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Somewhere Back In Time The Best Of 1980-1989
EMI (2008)

Iron Maiden

This compilation is an adequate stop-gap between 2006's 'Matter Of Life And Death' and - hopefully - the next new offering. Coinciding with the band's world tour of the same name, it brings together 15 nuggets from their prime period.

The spirit of this release is probably best summed up in the release of the free download version which times out after three plays: it's a great way of interesting younger punters in their back catalogue.

This collection cherry picks Maiden's first decade, starting with two tracks off 'Iron Maiden', released in April 1980 (The title track and 'Phantom Of the Opera' featured here as live versions from 'Live After Death' released in 1985).

The band really hit their stride with 1982's 'The Number of the Beast' and, unsurprisingly, four tracks are included. Nicko McBrain had joined by the time of 'Piece Of Mind' (1983) which is celebrated with one track 'The Trooper'.

'Powerslave' almost gave Maiden their second No.1 album and '2 Minutes To Midnight' still sounds as good as it did in 1984. 'Somewhere In Time' (1986) yields 'Wasted Years' and the decade closed with 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' (1988) which is represented by 'Can I Play With Madness' and 'The Evil That Men Do'.

Although there will be nothing here to tempt the Maiden fan - although they may deliberate over the selection - this is a welcome trawl through the band's early catalogue and a younger generation - who hear Maiden through countless modern metal band influences - should grab the original blueprint.


Review by David Randall

GRTR! Recommended

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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