Piece of Mind

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This article is about the Iron Maiden album. For other uses, see Piece of Mind (disambiguation).
Piece of Mind
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 16 May 1983
Recorded January – March 1983 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
Genre Heavy metal
Length 45:54
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden studio albums chronology
The Number of the Beast
(1982)
Piece of Mind
(1983)
Powerslave
(1984)
Singles from Piece of Mind
  1. "Flight of Icarus"
    Released: 11 April 1983
  2. "The Trooper"
    Released: 20 June 1983

Piece of Mind is the fourth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, originally released in 1983 by EMI, and by Capitol in the US, where it was reissued later by Sanctuary/Columbia Records. It was the first album to feature drummer Nicko McBrain, who had recently left the Paris-based band Trust and has been Iron Maiden's drummer ever since.

Piece of Mind was a critical and commercial success, reaching No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart and achieving platinum certification in the UK and North America.

Background[edit]

In December 1982, drummer Clive Burr ended his association with the band due to personal and tour schedule problems and was replaced by Nicko McBrain, previously of French band Trust, as well as Pat Travers, and Streetwalkers.[1] Soon afterwards, the band went to Jersey to compose the songs, taking over the hotel Le Chalet as it was out of season, and rehearsing in its restaurant. In February, the band journeyed for the first time to the Bahamas to record the album at Nassau's Compass Point Studios. Recordings were finished in March, and afterwards the album was mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York City.[2][3]

This is the first of four Iron Maiden albums that were not named after a song featured on the album itself (though the lyrics in the song "Still Life" contain the expression "peace of mind"). Originally, the release's working title was Food for Thought, once the band had decided that Eddie would be lobotomised on the front cover, until the band came up with the title Piece of Mind in a pub in Jersey, during the album's writing stage.[4]

Included in the liner notes is a slightly altered version of a passage from the Book of Revelation, which reads:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more Death. Neither sorrow, nor crying. Neither shall there be any more brain; for the former things are passed away.[5]

The actual text (from Chapter 21, Verse 4) is nearly identical, except that it says "neither shall there be any more pain", rather than brain, which was added as a pun on the album's title.[5]

In a lower corner on the back side of the album cover, there is this message: "No synthesizers or ulterior motives".

Composition[edit]

Lyrically, the album largely reflects the group's literary interests, such as "To Tame a Land," inspired by Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune,[6] "Sun and Steel", based on Yukio Mishima's 1968 essay about samurai Miyamoto Musashi,[7] "Still Life", influenced by Ramsey Campbell's 1964 short story "The Inhabitant of the Lake",[7] and "The Trooper," inspired by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854).[8] Film influences are also present, such as "Where Eagles Dare", based on the Brian G. Hutton 1968 film, scripted by Alistair MacLean,[9] and "Quest for Fire", based on the 1981 film by Jean-Jacques Annaud.[6] On top of this, "Revelations", written by Dickinson,[10] includes lines from G. K. Chesterton's hymn O God of Earth and Altar,[11] while the remainder of the song is influenced by Aleister Crowley.[7] More exotic influences include Greek mythology, albeit slightly altered for "Flight of Icarus".[7] "To Tame a Land" was meant to be entitled "Dune" after the novel, but, after seeking permission from Frank Herbert's agents, the band received a message which stated, "Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially bands like Iron Maiden" and were forced to change the name.[6]

Hidden message[edit]

At the beginning of the sixth track, "Still Life", the band included a hidden message which could only be understood by playing the album backwards. This was a joke and an intended swing back at the critics who had accused Iron Maiden of being Satanic. The backwards-message features McBrain mimicking actor John Bird's impression of Idi Amin,[7] uttering the following phrase "What ho said the t'ing with the three 'bonce', do not meddle with things you don't understand...", followed by a belch. The phrase itself is taken from the satirical album The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin (1975) by Bird and Alan Coren.[7] "What ho" and "What ho said the t'ing" are phrases that also crop up regularly on McBrain's "Listen With Nicko!" tracks from The First Ten Years collection.

According to McBrain, "We were sick and tired of being labelled as Devil worshippers and all this bollocks by these fucking morons in the States, so we thought, 'Right, you want to take the piss? We'll show you how to take the bleeding piss, my son!' And one of the boys taped me in the middle of this Idi Amin routine I used to do when I'd had a few drinks. I remember it distinctly ended with the words, 'Don't meddle wid t'ings yo don't understand.' We thought, if people were going to be stupid about this sort of thing, we might as well give them something to be really stupid about, you know?"[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[9]
Kerrang! favourable[12]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[13]

Piece of Mind was released on 28 May 1983, peaking at No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart.[14] It was preceded by the single "Flight of Icarus" on 28 April and its supporting tour, the World Piece Tour, opened at Hull City Hall on 2 May. Said tour concluded on 18 December, following 139 concerts in total, with a televised performance at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund.[15][3]

In North America, the album became the band's highest charting thus far, peaking at No. 14 in the Billboard 200.[16] By July, Piece of Mind was certified gold by the RIAA,[17] rising up to platinum status in 1986.[18] In 1995, the album achieved platinum status in the UK.[19]

Reviews for Piece of Mind were mostly positive. In 1983, Kerrang! magazine published a poll of the greatest metal albums of all time, with Piece of Mind ranking No. 1, and with The Number of the Beast at No. 2.[4] Since its release, the album has received consistent critical acclaim with Sputnikmusic stating that it's "easily an album that belongs in your collection", although they argue that "the likes of Powerslave [1984], Somewhere in Time [1986], and Brave New World [2000] would over take it",[13] while AllMusic described it as "essential for anyone with even the most basic interest in heavy metal", although "the second half dips a bit from the first".[9] In addition, it was ranked No. 21 on IGN's list of the top 25 metal albums in 2007.[20]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Where Eagles Dare"   Steve Harris 6:13
2. "Revelations"   Bruce Dickinson 6:49
3. "Flight of Icarus"   Adrian Smith, Dickinson 3:50
4. "Die with Your Boots On"   Smith, Dickinson, Harris 5:26
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "The Trooper"   Harris 4:12
6. "Still Life"   Dave Murray, Harris 4:56
7. "Quest for Fire"   Harris 3:42
8. "Sun and Steel"   Dickinson, Smith 3:27
9. "To Tame a Land"   Harris 7:26
Total length:
45:54
1995 reissue bonus CD
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I've Got the Fire" (Montrose cover) Ronnie Montrose 2:38
2. "Cross-Eyed Mary" (Jethro Tull cover) Ian Anderson 3:55

Personnel[edit]

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[21][22]

Iron Maiden
Production

Cover versions[edit]

In 2010, Maiden uniteD, featuring lead singer Damian Wilson, released an all-acoustic reinterpretation of the album entitled Mind the Acoustic Pieces.[23]

Two songs were covered for the 2008 tribute album Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden: "The Trooper" by Coheed and Cambria and "To Tame a Land" by Dream Theater.[24]

"The Trooper" has been covered by Finnish doom/death metal band Sentenced on their 1994 EP The Trooper,[25] the American heavy metal band Iced Earth on the "tour edition" of their 2011 album, Dystopia,[26] the death metal band Vital Remains on the 1998 tribute album A Call to Irons,[27] Christian hard rock band Stryper on the album, The Covering, in 2011,[28] and Swedish lounge act Hellsongs on their 2008 album, Hymns in the Key of 666.[29]

"Where Eagles Dare" has been covered by Fozzy on their second album, Happenstance, in 2002.[30] The song was also covered by Faroese viking metal band Týr and released on their album Valkyrja, in 2013. Fozzy has also covered "The Prisoner" (from The Number of the Beast) on their debut, Fozzy.[31]

"Die with Your Boots On" has been covered by Sonata Arctica.[32]

Chart performance[edit]

Album[edit]

Country Chart (1983) Peak position
Austria Ö3 Austria Top 40 10[33]
Germany Media Control Charts 8[34]
Netherlands MegaCharts 9[35]
New Zealand RIANZ 8[36]
Norway VG-lista 9[37]
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 6[38]
United Kingdom Official Albums Chart 3[14]
United States Billboard 200 14[39]
Country Chart (2010) Peak position
Greece IFPI Greece 39[40]
Country Chart (2012) Peak position
Sweden Sverigetopplistan 34[38]

Singles[edit]

Single Chart (1983) Peak position Album
"Flight of Icarus" Irish Singles Chart 14[41] Piece of Mind
UK Singles Chart 11[14]
"The Trooper" Irish Singles Chart 12[41]
UK Singles Chart 12[14]
Single Chart (1990) Peak position Album
"Flight of Icarus/The Trooper" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 7[14]
Single Chart (2005) Peak position Album
"The Trooper" (live) Canadian Singles Chart 5[42] Death on the Road
Danish Singles Chart 7[43]
Finnish Singles Chart 5[44]
French Singles Chart 100[45]
Irish Singles Chart 16[41]
Italian Singles Chart 8[46]
Spanish Singles Chart 1[47]
Swedish Singles Chart 5[48]
Swiss Singles Chart 61[49]
UK Singles Chart 5[50]
Single Chart (2006) Position Album
"The Trooper" (live) Spanish Singles Chart 10[47] Death on the Road

Notes[edit]

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

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification Sales/shipments Year
Canada 2× Platinum[51] 200,000+ 2006
Finland Gold[52] 25,000+ 1990
Germany Gold[53] 250,000+ 1996
UK Platinum[19] 300,000+ 1995
US Platinum[54] 1,000,000+ 1986

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wall 2004, p. 233.
  2. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 246.
  3. ^ a b "Piece Notes". Piece of Mind (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 1998. p. 2. 
  4. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 247.
  5. ^ a b Wall 2004, p. 245.
  6. ^ a b c Wall 2004, p. 244.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Under the Influence". Classic Rock presents Iron Maiden: From the East End to the World: 16–17. 2014. 
  8. ^ "Iron Maiden Like You've Never Heard Them Before!". Blabbermouth.net. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind at AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  10. ^ Touchard, Philippe (December 1983). "Bruce Dickinson interview". Enfer Magazine (8). 
  11. ^ Doran, John (2005). "Brain Damage". Metal Hammer presents: Iron Maiden 30 Years of Metal Mayhem: 134–135. 
  12. ^ Bonutto, Dante (19 May 1983). "Iron Maiden Piece of Mind". Kerrang! 42. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. p. 15. 
  13. ^ a b Stagno, Mike (9 June 2006). "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Iron Maiden – UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Wall 2004, p. 265.
  16. ^ "Artist Chart History – Iron Maiden". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 7 July 2008. 
  17. ^ "Heavyweight Champs of the '80s". Billboard 97 (17): HM-13. 27 April 1985. 
  18. ^ Grein, Paul (13 December 1986). "Boston Certs Sweep Ties Record". Billboard 98 (50): 4. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "BPI: Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Thompson, Ed (19 January 2007). "Top 25 Metal Albums". IGN. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  21. ^ Piece of Mind (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 16 May 1983. 
  22. ^ Piece of Mind Remastered (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 1998. 
  23. ^ "Maiden United – Acoustic Tribute To Iron Maiden To Release Debut Album in December; Members of Threshold, Within Temptation, The Gathering Featured". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "Kerrang! The making of Maiden Heaven". Kerrang!. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sentenced – The Trooper (EP)". Metal Storm. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Iced Earth – Dystopia Tour Edition To Be Available at Merch Stands on North American Tour". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "A Call to Irons – A Tribute to Iron Maiden". Amazon.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "Stryper: The Covering Album Pushed Back To Early 2011". Blabbermouth.net. 24 October 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  29. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Hellsongs – Hymns in the Key of 666". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Fozzy – Happenstance". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  31. ^ "Fozzy – Fozzy". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "Sonata Arctica- 'Die With Your Boots On'". Last.fm. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  33. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (Album)". Ö3 Austria Top 40. AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  34. ^ "Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind". Media Control Charts (in German). charts.de. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (album)". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  36. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (album)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  37. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (Album)". VG-lista. Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  38. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (Album)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  39. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  40. ^ "Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (album)". IFPI Greece. Greekcharts.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  41. ^ a b c "Search the Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Iron Maiden Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  43. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper' (song)". Tracklisten. Danishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  44. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper' (song)". The Official Finnish Charts. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  45. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper' (chanson)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (in French). Lescharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  46. ^ "Iron Maiden Songs". Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Italiancharts.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  47. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper' (Song)". Productores de Música de España. Spanishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  48. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper' (live 2003) (song)". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  49. ^ "Iron Maiden – 'The Trooper'". Swiss Hitparade. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  50. ^ "UK Singles Chart- 27 August 2005". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  51. ^ "Gold & Platinum Certification". Canadian Recording Industry Association. October 2006. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  52. ^ "Iron Maiden Tilastot" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  53. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Peace of Mind')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  54. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 

Bibliography[edit]