Everything at work ran like clockwork, which made the morning go quickly. This meant that I could pop into Watford, at lunch, to buy the much anticipated 15th studio album by Iron Maiden, The Final Frontier! I had been waiting for this album for months and finally today was the day I would get it and listen to it. Iron Maiden had put one of the tracks from the album, ‘El Dorado’, on their website as a free download. This, I thought, gave everyone some indication of the sound of the album as a whole. Wrong!!! The style and composition of each track is incredible. From some heavy songs to amazing riffs to ‘Metal Ballads’. (If there is such a thing.) This album has a completely different sound to some of their recent albums, but then is very similar to them. It also has pieces that sound as though they could have been taken from their albums from the early 80’s, but are a lot heavier. And yet it has some amazingly soft tones to it. With each listen you get a better appreciation of how this band have grown and you can also see that there is no way they are going to stop… yet. Having listened to it for the last few evenings, when I have had the house to myself, it grows and grows on you. I thought that on first listening to it, that the song ‘Coming home’ was my favourite. Then it changed to ‘The Talisman’, then ‘When the Wild Wind Blows’. Now, I can’t pick out a favourite. Each song is unique and deserves to be a favourite. It is very rare that an album can hold my attention through 10 tracks, running at over 76 minutes, and I find that I don’t want to skip a single song. This is quickly becoming my second favourite Iron Maiden album ever! After ‘Number of the Beast.’ If you get the chance, give it a listen.
Up the Irons!!!
On August 16th 1977, the World lost one of its greatest performers. Elvis Aaron Presley.
Knowing this I knew that my friend, Len, would be round for a few drinks after work. He is a complete Elvis nut who is currently saving to go to Graceland in 2012. Sure enough he turned up. I was listening to my new Iron Maiden Album, ‘The Final Frontier’, when Len arrived. We cracked open a few cans and we sat in the garden while the CD came to its finish. Then I put Elvis on. Not your normal hits or anything. I put on his unreleased, live, rare, demo, one-off songs. Ofcourse the first one I played was ‘I washed my hands in muddy water’. This is one of Len’s favourites, and mine. Len didn’t even know this song existed until I played it for him a couple of years ago. We had got talking in the pub and I asked Len if he had heard ‘Don’t cry Daddy’ by Elvis and Lisa-Marie? He said, ‘No’ and that there was no such version. So i went home put the song on my phone and went back to the pub the following day and played it for him. Apologies all round. We quickly became good friends and I told him to pop over the house, and i would play some more tracks that I was sure he had never heard. Sure enough there were quite a few songs he hadn’t heard. Or, rather, he had heard the songs but not the versions I had. This was especially true of the aforementioned, ‘Muddy Water’. So we sat in the garden, drinking beer and listening to Elvis.
A little after Len had left , my cousin Mark came round. He was only down for one day, from Norwich, and had spent the afternoon with the Grandparents and his Uncle. Then I had called him and told him that i would be very upset if he didn’t pop in to see me and Emma. So, he did. Emma had gone to a friends to drop in a Birthday present for our friends daughter, so Mark and I sat in the garden, with a beer. Since Len had gone home, Iron Maiden was playing again. Not soloud to deafen, but just enough to be heard in the background. We sat and talked and joked and basically caught up. Emma returned and they talked for a bit before Mark had to leave. As he was staying at my Mum’s, he thought that he should get there earlyish, so that he could speak to her too. So we said our goodbyes and he left.