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2 stars I found this album during my obsession with Iron Maiden a few months ago. It obviously wasn't the most appealing album, but if it was Iron Maiden, I wanted to have it. Bottom line, it's not very good. The Music is not very well played, The Drummer is off time, which slows the whole song down [Iron Maiden], And it just doesn't deliver enough Iron Maidenish power. Sure if you're a collector then get it, it's quite hard to find. But, if you want to listen to some good Iron Maiden stuff, avoid this.
Report this review (#95425)
Posted Sunday, October 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars An already good sound

Iron Maiden demos from the seventies! The "Iron Maiden" song is interpreted by Harris and delivers a more 70's feel with its downtempo. But it still rocks. The main novelty here is the track "Invasion" which carries well its name. Agressive and catchy mini-epic song with great solos and lots of changes in only 3 minutes. You could easily imagine invaders and knights while listening to it. The last song is "Prowler", which, as for "Iron Maiden", is slower than in the album version, but still interesting as it sounds 70's.

Although I prefer the album versions, these demos are worth a try, especially for early IRON MAIDEN and heavy metal fans.

Report this review (#107757)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Soundhouse Tapes is the first ever recording from Iron Maiden. It´s a three track EP where two of the songs: Iron Maiden and Prowler would also appear on the debut album from Iron Maiden.

The music is early eighties british heavy metal ( or NWOBHM if you will) greatly influened by seventies hard rock acts like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Rainbow. There is also a minor influence from punk on The Soundhouse Tapes as well as on the debut album mainly due to how Paul Di'Anno sings. His raw vocal style sounds a bit like Ian Gillian gone punk ( Paul Di'Anno is not in the same league as Gillian though)

This recording is very raw and it wouldn´t be wrong to call this demo sound quality. There is still great power in the songs though. Even though Invasion is the weakest track on here it´s still one of the more rarely played Iron Maiden tracks and of course a great addition to any Iron Maiden collection.

The musicianship is not as accomplished as it would be later but the interplay between the musicians is still enjoyable. The playing is rough and unpolished. Note that a guy named Doug Sampson played the drums on the earliest releases from Iron Maiden. Clive Burr would not be the drummer in Iron Maiden until the debut album.

The cover art isn´t that exiting. Eddie is nowhere to be seen. There is a red background with a picture in the middle of the band playing live.

This is a groundbreaking release for british heavy metal and of course this one has got to be in your collection if you´re a hardcore Iron Maiden fan. For us regular folks who love Iron Maiden´s studio albums but don´t consider ourselves hardcore fans this is a curiosity that is enjoyable but quite frankly a bit unneccessary. This one is worth 2 stars as it is a fan thing only.

Report this review (#179377)
Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
3 stars THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES is an EP and very first release by IRON MAIDEN which came out in 1979 before their eponymous debut was released the following year. This is basically a bunch of demos that were recorded in one 24-hour session on December 31st, 1978 and recorded on that particular day because of the recording studio's discount prices over the New Year's holiday. Only 5000 copies of the original 7" vinyl LP were manufactured and the original pressing has become one pricey collectible for completists. This EP is notable as well for being the only release that features MAIDEN's first drummer Doug Sampson who was replaced by Clive Burr due to health problems.

The original release contains only three tracks. Two primitive versions of "Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" which would be re-recorded in better forms and appear on the full debut album. The third track "Invasion" is a song about a Viking invasion and never found a home on any future IRON MAIDEN album but was released as the b-side on the "Women In Uniform" single. The track would be reworked and eventually become "Invaders" on "The Number Of The Beast."

This short but sweet EP is by no means essential but it does show a glimpse into the nascency of one of the greatest and best selling metal bands in history. These rough and raw demo quality tracks are inferior to the re-recorded versions but even here they sound like the first version of the band with Paul Di'Anno as vocalist. The punk influences are more obvious on these tracks but this is clearly within the realms of fully formed NWOBHM. This EP was also pivotable for the band in that it got the attention of EMI records who snatched them up and offered a contract.

We all know what happens next. While these tracks are all early kick ass metal i find no need to shell out the dough to find this because all of these tracks would eventually find themselves on various compilations. Musically, however, despite the primitive feel heard here, this is quality IRON MAIDEN material and i love hearing these rough drafts in their hasty lo-fi splendor. While the band would go on to greatness it is a fun little dip into their early years to hear that they were masters of their game even at this early stage. 3.5 rounded down

Report this review (#1427250)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2015 | Review Permalink

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