Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Album Review: The Magic of Iron Maiden’s ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’

The 1988 release of “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” was a turning point in the career of British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden. This seventh album, aptly called, is the first to include keyboards, which gives their signature sound a new dimension.

Inspired by Orson Scott Card’s book “Seventh Son”, which was released the year before, the album explores mythology that holds that the seventh son of a seventh son is endowed with unusual abilities such as second sight. The album’s sound is mostly progressive rock, with complex compositions, odd time signatures, and lengthy tracks.

Steve Harris wrote the album’s opening piece “The Clairvoyant”, after psychic Doris Stokes passed away. After writing “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”, Harris came up with the notion to make the album a concept record since the protagonist would be clairvoyant.

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“Can I Play with Madness” was originally known as ‘On the Wings of Eagles’. Bruce revised the title to “Can I Play With Madness”, which Smith and Steve loved. Steve helped with the time change in the middle and the musical interlude, which improved the song. However, Adrian despised Harris’ inclusion, resulting in a heated argument.

Metal Hammer states that “Moonchild” is based on an Aleister Crowley novel, whilst “Infinite Dreams” delves into the character’s tormented nightmares, as well as concepts of reality and life after death. The last tune, “Only the Good Die Young” appeared on Miami Vice and was later utilised in an episode. The CD concludes with an acoustic piece and two lines of Dickinson’s lyrics, which presage the protagonist’s doom and defeat.

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The songs “The Evil That Men Do”, “The Clairvoyant” and “Can I Play with Madness” were the most often performed live following the Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour.

Though it reached at #12 on the US Billboard Top 200, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” cemented its position in heavy metal history by debuting at #1 on the UK Official Albums Chart. Adrian Smith, who played guitar, makes his last appearance on this album until 1999, right before the publication of Brave New World in 2000.

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Track listing

Side one

  1. “Moonchild”
  2. “Infinite Dreams”
  3. “Can I Play with Madness”
  4. “The Evil That Men Do”

    Side two
  5. “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son”
  6. “The Prophecy”
  7. “The Clairvoyant”
  8. “Only the Good Die Young”

Members

Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitars
Adrian Smith – guitars, synthesiser
Steve Harris – bass, string synthesiser
Nicko McBrain – drums

darkluna
darkluna

🤘🎸 Passionate about all things heavy metal, im a die-hard enthusiast with an insatiable appetite for headbanging riffs, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals. From classic bands to underground gems, their love for the genre knows no bounds. As a dedicated metalhead, i spend days exploring the depths of the metal scene, discovering new bands, attending concerts, and immersing themselves in the rich culture of heavy music. With a background in journalism and a fiery determination to share their passion with fellow metalheads, to bring a unique perspective and relentless energy to the world of heavy metal journalism. Follow along for insightful reviews, in-depth interviews, and all the latest news from the electrifying world of metal. 🤘🔥

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