Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)

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Somewhere in Time
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 29 September 1986
Recorded 1986 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas and Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands
Genre Heavy metal
Length 51:24
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch
Iron Maiden studio albums 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]
Kerrang! 5/5[2]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[3]

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 their first album to feature guitar synthesisers.[4]

Since its release, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over one million copies in the US alone.[5]

Somewhere on Tour was the release's supporting tour.

History[edit]

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.[6] 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."[6] On the other hand, the record is also notable for the number of "fully formed" songs written by guitarist Adrian Smith,[7] who wrote both of the album's singles: "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land", the former of which is the only song on the record not to feature synthesisers.[8]

Although "space and time" are common themes throughout the release, with songs such as "Wasted Years", "Caught Somewhere in Time", "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Deja-Vu", the band never intended for it to be a concept album, with Harris stating, "We certainly never went in there and said, 'Right let's write a load of songs on the subject of time.'"[9] 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.[10]

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 used keyboard synthesisers instead.[11] 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.[4] It was also one of their most expensive records, with the bass and drums recorded in the Bahamas, the guitars and vocals recorded in The Netherlands and the mixing taking place in New York.[4]

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.[12]

Cover artwork[edit]

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.[13] Much like the cover of Powerslave, the wrap-around album cover holds a plethora of references to earlier Iron Maiden albums and songs,[14] 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 (1982).[14]
  • Below "Acacia" is a poster of Eddie from the first album, with graffiti reading "Eddie lives" written on it.[14] 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.[15]
  • 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 is at the top of a building, a reference to the song "Powerslave" from the 1984 album of the same name.[16]
  • 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.[14]
  • The haloed black cat from the back cover of Live After Death (1985) is on the pavement behind Eddie.[16]
  • Below the Eye of Horus is the name, "Websters", a tribute to Charlie Webster, EMI's art director.[14]
  • 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").[16]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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 of the same name.[16]
  • Flying over the "Aces High Bar" is a Spitfire from the "Aces High" cover.[16]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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 (1983), based on the novel Dune.
  • Many pyramids appear in the background, a reference to the Powerslave album.[16]
  • Among the pyramids is a grim reaper similar to that which appears on the covers of "The Trooper" and Live After Death.[16]
  • The marquee for the cinema reads Blade Runner, the film which inspired the album's cover.[13] It also reads "Live After Death", the name of their 1985 live album.[14]
  • 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.[16]
  • More Blade Runner references include "Dekkers Department Stores" and a "Tyrell Corp" sign.[16]
  • In the background, "Bradbury Towers" can be seen, a reference to the Bradbury Building which is prominent in Blade Runner.[14]
  • 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 in which Iron Maiden performed.[14]
  • On the second floor of the "Ruskin Arms" building is a woman sitting in a red lit room which, a reference to Charlotte the Harlot, a repeated character in the band's songs.[15]
  • 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 which Iron Maiden once played in Brooklyn, New York.[14]
  • On the roof of the same building is the TARDIS from the BBC TV series Doctor Who.[14] 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".[14] According to Riggs, Icarus is supposed to look like the logo used by Swan Song Records, a label founded by Led Zeppelin.[17]
  • On the walkway above the clock is an electronic sign that says "LATEST RESULTS.......WEST HAM 7........ARSENAL 3", a nod to Steve Harris who is a West Ham supporter.[14]
  • At the right edge below, just near the band, there is another sign in Russian – Кефир ("KEFIR"), which means "yoghurt".[14]
  • 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 Harris' first band.[16]
  • 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 live album was recorded.
  • 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.[16]
  • A character wearing a large cloak stands above the walkway's right side, which Riggs claims is Batman.[15]
  • Above and slightly to the right of the cloaked character reads more Hebrew lettering, "ג'ין" (Gin, in English).
  • On the right side of the walkway 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.[15]
  • In the bottom right hand corner all five members of the band are standing in a line. Dickinson is holding a brain, a reference to Piece of Mind, and drummer Nicko McBrain 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 were not accurate enough.[16]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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," upon which the Iron Maiden song, "To Tame a Land", is based. Herbert had also died that same year, explaining the word "Ails". The reference also refers to the unfriendly response the band received from Herbert (via his agent) regarding permission to use "Dune" as the song's title.[14]
  • 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.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Caught Somewhere in Time"   Steve Harris 7:26
2. "Wasted Years"   Adrian Smith 5:08
3. "Sea of Madness"   Smith 5:42
4. "Heaven Can Wait"   Harris 7:21
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"   Harris 6:31
6. "Stranger in a Strange Land"   Smith 5:44
7. "Deja-Vu"   Dave Murray, Harris 4:56
8. "Alexander the Great"   Harris 8:36
Total length:
51:24
1995 reissue bonus CD
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Reach Out"   Dave Colwell 3:31
2. "Juanita" (Originally recorded by Marshall Fury) Steve Barnacle, Derek O'Neil 3:47
3. "Sheriff of Huddersfield" (Based on an old Urchin song called "Life in the City") Harris, Bruce Dickinson, Smith, Murray, Nicko McBrain 3:35
4. "That Girl" (Originally recorded by FM) Andy Barnett, Pete Jupp, Merv Goldsworthy 5:07

Personnel[edit]

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[18][19]

Iron Maiden
Production

Chart performance[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Brazil (ABPD)[35] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[36] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Germany (BVMI)[37] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[39] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Iron Maiden Somewhere in Time review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Wall, Mick (18 September 1986). "Time Lauds". Kerrang! 129. London, UK: Spotlight Publications. pp. 14, 17. 
  3. ^ Stagno, Mike (2 June 2006). "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 258. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  5. ^ "RIAA Searchable database – Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 30 March 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 260. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  7. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 261. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  8. ^ Fanelli, Damien; Hart, Josh (9 July 2013). "Synth City: 10 Classic Guitar Synth Songs". Guitar World. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 259. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  10. ^ Snart, Gordon (21 June 2008). "Sing Live with Iron Maiden". The Sun. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 266. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  12. ^ "Maiden Heaven Track Listing Revealed!". Kerrang!. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Somewhere in Time- Riggs Commentary". Derek Riggs. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 87. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  15. ^ a b c d Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 86. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 1-4276-0538-6. 
  17. ^ "'Flight of Icarus'- Riggs Commentary". Derek Riggs. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Somewhere in Time (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 29 September 1986. 
  19. ^ Somewhere in Time Remastered (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 1998. 
  20. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Ö3 Austria Top 40. AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time (album)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". VG-lista. Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Sverigetopplistan. Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  24. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time" (in German). Swiss Hitparade. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Iron Maiden UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Media Control Charts (in German). charts.de. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  28. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time (album)". IFPI Greece. Greekcharts.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time (album)". The Official Finnish Charts. Finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Iron Maiden > Longplay-Chartverfolgung". Musicline (in German). PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Irish singles archive". IRMA. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 13 September 1986". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 29 November 1986". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive 14 April 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  35. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 1990. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  36. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Music Canada. 16 February 1987. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  37. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Iron Maiden; 'Somewhere in Time')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". British Phonographic Industry. 1 November 2002. Retrieved 15 November 2011.  Enter Somewhere in Time in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 15 November 2011.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH