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THE TROOPER

Iron Maiden

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J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is certainly a cool single. It contains two songs, one superb track originally by Iron Maiden, and a Jethro Tull cover. I wouldn't recommend it to many people, but for fans seeing them playing Jethro Tull is pretty cool.

The first song, THE TROOPER, is an awesome song off of Iron Maiden's album Piece of Mind. It is one of the most awesome Maiden songs ever, and is pretty proggy. The guitar opening is pretty cool, and as a whole I really like the song. It is a classic by Iron Maiden, but whether or not you should buy it from this package is debatable. Since it is also found on an incredible album that you'll probably buy anyway, there's no reason to buy this package because of this song.

The second, and final, song on here is a cover of a classic Jethro Tull song, CROSS EYED MARY. It's pretty cool hearing a heavy metal band doing a cover of a prog folk band, and it really shows where Iron Maiden's roots come from. This can't be found anywhere else, so for a die hard Maiden fan, this is worth a try. For everyone else, it's not superb or anything, but is still cool.

So basically, this is only worth the purchase for a big Iron Maiden fan. The title track can be found somewhere else, and the Tull cover is interesting, but isn't amazing or anything like that. The only thing that made me give this 3 stars instead of 2 stars is that it is really cheap, and I got it for $2. So for a dirt cheap price, it's worth it for anyone looking for something cool from Iron Maiden.

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Posted Monday, January 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.)

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Send comments to The Whistler (BETA) | Report this review (#224638)
Posted Sunday, July 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'The Trooper' - Iron Maiden (Single)

Lock n' Load!

This has got to be one of my favourite tracks by the Maiden. Tight musicianship, blistering riffs and some great vocals come together to make 'The Trooper,' a tragic story of the Crimean war set to one of the most energetic and powerful songs in the band's discography.

The song revolves around a nameless soldier in the British army fighting against the Russian Empire. Bruce Dickinson's vocals are in top form here, and the harmonies during the chorus make for a very catchy hook amidst the fury. Add in a few great guitar solo moments and there you have it. A classic.

The b-side here is a cover of Jethro Tull's 'Cross-Eyed Mary.' Even though the original style is completely different than what Iron Maiden generally does, they make the song their own with a strong bass presence and air raid wails, courtesy of Bruce. The song itself doesn't do alot for me, but it certainly is the sort of thing that's worth giving a few listens.

A classic from Maiden with a mediocre b-side.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#286699)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permalink

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