Edge/ Ledge / Hedge / Veg

It’s Monday, I’m tired and so instead of a 9 LP box set and Lego extravaganza you get a 12″ and you’ll damn well like it!

Maiden Evil Men 02

Today’s object d’art is Iron Maiden The Evil That Men Do, from way back in 1988; I know it makes me sound like Methuselah but I really can’t believe that was 26 years ago!  Now whilst I think Maiden have done some incredible stuff and are undoubtedly one of the pillars of metal*, I’m not a rabid fan and my interest conks out a bit after Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, what a great album! So whilst I own the albums and a few 12″s as well as a couple of the 7″s to get some of the cooler covers, I’m not a completist by any means.

Maiden Evil Men 05

But I did get this one, partly because I had a few quid in my pocket from my regular dishwashing gig at the local pub and partly because it came with a vast Donnington 1988 poster.  Oh, and because I really liked the title track – as a reason, that really was a distant second though.  Not that I had been cool enough in 1988 to have gone to Donnington Monsters of Rock Festival that year, the fateful year that saw 107,000 fans turn up to see Maiden headline supported by Kiss, Dave Lee Roth and Megadeth; Guns n’ Roses had managed to become the biggest hard rock band on the planet after they’d signed up to be second on stage and tragically two fans died during their set.  A couple of the cooler guys in school had been and I really wished I was them.

Donnington poster - note full-size car, for scale purposes
Donnington poster – note full-size car, for scale purposes

I really like the galloping, straight-forward Maiden metal of ‘The Evil That Men Do’ and I think Bruce’s vocal is particularly good on this one.  I do have a bit of a gripe with the lyrics though. First verse, fine – lots of devils, daughters, red-eyed slaughter of innocence and blood.  Second verse, is okay – I prefer the slaughter of innocence to slain lambs and books of life, but I do like the ‘Don’t you cry for me line’.  Nope, it’s the chorus and bridge bits that irritate me. Example:

Living on a razor’s edge
Balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor’s edge
Balancing on a ledge
Balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor’s edge
Balancing on a ledge
You know, you know

I mean, come on fellas! I know I’m a Ramones fan, but that’s just not trying very hard is it? Come on you gave us ‘The Trooper’**, ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ and, umm, ’22 Acacia Avenue’ – NOT GOOD ENOUGH!  I mean I’ll accept one ‘razor’s edge’ and a single ‘Balancing on a ledge’, but not this many (and this is only a small snippet) and then to follow it up with a ‘you know, you know’, sorry that’s a fast train heading for Lamesville, OH. What you need is the assistance of 1537’s patented LBS (Lyric Betteration Services).

That famous icy-waste stage set
That famous icy-waste stage set

Okay guys what’s the brief?  Hmm, evil that old chestnut.  Okay we’ve had lots of daughter/slaughter references^ and we’re clearly channelling some devil-may-care angst here, hmmm.  You know what I really don’t like being made to do at weekends? so much so that I think it is actually evil to make me do it? Cutting the hedges, gardening and mowing the lawn, particularly when I’d promised to do it earlier in the week.  Now, I’m pretty sure I can’t remember any of the other great lyricists of our age addressing this – okay, The Clash ‘I Fought The Lawn’ excepted.  Let’s just jam with this concept.

Living on a razor’s edge

Balancing on a ledge

Made to honour my pledge

Forced to trim the hedge

Coerced into weeding the veg

You mow, you mow

See Iron Maiden, it is possible.  Although this is maybe why I was recently voted as the best poet ever to write anything, ever; personally I think ee cummings should have won it over me, but there you go I have to bow to the will of the public.  But I digress.

Maiden Evil Men 03

B-sides? two re-recorded versions of Paul Dianno classics, ‘Prowler ’88’ and ‘Charlotte the Harlot ’88’.  Both of which, I am afraid are an abject lesson in precisely why bands shouldn’t do this sort of thing.  I mean I accept that Bruce Dickinson had been living with and singing these songs on stage since 1981, but even so this should not have happened – you don’t fuck with the canon.

365 Down.

P.S  – too tired to even finish this yesterday.

* should that be PILLARS OF METAL, I wonder?

**of which I had two pints at lunchtime today.

^note to self: there could be a future song title in that somewhere.

11 thoughts on “Edge/ Ledge / Hedge / Veg

  1. David Lee Roth….the Skyscraper tour. I actually quite liked that album. I was 14 when it came out so maybe that’s why, but “Hot Dog and a Shake” is a hell of a track. And “Just Like Paradise” is pure pop rock at its finest.

    Oh, Iron Maiden. My brother was the Maiden fan. He had several posters of Eddie looking sinister hanging up in his room. Was “Stranger In A Strange Land” off of ‘Seventh Son’? If so, that’s where sorta lost interest as well.

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      1. Those picture discs were sweet looking. Me, I can settle for original vinyl. I do have a picture disc of Stranger In A Strange Land, with Eddie in that alien bar. That’s a great one.

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  2. I don’t have a problem with the re-recordings. They were buried on this B-side, and most of the band weren’t in the band when they were originally done (Nicko/Adrian/Bruce).

    Anyway, I have this! Without the Lego of course! I too am irritated by the bridge chorus stuff…it’s fun to hear Bruce mess up the words, live.

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