|1. Wasted Years|
|2. Stranger In A Strange Land|
|3. Sea Of Madness (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|4. Heaven Can Wait (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|5. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|6. Stranger In A Strange Land (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|7. Deja-Vu (1998 Digital Remaster)|
|8. Alexander The Great (356-323 BC) (1998 Digital Remaster)|
Although Iron Maiden's first three albums (and one live album) with vocalist Bruce Dickinson were wildly successful, they all followed a very similar sound. In 1986, the band was ready to try something new out. Around this time, guitar and bass synthesizers had arrived, and, you guessed it - the boys in Maiden wanted to try them out. With them, they created one of their masterpieces - the Somewhere In Time album. In 1998 and again in 2002, the band's entire CD catalogue was rereleased as part of a remaster series. Read on for track-by-track comments and grades, as well as my comments on the remaster series.
Caught Somewhere in Time - The opener is a good strong track, with the band in perfect shape. The instrumental opener is priceless.
Wasted Years - A fellow Amazon reviewer considers this to be his all time favorite song from this band. I don't agree with him there, but I do agree with one thing - THIS SONG IS EXCELLENT! The chorus must be heard to be appreciated.
Sea of Madness - An excellent rocker, probably the hardest one on the album. Once again, Dickinson's vocals rule the show.
Heaven Can Wait - The biggest hit off of the album, and with good reason. This is fast-paced melodic rock at its very best! This is also the best version of this song (it puts the live versions availiable on early nineties live albums to shame.)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner - An interesting bit of Maiden trivia - That's the longest title ever given to any of their songs! This one doesn't really stand out too much, but it's still an excellent rocker and not worth skipping.
Stranger in a Strange Land - Probably the second biggest hit on the album. This one deals with being lost, and the melodic rock sound couldn't be much better here.
Deja Vu - While TLOTLDR was the longest title ever given to a Maiden song, this is the shortest one. Though this one doesn't stand out a whole lot, the chorus is quite nice, even if it's a tad redundant.
Alexander the Great - The lengthy epic closer. THIS IS AN UNDERRATED MASTERPIECE! It's not quite up to the incredibly high standard of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, but it's still arguably the finest song on this album.
Now for my comments on the remasters series - as a die-hard Maiden fan, I AM SEVERELY DISAPPOINTED. Sure, the sound quality is improved over the original CD issues and there is some cool enhanced CD footage (all the remasters before the X Factor have this), but this reissue is lacking the most important thing a remaster needs: BONUS TRACKS.The total play time isn't even that close to eighty minutes. There were a plethora of B-Sides from this era that have never before been issued by the band (except for in the restrictively expensive box set.) that would have made this album even better.To put it simply, if you already own the original issue of this album on CD, it's really not necessary to get the new remaster.
Iron Maiden's newfound progressive sound was something truly great, indeed. However, Somewhere In Time and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son are NOT recommended for Maiden newbies. If you're new to the band, you need to start with Number Of The Beast. It's the best place to start. If you buy this album first, you may be left confused, so go with the sure thing if you're just getting into the band.