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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Iconic Vinyl: Iron Maiden Somewhere In Time

This week’s selection is a great example of the stunning artwork that has adorned Iron Maiden albums and singles. It’s a classic example of the intricate and instantly recognisable work of Derek Riggs. His work with Maiden over the years has produced some truly amazing art in its own right.

Somewhere in Time is particularly impressive and it was adored by fans who bought it on vinyl on its release back in 1986. Hidden and clearly visible Maiden links to thier past are everywhere and marked a turning point for the band both stylistically and musically which divided many fans but here at ROX we think this album is killer (no pun intended). A picture disc version of the album was also released and the album is now also available on CD and digital.


Somewhere in Time: Album Overview

"Somewhere in Time" is the sixth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on September 29, 1986. This album marked a significant shift for the band as it introduced synthesizers to their sound, specifically guitar and bass synthesizers, which added a new, futuristic dimension to their music. Thematically, "Somewhere in Time" explores themes of time travel and existential introspection, making it one of the band's more conceptually ambitious records.

 Singles: "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land"

 Wasted Years

"Wasted Years," released as the album's lead single on September 6, 1986, is one of Iron Maiden's most iconic songs. Written by guitarist Adrian Smith, the track is noted for its introspective lyrics reflecting on the rigors of life on the road and the passage of time. The song's melodic structure, catchy chorus, and memorable riff have made it a fan favorite and a staple in Iron Maiden's live performances.

Stranger in a Strange Land

"Stranger in a Strange Land," the second single from "Somewhere in Time," was released on November 22, 1986. Also written by Adrian Smith, the song is inspired by the experiences of Arctic explorers who became trapped in ice and were found decades later. The track stands out for its mid-tempo pace and haunting atmosphere, further enhanced by its lyrical narrative of isolation and discovery.

Album Cover Design

The cover art for "Somewhere in Time" is one of Iron Maiden's most elaborate and visually rich creations. Designed by Derek Riggs, who has been responsible for many of the band's iconic covers, the artwork depicts the band's mascot, Eddie, as a cyborg in a futuristic, dystopian cityscape. The scene is filled with numerous Easter eggs and references to the band's past work, such as previous album covers and song titles.

The setting combines elements of science fiction and cyberpunk, echoing the album's thematic exploration of time and technology. The cover's intricate details invite fans to explore and decode its many hidden messages, making it a significant part of the album's legacy.

 Derek Riggs: The Artist Behind the Covers

Derek Riggs is an English artist renowned for his work with Iron Maiden. His collaboration with the band began in the early 1980s, and he quickly became known for his distinctive, imaginative style that brought Eddie to life. Riggs' work is characterized by its vivid detail, imaginative concepts, and the ability to tell a story through a single image.

Riggs' designs have become synonymous with Iron Maiden's identity, contributing significantly to the band's visual and cultural impact. His covers often include numerous hidden references and in-jokes, creating a rich visual tapestry that fans have come to love and eagerly anticipate with each new release.

Overall, "Somewhere in Time," its singles "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land," and Derek Riggs' iconic cover art all represent a pivotal moment in Iron Maiden's career, showcasing their willingness to innovate musically and visually while maintaining their distinct heavy metal identity.

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