Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

The definitive Iron Maiden album is Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. A concept album, consisting of eight songs that reflect Iron Maiden’s best attributes as individual musicians and as a cohesive rock band. It is also Iron Maiden’s seventh studio album, hence the title fits quite well.

Iron Maiden Album - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

It begins with “A Word from our Sponsor…” Moonchild starts with keyboards! A first for Iron Maiden and something which the band would later embrace for select songs in other albums to come. The lyrics relate how Lucifer is threatened by the birth of the Seventh Son and wants to claim him for his own bidding. It is both a menacing threat and offer to humanity to give up the power of the chosen one.

Infinite Dreams is told from the point of view of the Seventh Son, where he questions the meaning of life and if we are reborn. This song is also one of Bruce Dickinson’s best vocal performances; a perfect blend of holding long notes similar to Hallowed By Thy Name (Number of The Beast) but even better.

In almost every tale there is of course an old man that warns of things to come and that is what Can I Play with Madness entails. The Seventh Son asks the old man what future he has, given such powers. It never ends well and so you already know the answer to the question you ask.

The Evil That Men Do is about regret, love, and the choices we make. We live, we balance ourselves on an edge. We all eventually fall. We accept our fate and move pass the tragedy, the evil that we do.

Now if you had the album on cassette, this is where you flipped to side 2 and got to song number 5: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The title song marks another great vocal performance for Bruce, however it is more a showcase for the instrumental side of Iron Maiden. It allows for great solo work by Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, along with the accompanying awesomeness of Steve Harris on bass, and Nicko McBrain on drums. For me this is an instrumental and a great one at that.

In The Prophecy, the Seventh Son speaks to the world of the disaster that looms, but no one heeds a lunatic prophet. This is perhaps the first song we get that is a bit weaker compared to the rest of the perfect five songs that preceded it. On any other album, The Prophecy would be stellar, but on this album specifically it falls just a tad.

By the time, we get to song number 7, you might thing we are done, but no, The Clairvoyant is a classic Maiden song. It begins with a Steve Harris bass line and then springs into action with the guitars and drums. The chorus is absolutely Maiden at their best. The song is about the duality of life and death. Without the other, the other has no meaning. Moonchild and The Clairvoyant are the most live performed songs. I honestly can’t pick which one is my favorite.

All things must end and Only the Good Die Young closes out the stellar album. Unfortunately, the song rehashes a lot of the same topics covered in the previous seven songs and for me it is the least interesting song of the eight.

In conclusion, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the perfect Iron Maiden album. It showcases the classic lineup of Iron Maiden at the peak of their abilities. It is definitely without a doubt the best vocal performance from Bruce Dickinson. Music wise, it is the most balanced of the studio albums, where all the instruments come in at the right volume.


  1. Moonchild
  2. Infinite Dreams
  3. Can I Play with Madness
  4. The Evil That Men Do
  5. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
  6. The Prophecy
  7. The Clairvoyant
  8. Only the Good Die Young

Rush At I-Wireless Center

Rush on Stage in Moline IllinoisOn Tuesday – May 20th, 2008 we drove down to Moline IL, and enjoyed an evening with Rush. It is not often that a big name rock group like Rush comes close to Iowa, and so I could not pass up a chance to see the power trio of Rush live. With no opening act, I believe Velvet Revolver was suppose to open up for them, they played at 7:45 to 11pm with one 20 minute intermission an hour into the show. I took my ten year old son, so he could enjoy his first concert. I am sure some day he will remember this day and think he actually got to see them play live instead of just downloading them on iTunes. They opened up with Limelight and then played most of the songs from the Snakes And Arrows album. The big moments of the show were of course Subdivisions, 2112, and Tom Sawyer.

Rush on Stage with spotlightsRush Stage during intermissionDisappointing for me was that they did not play any songs from the Counterparts album which is one my favorite Rush albums. The i-Wireless Center is a very clean arena and while they did not allow cameras, I was able to take these somewhat fuzzy pictures with my iPhone, (click on the top picture to see a higher resolution). The concert used smoke machines, so it was not possible to get a clean photo at times. Our seats were in the balcony, however there were three large projection screens behind the band that allowed you to see close ups of the band during most of their solos. Without a doubt the drumming solo was the best and went on for what seemed an hour. By comparison the Rush crowd was pretty relaxed, compared to a heavy metal concert like The Heaven And Hell tour with Dio and Black Sabbath. Rush played very solid and loud. I could not make out any of the vocals, but considering where we sat that was to be expected. Overall I enjoyed the Rush concert and I hope my kid thanks me later for taking him.

Up next for me is the Iron Maiden – Somewhere Back On Tour concert. This is one I am really looking forward to since I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan for multiple decades now and Bruce Dickinson is back doing vocals.

Cheap Music

In my lifetime I must have owned more than thirty different Sony Walkmans. Just cleaning my basement last month, I found my collection of over three hundred cassettes. Like most teenagers, I lived music. From 80’s style pop music, to Chicago House dance music, to heavy metal guitar bands, I listened to it all. But as you get older, music becomes less important in your life, and you just do not have the time to sit back and lose yourself as much. Sure I have an iPod, but it somehow isn’t the same. On some weekends, I drive the pickup truck, which still has a tape deck (haven’t had the time to make a new car stereo a priority), and usually listen to an old mix tape.

Of late I have started to buy music again. The Lynyrd Skynyrd’s All Time Greatest Hits is a good collection of southern rock hits to listen to while driving. Last week I picked up The Very Best of Kiss, which I haven’t yet listened to, and I’m still not sure why exactly I got my first KISS album, other than I watch a lot of Family Guy and Halloween and KISS, kind of go together. Regardless, one big reason I bought these albums, was the $9.99 sale price. Most newer music releases nowadays are overpriced (not to mention over-hyped) and simply not worth buying. Online downloads have only made it worse, because they have made the album worthless, if you can get only the two or three singles you want at a fraction, why even bother with the CD? The Register has an interesting interview with music insider Petter Jenner in which he implicates the record industry of destroying their own retail CD sales:

The record companies have increased their margin on downloads, because the costs have been ripped out. So they’ve cut the artists royalties and raised their margin. But because they’ve replaced an album with a single they’ve helped destroy the retail industry, they’re now in a position where they’re completely fucked.

As for decent rock music, I’d have to say that Pearl Jam and U2 are the definitive rock bands. They have outlasted the critics and their peers, and while I’m a bit skeptical of U2’s recent work, Pearl Jam is as solid as AC/DC.