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Iron Maiden - The Soundhouse Tapes CD (album) cover

THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES

Iron Maiden

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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
Modrigue
PROG REVIEWER
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
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Soundhouse Tapes" is the first EP release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The EP was released through the bandīs own label Rock Hard Records in November 1979. The original vinyl version of "The Soundhouse Tapes" was limited to 5000 copies, which were sold by mail order alone. The three tracks featured on the 11:28 minutes long EP ("Iron Maiden", "Invasion" and "Prowler") were originally recorded on New Years Eve of 1978 along with "Strange World" for a demo tape the band used to send to venues to book gigs. Before recording the demo Iron Maiden had a hard time finding gigs, but 1979 proved to be a fruitful year for the band, who played lots of shows and received great responses from the audience. The band were often met with a demand for recorded material by the fans after the shows, and thatīs how the idea to release "The Soundhouse Tapes" was born. So the three tracks ("Strange World" was left off the EP, because the band werenīt satisfied with the production values on that particular track) featured on "The Soundhouse Tapes" are actually demos.

"Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" were both re-recorded and included on the bandīs 1980 self-titled debut album while "Invasion" was re-recorded and included as a B-side on the "Women in Uniform (1980)" single. Both "Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" appear here in more or less the versions that youīll hear on the debut album, albeit in more raw sounding and slower paced versions. "Invasion" is slightly less heavy metal oriented and reminds me a bit of early Rush. Itīs not as catchy or infectiously aggressive as the other two tracks and itīs obvious why it wasnīt included on the debut album, but chosen as a B-side track on a single instead.

"The Soundhouse Tapes" is ultimately a pretty decent first recording by Iron Maiden although the later more professional studio versions of the tracks sound much better and are also more aggressive due to the higher pace and the more distorted guitar sound. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#179377)
Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
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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