royal decree? Or had Dio bellowing about hairy dragons?

Well, anyway, I gave myself a small taste of Iron Maiden (the instrumental "Ghengis Khan" I do believe), realized that I really liked the sound, bought a couple albums, and BOOM! Here I am, two years later, half the band's discography under my belt...and I still don't own the shirt. Weird how that happens, eh?

Anyway, it's hard to give a single a much higher rating than a three...I mean, dude, there's only two songs on it (and I've already ranted about a shirt for half the review), but somehow, this lil' puppy manages to be better than the Piece of Mind album. First off, the band based the single on what I considered the best song off that wretched album (coincidence? I think not), "The Trooper." Complete with a driving bassline, tricky riffage, a shouty chorus, crazy- yet-mechanical soloing, and pointlessly literary lyrics, it's pretty much Maiden by numbers. But it's good Maiden by numbers, and that's what counts.

However, the b-side is a cover of the Maiden's favorite band, Jethro Tull. The song is "Cross-Eyed Mary," which is a better song than anything the Maiden themselves could have written at the time. How the hell does the prog/punk metal outfit Iron Maiden play a flute driven piece, you ask? Well, without flutes...and pretty darn well all things considered. The song is sped up, naturally, and the riffage sounds twice as angry. It doesn't eclipse the original or anything, but it's a good cover, showcasing what made the original so good without being exactly the same.

Anyway, 3.5 stars is probably too much, but I'm straddling the line here...three is certainly in order for anyone who likes heavy music and has good taste in shirts. Four would be considered for Maiden/Tull fans who want to see how the groups interact (now, all we need is Ian Anderson and the gang to cover "Powerslave," and we'll be in business).

(IN HINDSIGHT...yeah, 3.5 might be a tad much. Not that making it an even three changes the rating...or that anyone pays attention to those things anyway.)

The Whistler | 3/5 |


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