Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)

Last updated

Somewhere in Time
Iron Maiden - Somewhere in Time.jpg
Studio album by
Released29 September 1986 (1986-09-29)
Recorded1986
Studio
Genre
Length51:18
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
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10 [2]
Kerrang! 5/5 [3]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 [4]
The Daily VaultA [5]

Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 29 September 1986 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Capitol Records. It was the band's first album to feature guitar synthesisers. [6]

Contents

Since its release, Somewhere in Time has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over one million copies in the US. [7] Somewhere on Tour was the album's supporting tour.

Background

Somewhere in Time is the band's first studio effort following the extensive World Slavery Tour of 1984–85, which was physically draining for the group, [8] lasting 331 days and comprising 187 concerts. [9] [10] The resulting exhaustion is credited as the main factor in the complete lack of songwriting contributions from lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band. [11] 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 bassist and primary writer 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". [11] On the other hand, the record is also notable for the number of "fully formed" songs written by guitarist Adrian Smith, [12] 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. [13]

Following the World Slavery Tour, the group were given four months to recuperate, with Harris, Smith and guitarist Dave Murray spending the time experimenting with new equipment. [6] The result was a marked change in sound for Iron Maiden, as it was their first to use guitar synthesisers, although on their next release, 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son , the effects were provided by keyboards instead. [14] Given their time off, this was their first studio album not to be released a year after their previous one, the band insisting that they have more time "to get it right without hurrying for a change", comments Harris. [6] 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. [6]

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.'" [15] 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 appeared on several subsequent tours.

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. [16]

Cover artwork

The cover for Somewhere in Time, created by the band's then-regular artist Derek Riggs, displays a muscular cyborg-enhanced Eddie in a futuristic, Blade Runner -inspired environment. [17] Much like the cover of Powerslave, the wraparound album cover holds a plethora of references to earlier Iron Maiden albums and songs, [18] such as:

References on the back include:

Riggs came up with all the in-jokes and references and it took him 3 months to complete the 15x32 inch painting. The process wore him out completely as he underestimated the complexity of the artwork and said he would never paint anything this convoluted ever again. [22]

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Caught Somewhere in Time" Steve Harris 7:22
2."Wasted Years" Adrian Smith 5:06
3."Sea of Madness"Smith5:42
4."Heaven Can Wait"Harris7:24
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"Harris6:31
6."Stranger in a Strange Land"Smith5:43
7."Deja-Vu"
4:55
8."Alexander the Great"Harris8:35
Total length:51:18
1995 reissue bonus disc
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Reach Out" (The Entire Population of Hackney cover) Dave Colwell 3:31
2."Juanita" (Marshall Fury cover)
  • Steve Barnacle
  • Derek O'Neil
3:47
3."Sheriff of Huddersfield" (based on Urchin's "Life in the City")
3:35
4."That Girl" (FM cover)
  • Andy Barnett
  • Pete Jupp
  • Merv Goldsworthy
5:07
Total length:16:00

Personnel

Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes. [23] [24]

Iron Maiden

Production

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil) [42] Gold100,000*
Canada (Music Canada) [43] Platinum100,000^
Germany (BVMI) [44] Gold250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [45] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [46] Platinum1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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