Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)


Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)
Somewhere In Time
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 29 September 1986
Recorded 1985-1986
Compass Point Studios
(Nassau, Bahamas)
Wisseloord Studios
(Hilversum, Netherlands)
Genre Heavy metal
Length 51:24
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden chronology
Powerslave
(1984)
Somewhere in Time
(1986)
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
(1988)
Singles from Somewhere in Time
  1. "Wasted Years"
    Released: 6 September 1986
  2. "Stranger in a Strange Land"
    Released: 22 November 1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars [2]
Wiki letter w.svg This table needs to be expanded using prose. See the guideline for more information.

Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 September 1986 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the US (it was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 1998). The studio follow-up to the hugely successful Powerslave/Live After Death pair, it was the first Iron Maiden album to feature guitar synthesizers.[3]

Since its release, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over 1,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone.[4]

Somewhere On Tour was the release's supporting tour.

Contents

History

Somewhere in Time is notable for lacking any songwriting credits from lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band.[5] Dickinson had written several "acoustic-based" songs, explaining that "I felt we had to come up with our Physical Graffiti or Led Zeppelin IV ... we had to get it onto another level or we'd stagnate and drift away," although Steve Harris "thought he'd lost the plot completely," surmising that "he was probably more burnt out than anyone at the end of that last tour."[5] On the other hand, the record is also notable for the number of "fully formed" songs written by guitarist Adrian Smith,[6] who wrote both of the album's singles; "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Although "space and time" are common themes throughout the release, with songs such as "Wasted Years," "Caught Somewhere in Time" and "Deja-Vu," the band never intended for it to be a concept album, with Steve Harris stating, "We certainly never went in there and said, 'Right let's write a load of songs on the subject of time.'"[7] While the majority of the release's songs have disappeared from the band's live shows shortly after its supporting tour, "Wasted Years" and "Heaven Can Wait" have often been played since. Performances of "Heaven Can Wait" have featured a group of local fans and celebrities invited onstage to sing along during the song's middle section.[8]

The record also marked a change for Iron Maiden, as it was their first to use synth, although this style was expanded on with their next release, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which added keyboards.[9] This was also their first studio album not to be released a year after their previous one, with the band insisting that they have more time "to get it right without hurrying for a change," comments Harris.[3] It was also one of their most expensive records, with the bass and drums recorded in the Bahamas, the guitars and vocals recorded in Holland and the mixing taking place in New York.[3]

The 2008 tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, released by Kerrang! magazine, features covers of two of the album's songs; "Wasted Years" by DevilDriver and "Caught Somewhere in Time" by Madina Lake.[10]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Caught Somewhere in Time"     7:26
2. "Wasted Years"   Adrian Smith 5:08
3. "Sea of Madness"   Adrian Smith 5:42
4. "Heaven Can Wait"     7:21
5. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"     6:31
6. "Stranger in a Strange Land"   Adrian Smith 5:44
7. "Deja-Vu"   Dave Murray, Steve Harris 4:56
8. "Alexander the Great"     8:36

Personnel

Production

  • Martin Birch – producer, engineer, mixing, tape operator
  • Albert Boekholt – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Ronald Prent – engineer, assistant engineer

Chart performance

Album

Year Chart Position
1986 Austrian Albums Chart 10[11]
Norwegian Albums Chart 8[12]
Swedish Albums Chart 6[13]
Swiss Albums Chart 22[14]
UK Albums Chart 3[15]
U.S. Billboard Hot 200 11[16]
1998 German Albums Chart 8[17]

Singles

Year Single Chart Position Album
1986 "Wasted Years" Irish Singles Chart 11[18] Somewhere in Time
UK Singles Chart 18[19]
"Stranger in a Strange Land" Irish Singles Chart 18[18]
UK Singles Chart 22[20]
1990 "Wasted Years/ Stranger in a Strange Land" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 9[21]

Notes

  1. ^ Re-release of both singles as part of "The First Ten Years" box set. Exceeded the length limit of the UK Singles chart.

Cover artwork

The cover for Somewhere in Time, created by the band's then regular artist, Derek Riggs, displays a cyborg-enhanced Eddie in a futuristic, Blade Runner-inspired environment.[22] Much like the visual richness of the cover of Powerslave, the wrap-around album cover holds a plethora of references to earlier Iron Maiden albums and songs,[23] such as:

  • The street sign on the corner where Eddie is standing says Acacia (partially obscured), a reference to the song "22 Acacia Avenue" from The Number of the Beast album.[23][24]
  • Below "Acacia" is a poster of Eddie from the first album, with graffiti reading "Eddie lives" written on it.[24] Torn posters are also featured on the Sanctuary and Women in Uniform singles.
  • A banner with the words, "This is a very boring painting" is displayed backwards within the lobby of the Bradbury Towers Hotels International. This can be seen to the left of Eddie's right leg.[23]
  • In the very centre, just above the "Department" sign and behind the cable going to the cyborg's weapon, there is a small vertical phrase in red neon, which reads "Меня Рвёт" [Menya Rvyot], Russian for "I'm vomiting" — or more literally, "it's tearing me up", depending on the context.
  • An Eye of Horus neon sign at the top of a building, a reference to the song, "Powerslave".[25]
  • Under Eddie's left leg there is a rubbish bin attached to a lamppost, identical to the one seen on the cover of the "Iron Maiden" album.[24]
  • The haloed black cat from the back cover of Live After Death is on the pavement behind Eddie.[25]
  • Below the the Eye of Horus is the name, "Websters," a tribute to Charlie Webster, EMI's art director.[24]
  • Derek Riggs' artistic signature symbol can be found on Eddie's chest.

References on the back include:

  • A clock reading 23:58 ("2 Minutes to Midnight").[23]
  • Below the clock there is a sign which reads "Phantom Opera House," in reference to the song "Phantom of the Opera" from the first album.[24]
  • The words "Bollocks again & again" appear just below the "Phantom Opera House".
  • A building on the left side carries the sign, "Aces High Bar," a reference to the song ("Aces High") of the same name.[23]
  • Flying over the "Aces High Bar" is a Spitfire from the "Aces High" cover.[25]
  • To the left of the "Aces High Bar" are four letters in yellow and green. These are Hebrew letters spelling out the name of God, namely יהוה, Jehovah/Yahweh.[24]
  • Below the "Aces High Bar", is a sign that says "Sand Dune" in reference to their song "To Tame a Land," from Piece of Mind, based on the novel Dune.
  • Pyramids in the background , a reference to the Powerslave album.[25]
  • Among the pyramids, a grim reaper, similar to that which appears on the covers of "The Trooper" and Live After Death.[25]
  • The marquee for the cinema reads Blade Runner, the film which inspired the album's cover.[22] It also reads "Live After Death", the name of their 1985 live album.[23][24]
  • The cinema is named "Philip K. Dick Cinema", named after the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book on which the film Blade Runner was based.[25]
  • More Blade Runner references include "Dekkers Department Stores" and a "Tyrell Corp" sign.[25]
  • In the background, "Bradbury Towers" can be seen, a likely reference to the Blade Runner prominent Bradbury Building located in Los Angeles.[24]
  • To the right of the clock is a neon sign which reads "Ancient Mariner Seafood Restaurant", a reference to the song "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" from the Powerslave album.
  • On the bottom left hand side of the cover is "The Ruskin Arms", famous for being one of the first venues which Iron Maiden performed in.[23][24]
  • On the second floor of the "Ruskin Arms" building is a woman sitting in a red lit room which, a reference to "Charlotte", a repeated character in the band's songs.[26]
  • Just above "The Ruskin Arms" is a neon sign that reads "RAINBOW", another famous venue where Iron Maiden recorded a video in 1980.
  • Above and to the left of the "Rainbow" sign is a neon sign reading "L'AMOURS Beer Gardens", a reference to the "L'Amours" rock venue Iron Maiden once played in Brooklyn, New York.[24]
  • On the roof of the same building is the TARDIS from the BBC TV series Doctor Who.[24] The TARDIS is also featured on the cover of the "Wasted Years" single.
  • Above the Bradbury Towers neon sign is Icarus in flames falling from the sky, in the same style of the cover for the band's 1983 single "Flight of Icarus".[23][24] According to Riggs, Icarus is supposed to look like the logo used by Swan Song Records, a label founded by Led Zeppelin.[27]
  • On the walkway above the clock is an electronic sign that says "LATEST RESULTS.......WEST HAM 7........ARSENAL 3", a nod to bass guitarist Steve Harris who is a West Ham supporter.[24]
  • At the right edge below, just near the band, there is another sign in Russian - Кефир ("KEFIR"), which means "yoghurt".[24]
  • Just above the "KEFIR" sign is a street sign reading "Upton Park," which is where West Ham's football stadium is located.
  • There is a sign which reads "Tonight: Gypsy's Kiss", a reference to the first band Steve Harris ever played in.[25]
  • On the right side, above the "Bradbury Towers" sign, is a sign in Japanese, "浅田 彰," which refers to a notable Japanese philosopher, economist and critic, Akira Asada.
  • To the right of the pyramids is a sign reading "Long Beach Arena," which is where most of the Live After Death album was recorded.[23]
  • The Syncom sign refers to the 1961 NASA program of the same name.
  • The neon sign above the band reads "Maggies Revenge" and refers to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who appears on the cover of the Sanctuary and Women in Uniform singles.
  • One of the buildings is labelled "Asimov Foundation", a reference to the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.[25]
  • A character wearing a large cloak stands above the walkway's right side, which Riggs claims is Batman.[26]
  • Just below the cloaked character and just above the "Latest Results" sign is the bracket that holds Eddie's skull together from the Piece of Mind album onwards, which Riggs drew as a cartouche.[26]
  • In the bottom right hand corner all five members of the band are standing in a line. Bruce Dickinson is holding a brain, a reference to Piece of Mind, and Nicko is wearing aviator goggles (he had a pilot's license by this time, long before Dickinson) and a t-shirt that says "Iron What?". According to Riggs, the band complained because the pictures of themselves weren't accurate enough.[25]
  • To the right of "Long Beach Arena" is a sign which reads "Hammerjacks", a night club and concert hall in Baltimore frequented by the band.[24]
  • Below Hammerjacks is a sign that says "Tehe's Bar", which is where the choir vocals in the middle of "Heaven Can Wait" were recorded.[25]
  • To the left of the clock is a sign that says "Herbert Ails", a reference to the author Frank Herbert who wrote the book, "Dune," which the Iron Maiden song, "To Tame a Land," is based on. Herbert had also died that same year, explaining the word "Ails."[24]
  • Beneath the Phantom Opera House sign, there is a sign that reads "EMI REC.". All of the band's albums, outside North America, have been released by EMI Records.

References

  1. ^ Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  2. ^ "Sputnikmusic review". http://www.sputnikmusic.com/album.php?albumid=220. Retrieved 2011-06-26. 
  3. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 258. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  4. ^ "RIAA Searchable database – Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. http://riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?. Retrieved 30 March 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  6. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 261. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  7. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 259. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  8. ^ "Sing Live with Iron Maiden". http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1321675.ece. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  9. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 266. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  10. ^ "Kerrang! Maiden Heaven Track Listing Revealed!". .kerrang.com. http://www2.kerrang.com/2008/06/maiden_heaven_track_listing_re.html. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  11. ^ "Somewhere in Time - Austrian Charts". http://austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Iron+Maiden&titel=Somewhere+In+Time&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  12. ^ "Somewhere in Time - Norwegian Charts". http://norwegiancharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Iron+Maiden&titel=Somewhere+In+Time&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  13. ^ "Somewhere in Time - Swedish Charts". http://swedishcharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Iron+Maiden&titel=Somewhere+In+Time&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  14. ^ "Somewhere in Time - Swiss Charts". http://swisscharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=Iron+Maiden&titel=Somewhere+In+Time&cat=a. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  15. ^ "UK Albums chart archive- 11th October 1986". http://www.theofficialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/3/1986-10-11/. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  16. ^ "Somewhere in Time - Iron Maiden". http://www.billboard.com/#/album/iron-maiden/somewhere-in-time/9076. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  17. ^ "Somewhere in Time - German Charts" (in German). http://www.charts.de/album.asp?artist=Iron+Maiden&title=Somewhere+In+Time&cat=a&country=de. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  18. ^ a b "Irish singles archive". http://www.irishcharts.ie/search/placement. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  19. ^ "UK Singles chart archive- 13th September 1986". http://www.theofficialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/1986-09-13/. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  20. ^ "UK Singles chart archive- 29th November 1986". http://www.theofficialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/1986-11-29/. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  21. ^ "UK Albums chart archive- 14th April 1990". http://www.theofficialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/3/1990-04-14/. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  22. ^ a b "Somewhere in Time- Riggs Commentary". http://derek.server311.com/riggsart/Pages/maiden.dir/06time01.html. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Eddie - mascot of Iron Maiden". http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A444601. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  26. ^ a b c Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  27. ^ "Flight of Icarus- Riggs Commentary". http://derek.server311.com/riggsart/Pages/maiden.dir/04mind02.html. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 


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