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Under The Radar - Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time (1986)

What can say I about this band that hasn’t been said before? With 40 years in the business, Maiden is still one the biggest and influential bands on the planet. They’ve sold over 90 million records and have over 2000 live shows under their belt. It’s their dedication to the fans, relentless touring and highly imaginative albums that have made them the legends they are today. Not to mention they’ve never catered to critics or musical trends.

Of course with such a long and winding history, there are bound to be highs, lows and even shades of gray; but one thing is for certain, all those aspects in the band’s history do sure make for some great conversations. Either among Maiden fans but with music fans in general.

This being said and without further ado, I would like to bring up the multiple platinum forgotten album, Somewhere in Time (SIT). This 8 track album was released September 29th 1986, and was the first album in the Maiden repertoire to incorporate the use of synthesizers. Now the way I see it, SIT’s biggest problem was the fact that it fell between the Powerslave and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son albums, kind of like a forgotten middle child. Powerslave is undoubtedly considered the quintessential Maiden album. It’s also the album that broke them into the mainstream and solidified them as one of the biggest bands on the planet. Then there is the semi concept album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which is considered by most fans as the last great Maiden album.

In all honesty SIT is still a very good Iron Maiden record and deserves a second chance to be rediscovered; not only by Maiden fans but music fans alike. Songs like Caught Somewhere in Time, Wasted Years, Stranger in a Strange Land and Heaven Can Wait rank with some of the band’s best.

Unlike Crazy Nights from Kiss and Turbo from Judas Priest, Iron Maiden successfully incorporated the synthesizers into the album. Not only did the synthesizers add a different texture to the songs, it seemed to fit in with the “futuristic” theme of the record.

The bottom line: SIT deserves its place in Maiden history. For the most part the songs hold up and unlike some of the other rock albums from the 80’s, the songs have not fallen victim to sounding like a product of its time. The songs sound just as fresh and vibrant as the day of their release. So, if you like Iron Maiden and don’t have this album in your collection, it’s time to revisit this overlooked and unfairly forgotten album.

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