By 1982, Iron Maiden (from England) was one of the up and coming heavy metal bands storming the lands and chose to record their fourth album less than a year after the release of Number of the Beast, which marked the band with plenty of inspiration and energy, and Bruce Dickinson’s incredible vocal skills. As many know, in the early 80s the United States went through a bit of silly and yet dangerous occurrence called ‘Satanic Panic’ and Iron Maiden found themselves in madness with their previous album, therefore they reacted with some mocking that grew over the years into a mix truth and lore. The band endured and carried on with a career spanning 43-years and launched them into so many incredible adventures from comic books to action figurines of the legendary mascot Eddie to video games ‘Legacy of the Beast’, a band that tours on a special design plane known as Ed Force One and at times reference as Flight 666. In fact, Dickinson, at times piloted Ed Force One, as he’s a highly qualified and well-trained Captain, not many bands have their lead singer doing this double duty service.

Therefore, on May 16, 2018, the band celebrated the 35-anniversary of Piece of Mind, a stellar album, that some modern metal listeners find sadly boring or just dull, I’m honestly unsure how that’s possible, but to each own. What makes this album special to me personally, the band wrote most of the songs in New Jersey, at Hotel le Chalet (no longer in existence) during the off-season and by February 1983 traveled to the warmer weather of the Bahamas to record the alum. In addition, the band featured another line-up change which Nicko McBrain replacing Clive Burr at the drummer position.

Each track of this incredible album, thoroughly interesting and memorable hence let’s start the journey with the first song “Where Eagles Dare” which retells a portion of director Brian G. Hutton’s movie the story of the same-titled from 1968 that starred Clint Eastwood. It works wonders in creating a powerful representation of brave soldiers fighting the Nazis, during WWII in Bavarian Alps, complete with soaring riffs and sounds of machine gun firing, and explosions. Dickinson gave a solid contribution to ‘Revelations’ with track opening in slow ballad, which included quotes from British author G.K. Chesterton and later references of Aleister Crowley. The music runs at a slow and steady pace, but for one portion becomes a tad faster before slowing again for the verses. The third track “Flight of Icarus” returns to a solid footing in metal with the retelling of a famous Greek legend dealing with ignorance and awareness, which shines as Bruce holds a note for an extra-long time, (many fans to recreate it, and fail).

“Die with Your Boots On” the fourth track returns to the theme of war with solid verses, and worthy guitar riffs, followed by the classic “The Trooper” often these two songs find themselves played back-to-back, just listening to the songs and understanding the deeper meaner gives a profound impact of the music. Author Ramsey Campbell’s short story “The Inhabitant of the Lake,” became the source for inspiring the track ‘Still Life’ as the sixth track, which starts slow, but excels nicely, providing a horror filled song of nightmares and synthesized “Piece of Mind” reference to the cover artwork. ‘Quest for Fire’ the song about discovering the fire in ancient times and fighting to protect the discovery, once again the music a fun banter. ‘Sun and Steel’ once more, the theme reappears of killing and war, in which the lyrics tell of a 13-year-old killing his first opposition, but growing to a warrior of killing, taking and repeating “Sun and Steel” over and over, presented as the eighth song. The closeout track ‘To Tame a Land’ tells of story closely similar to that Dune, but for legality reasons the name of the song changes as well as key portions of lyrics and choruses.

Track List:

  1. Where Eagles Dare
  2. Revelations
  3. Flight of Icarus
  4. Die with Your Boots On
  5. The Trooper
  6. Still Life
  7. Quest for Fire
  8. Sun and Steel
  9. To Tame a Land


Band Members:

Vocals: Bruce Dickinson

Guitar: Dave Murray

Guitar: Adrian Smith

Bass: Steve Harris

Drums: Nicko McBrain


Fans of any band always tried to figure their own personal ranking of albums, and the more they have the harder the task, as for myself, a fan of this band, I included my ranking below of the top five. As for the ‘Piece of Mind’ the album shows not just talented musicianship throughout the songs, but the intelligent creation of them, with references to authors, poets, historical battles, legends, parables, and lastly nightmares. Iron Maiden remains a true testament and treasure for current and new fans in search of the roots of metal.

My ranking:

  1. ‘The Number of the Beast’ (1982)
  2. ‘Piece of Mind’ (1983)
  3. ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ (1988)
  4. ‘Powerslave’ (1984)
  5. ‘Somewhere in Time (1986)

Note, in 1995 a reissue bonus disc came with this album that included to cover tracks, first “I Got the Fire” [Monstrose cover] and then “Cross-Eyed Mary” [Jethro Tull cover].


Baron’s Rating: 4.5/5


Band’s Links: