Wasted Years

Last updated
"Wasted Years"
Wastedyears.jpg
Single by Iron Maiden
from the album Somewhere in Time
B-side
  • "Reach Out" (The Entire Population of Hackney cover)
  • "Sheriff of Huddersfield"
Released6 September 1986
Recorded1986
Genre Heavy metal
Length5:06 [1]
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) Adrian Smith
Producer(s)
Iron Maiden singles chronology
"Run to the Hills (Live in 1985)"
(1985)
"Wasted Years"
(1986)
"Stranger in a Strange Land"
(1986)

"Wasted Years" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the band's fourteenth single released and the first from their sixth studio album, Somewhere in Time (1986). It is the only song on the album that features no synthesizers. Released in 1986, it was the first single solely written by guitarist Adrian Smith, who also sings backing vocals. It reached number 18 in the UK Singles Charts.

Contents

Synopsis

The song deals with subject of homesickness and alienation, [2] as well as the negative aspects of the band's nearly year long previous tour and personal problems that Smith and other band members were going through in that period. [3] At the same time the chorus suggests the idea that one should move beyond past troubles and look forward. The original working title was "Golden Years", as can be heard on numerous Somewhere on Tour bootlegs.

The cover depicts the band mascot Eddie's point of view as he flies a time machine. [4] Only a part of Eddie's face is seen, as a reflection in a screen. [4] According to artist Derek Riggs, this is because the band did not want to reveal the mascot in his new cyborg guise until the album was released a few weeks later. [4] As with the Somewhere in Time album sleeve, [5] the single cover also features the TARDIS from the BBC series Doctor Who . [4] Riggs describes the illustration as "a duffer. It's a technical illustration of a keyboard of a time machine, with Eddie reflected in the window, because it was the only thing we could think of that wouldn't give Eddie away". [4]

The promotional video features black-and-white footage of the band playing the song in a studio in Frankfurt, West Germany, mixed with various scenes from band's previous promotional videos, together with clips of off-show activities during the World Slavery Tour.

"Wasted Years" is featured in the video game Rock Band .

B-sides

The b-side "Reach Out" was sung by Adrian Smith, with regular lead singer Bruce Dickinson providing backing vocals. This song was previously performed live by Nicko McBrain and Smith's side project The Entire Population of Hackney.

The demential song "Sheriff of Huddersfield" is about Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood's decision to move to Los Angeles and buy a house in the Hollywood Hills. Apparently he had trouble adjusting to the LA lifestyle and often complained to the band about it. Smallwood was unaware of the composition until it was released on the single, as the band had kept it secret from him. The song opens with the spoken line "We're on a mission from Rod", a parody of the tagline for The Blues Brothers , "We're on a mission from God". The main guitar riff and verse vocal melodies are borrowed from the song "Life in the City" by Smith's prior band Urchin. Later, a similar comedy piece called "Bayswater Ain't a Bad Place to Be", again mocking Smallwood, was released as an unlisted untitled b-side ("Space Station No. 5"'s epilogue) in the "Be Quick or Be Dead" single.

Composition

The song is composed in the key of E minor. Adrian Smith plays the guitar solo.

Live performances

"Wasted Years" is one of three tracks from Somewhere in Time that have been played on more than two concert tours, the other two being the album's second single, "Stranger in a Strange Land", and "Heaven Can Wait". It was featured on Somewhere On Tour, [6] Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour, [7] Real Live Tour (only on few dates), [8] The Ed Hunter Tour, [9] Somewhere Back in Time World Tour [10] and Maiden England World Tour. [11] It was the final song of the group's encore set on The Book of Souls World Tour, the first time it has ever been part of an encore performance.

Janick Gers played the solo on Real Live Tour due to Smith leaving Iron Maiden in 1990. He also played all Smith's guitar parts on few dates of Ed Hunter Tour, while Smith was absent. In current Iron Maiden line-up shows (since 1999), Smith's trademark intro riff is doubled by Gers.

During Somewhere On Tour years, the band used to lip sync the track on various TV shows. The most famous recording comes from Germany, where Iron Maiden swapped instruments on stage while the song was "performed", as a humorous protest to lip syncing. [12]

Track listing

7" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wasted Years" Adrian Smith 5:06
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Reach Out" (The Entire Population of Hackney cover) Dave Colwell 3:25
12" single
Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wasted Years"Smith5:06
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Reach Out" (The Entire Population of Hackney cover)Colwell3:25
2."Sheriff of Huddersfield" Iron Maiden 3:35

Personnel

Production credits are adapted from the 7-inch vinyl cover. [1]

Production

Chart performance

SingleChart (1986)Peak
position
Album
"Wasted Years" Irish Singles Chart 11 [13] Somewhere in Time
UK Singles Chart 18 [14]
SingleChart (1990)Peak
position
Album
"Wasted Years/ Stranger in a Strange Land" UK Albums Chart [note 1] 9 [15]

Notes

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

Related Research Articles

<i>The Number of the Beast</i> (album) 1982 studio album by Iron Maiden

The Number of the Beast is the third studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 22 March 1982 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Harvest and Capitol Records. The album was their first to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson and their last with drummer Clive Burr.

<i>Somewhere in Time</i> (Iron Maiden album) 1986 studio album by Iron Maiden

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.

<i>Seventh Son of a Seventh Son</i> 1988 album by Iron Maiden

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the seventh studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 11 April 1988 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Capitol Records. Like The Number of the Beast (1982) and later Fear of the Dark (1992), The Final Frontier (2010), and The Book of Souls (2015), the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Can I Play with Madness" was also a commercial success, peaking at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

<i>No Prayer for the Dying</i> 1990 album by Iron Maiden

No Prayer for the Dying is the eighth studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is their first album to feature Janick Gers on guitar, who replaced Adrian Smith. This marks their first line-up change since 1982; Smith left the band during the pre-production phase, unhappy with the musical direction it was taking, and only having contributed to one song, "Hooks in You". Gers previously worked with singer Bruce Dickinson on his first solo-album, Tattooed Millionaire, and had also worked with Ian Gillan, former Marillion singer Fish, and new wave of British heavy metal band, White Spirit.

<i>Live After Death</i> 1985 live album and video by Iron Maiden

Live After Death is a live album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, originally released in October 1985 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the US. It was recorded at Long Beach Arena, California and Hammersmith Odeon, London during the band's World Slavery Tour.

Eddie (Iron Maiden)

Eddie is the mascot for the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He is a perennial fixture of the group's artwork, appearing in all of their album covers and in their merchandise, which includes T-shirts, posters and action figures. On top of this, Eddie features in all of the band's concerts, as well as in the first-person shooter video game, Ed Hunter, the mobile game, Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast and a pinball game with the same name in 2018.

2 Minutes to Midnight 1984 single by Iron Maiden

"2 Minutes to Midnight" is a song by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, featured on their fifth studio album, Powerslave (1984). It was released as the band's tenth single, and first from the album on 6 August 1984. It rose to number 11 on the UK Singles Chart and number 25 on Billboard Top Album Tracks. The band's first single to exceed five minutes in length, it remained their longest until the release of "Infinite Dreams" in November 1989.

<i>A Real Dead One</i> 1993 live album by Iron Maiden

A Real Dead One is a live album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 25 October 1993. It was recorded at various concerts across Europe, during the Fear of the Dark Tour in 1992 and the Real Live Tour in 1993. It features songs from the very beginning of the band's career (1975) through the Powerslave era (1984), while counterpart A Real Live One contains songs from only the post-Powerslave albums.

Running Free 1980 single by Iron Maiden

"Running Free" is the debut single by Iron Maiden, released on 8 February 1980 on the 7" 45 rpm vinyl record format. It was written by Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno. The song appears as the third track on the band's debut album Iron Maiden. In 1985, a live version of the song was released as the first single from Live After Death. In 1990, the original single was reissued on CD and 12" vinyl as part of The First Ten Years box, in which it was combined with the band's next single, "Sanctuary". The 1985 live single was also released as part of this box set, combined with 1985's "Run to the Hills".

Run to the Hills 1982 single by Iron Maiden

"Run to the Hills" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released as their sixth single and the first from the band's third studio album, The Number of the Beast (1982). It is their first single with Bruce Dickinson as vocalist. Credited solely to the band's bassist, Steve Harris, although significant contributions were made by Dickinson, it remains one of their most popular songs, with VH1 ranking it No. 27 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs and No. 14 on their list of the Greatest Hard Rock Songs.

Purgatory (song) 1981 single by Iron Maiden

"Purgatory" is Iron Maiden's fifth single, released on 15 June 1981, and would be their last with singer Paul Di'Anno. It served as the second single from Killers. The single was reissued in 1990, on the same CD and 12" vinyl as the EP Maiden Japan, in the First Ten Years box set.

Aces High (song) 1984 single by Iron Maiden

"Aces High" is a song by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, written by the band's bassist Steve Harris. It is Iron Maiden's eleventh single release and the second from their fifth studio album, Powerslave (1984).

Stranger in a Strange Land (Iron Maiden song) 1986 single by Iron Maiden

"Stranger in a Strange Land" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released as the second single from their sixth studio album, Somewhere in Time (1986). The song is unrelated to Robert A. Heinlein's novel by the same name.

Flight of Icarus 1983 single by Iron Maiden

"Flight of Icarus" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was their eighth single, the first from their fourth studio album, Piece of Mind (1983), and their first in the United States, where it was one of their few with substantial airplay, peaking at a personal best No. 8 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart. It was a lesser success in the UK, peaking at No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.

Can I Play with Madness

"Can I Play with Madness" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The song is the sixteenth single released by the band. Released in 1988, it was the first single from their seventh studio album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988), and hit number 3 in the UK Singles Chart.

Infinite Dreams 1989 single by Iron Maiden

"Infinite Dreams" is a live single released in 1989 by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is the only single to be released in sync with a home video; 1989's Maiden England. The performance was recorded in Birmingham, England in 1988 towards the end of the massive world tour to support the album where the song originally appeared, being Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. It was the band's final single to feature "The Trooper"-era lineup for an entire decade until 2000's single "The Wicker Man" with guitarist Adrian Smith leaving the band in January 1990 after he did not approve of the direction the band were aiming for on their next album No Prayer for the Dying.

Futureal 1998 single by Iron Maiden

"Futureal" is a single from the Iron Maiden album Virtual XI, released in 1998. It is the last single by the band to feature vocalist Blaze Bayley, as he parted ways with the band in February 1999.

<i>BBC Archives</i> (album) 2002 live album by Iron Maiden

BBC Archives is a live album by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 4 November 2002 as part of the Eddie's Archive box set. It is a collection of songs from three live shows and one live radio broadcast, recorded by the BBC between 1979 and 1988.

The Entire Population of Hackney is the name used for a project featuring members of Iron Maiden, FM and Urchin that played two concerts in 1985. It is also the name used for a bootleg recording of the first show. It is most notable for being the spark that would lead to Adrian Smith forming his ASAP project later on and ultimately his split with Iron Maiden in 1990. It is also notable for leading to the first Iron Maiden recording without the current lead singer on lead vocals.

<i>Somewhere Back in Time</i> 2008 compilation album by Iron Maiden

Somewhere Back in Time - The Best of: 1980 - 1989 is a best of release by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, containing a selection of songs originally recorded for their first eight albums.

References

  1. 1 2 "Wasted Years" 7 Inch Single (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 6 September 1986.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. Iron Maiden - Wasted Years Live Sheffield 1986 on YouTube
  3. Iron Maiden - Flight 666 DVD, History Of Iron Maiden pt 2
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 94. ISBN   1-4276-0538-6.
  5. Popoff, Martin (2006). Run for Cover: The Art of Derek Riggs (1 ed.). Aardvark Publishing. p. 87. ISBN   1-4276-0538-6.
  6. "Somewhere On Tour Setlist" . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  7. "Seventh Tour Of A Seventh Tour Setlist" . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  8. "A Real Live Tour Setlist" . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  9. "The Ed Hunter Tour Setlist" . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  10. "Somewhere Back In Time Setlist" . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  11. Alderslade, Merlin (22 June 2012). "First Iron Maiden 'Maiden England' US Tour Setlist Revealed, Rest Of World Weeps With Jealousy". Metal Hammer . Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
  12. Iron Maiden Playback on YouTube
  13. "Irish singles archive". IRMA . Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  14. "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 13 September 1986". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 19 September 2011.
  15. "Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive 14 April 1990". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 19 September 2011.