I’ll be at the Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper show in Detroit tonight, with all of the other cool kids. To commemorate the occasion, here’s the NRO article I wrote on Iron Maiden a few years ago. An extract:
For me, however, what always separated Iron Maiden from other heavy-metal bands were the topics of the songs. Despite those silly album covers and names, the group’s lyrical interests were downright mature–and several notches above everything else in the genre. If Iron Maiden ever wrote a song about sex, drugs, or rock and roll, I never heard it. The guys were too busy singing about literature and history. Here’s a sampling of song titles: “The Flight of Icarus,” “Alexander the Great,” “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.” Not all of their subjects are so transparent. “The Trooper” is Maiden’s version of “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” the poem by Tennyson. “To Tame a Land” is based on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune. “Stranger in a Strange Land” isn’t based on the Robert Heinlein book, but something else entirely. (Arctic exploration, if you must know.)
The one and only.