[Hidden Rarities # 20] Iron Maiden (1970)

Iron Maiden, which has nothing to do with the well-known Metallers, were an English band formed in Basildon, near London, taking their name from the Iron Maiden, a medieval instrument of torture. The music proposed was Psychedelic with Blues influences, in fact they began by offering covers of bands like the Rolling Stones. In 1966 they joined, and then only a year later upset the lineup, with the abandonment by the two guitarists Rose and Tom Loates and the drummer Stan Gillem. So the two remaining members Steve Drewett (vocals) and Barry Skeels (bass) continued to play blues under the name “Stevenson ‘s Blues Department,” to which Trevor Thoms (guitar) and Paul Reynolds (drums) joined and together they formed the “Bum“. It was with this name that in 1968 they gave birth to a single containing two tracks that later appeared on “Maiden Voyage“: “God of Darkness” and “Ballad of Martha Kent.” Thus they began, like many bands of the time, to appear live, making numerous concerts both at home and abroad, upon their return they decided to permanently change the name to “Iron Maiden.” In 1970 under the new name they released another single, also featured on the album, containing the two tracks “Falling” and “Ned Kelly,” following which drummer Paul Reynolds left the group, replaced by Steve Chapman. The same year they recorded the album “Maiden Voyage,” which due to the bankruptcy of the record company that had hired them, Gemini, never saw light until 1998. After the recording and the non-release of the album the band decided so. to melt, consequently losing all traces until the posthumous release of the material on CD at the end of the 90s. In a compilation featuring a song by the band, released in 2011 and titled “Various – Death From Above” available at the time free with Classic Rock Magazine number 155, they were called “The Original Iron Maiden.” They are also considered among the pioneers of Doom sounds together with groups such as the much better known Black Sabbath, to which they are often compared for their sound assonances. The audio quality of the recordings is not always optimal, but in any case of a good level, making the album listenable overall, while as regards the quality of the compositions they are technically of a good level. We are not in front of a masterpiece, but a good record, where the guitar parts are undoubtedly one of the highlights of the album, as well as the lyrics close to occult themes. After the experience with Iron Maiden, the only two musicians to have had a career were Steve Chapman and Trev Thoms, the first with the American band of Poco, as a drummer and other minor bands. The second released 5 albums, 3 of which Live, radically changing genre. As mentioned, the only album produced by the band was released posthumously in 1998, including the 6 tracks recorded under the name Iron Maiden and the 2 tracks released as Bum. The only release at the time was a single titled “Falling” containing the title track on side A while on top B the song “Ned Kelly,” released in 1970 by Gemini, before its subsequent failure. The album is not particularly difficult to find nor particularly expensive as it was released relatively recently, and is available in 5 versions, three of which in double LPs, one of which also contains 4 tracks named Bum on two 7 “. This band we decided to include it in the editorial Hidden Rarities as a pioneer in terms of Doom sounds, the quality of the compositions with good ideas and guitar solos and particular lyrics. In addition, the lack of publication at the time that led to the posthumous release has made both the band and the record less known than others and it seemed right to give space to this pleasant listening.

Discography

(1970) Falling 7″ [Gemini]
(1998) Maiden Voyage [Audio Archives]

Lineup

Steve Drewett / Vocals
Trev Thoms / Guitar, Backing Vocals
Barry Skeels / Bass, Backing Vocals
Paul Reynolds / Drums

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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