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Iron Maiden - Powerslave  (Rock In Rio Festival 1985)

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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Powerslave on Wikipedia
Iron Maiden - Powerslave.jpg
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released3 September 1984
RecordedFebruary – June 1984[1]
StudioCompass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
GenreHeavy metal
Capitol (North America)
ProducerMartin Birch
Iron Maiden studio albums chronology
Singles from Powerslave
  1. "2 Minutes to Midnight"
    Released: 6 August 1984
  2. "Aces High"
    Released: 22 October 1984

Powerslave is the fifth studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 3 September 1984 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in North America. It was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 2002.

It is notable for its Ancient Egyptian theme displayed in the cover artwork, lifted from the title track, which was carried over to the album's supporting tour. "The World Slavery Tour" began in Warsaw, Poland on 9 August 1984 – and is widely regarded as being the band's longest and most arduous to date – and also led to the live album Live After Death.

The release also contains a musical re-telling of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", which uses pieces of the original poem as lyrics. At 13 minutes and 45 seconds in length, it was Iron Maiden's longest song for over 30 years, until it was surpassed by the 18-minute "Empire of the Clouds" from the 2015 album, The Book of Souls.

Powerslave is also notable as being the band's first album to feature the same personnel as their previous studio release. This lineup would remain intact for two further studio releases. Also, it is their last album to date to feature an instrumental piece.

"2 Minutes to Midnight" and "Aces High" were released as singles.


  • 1 Background, writing and recording
  • 2 Track listing
  • 3 Subsequent releases
  • 4 Personnel
  • 5 Additional notes
  • 6 Charts
    • 6.1 Album
    • 6.2 Singles
      • 6.2.1 Notes
  • 7 Certifications
  • 8 References

Background, writing and recording

Following the conclusion of their highly successful World Piece Tour in December 1983, during which Iron Maiden headlined large venues and arenas in the US for the first time in their career,[7] the band took three weeks off in January 1984 before regrouping in Jersey.[1] As with Powerslave's predecessor Piece of Mind (1983), this was where most of the album's writing took place before the band began recording at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas.[8]

Bassist Steve Harris recalled how, under time pressure, the song "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was written in a relatively short space of time.[9] Influenced by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem of the same name (drawing heavily from his 1815–16 gloss),[10] the song directly quotes two passages from the poem, the former including the famous lines: 'Water, water everywhere – nor any drop to drink'.[11] At over thirteen minutes long, the track contains several distinct sections with differing moods and would become a fan favourite.[3] During the 2008–09 Somewhere Back in Time World Tour, guitarist Dave Murray, vocalist Bruce Dickinson and Harris cited the song as their favourite from that tour to play live.[12]

Once finished, the band undertook another short break while the album was mixed at Electric Lady Studios, New York, before reconvening in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to rehearse for the World Slavery Tour.[13] The tour began in Poland in August 1984 and ended in California in late 1985.[14] The stage set was an eye-opener, echoing the album cover, including monumental pedestals several stories high atop which the musicians appeared at times during the show.[10] The set amply filled even the gigantic proscenium of Radio City Music Hall. It was also the first time a heavy metal band had taken a full set behind the Iron Curtain, visiting Poland and Hungary, a landmark achievement at the time.[14] The tour continued into South America for the first time where they played to an estimated audience of 300,000 at the inaugural Rock in Rio as special guests to the band Queen.[9] The Live After Death album and video, recorded over four nights at Long Beach Arena in LA and Hammersmith Odeon in London,[15] were also released and respectively peaked at No. 2 and No. 1 in the UK charts.[16]

In total, the tour was thirteen months long and touched 28 countries.[14] Powerslave debuted at No. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, as a result of their record company (EMI's) third Now That's What I Call Music! pop compilation.[14][16][17] According to both Nicko McBrain and Adrian Smith, Powerslave began making Iron Maiden famous "very fast, very quickly", such as in Brazil, where hundreds of fans waited outside hotels and restaurants for the band.[9]

"Flash of the Blade" was included on the soundtrack of Dario Argento's 1985 horror film Phenomena and was covered by the American band Avenged Sevenfold on their double live album/DVD, Live in the LBC & Diamonds in the Rough. Rhapsody of Fire have also recorded a cover of the song that is featured on the deluxe edition of their album From Chaos to Eternity. The song "Flash of the Blade" can also be heard in the Jem and the Holograms episode "Kimber's Rebellion", just after the cartoon band members return home from Paris, on a boom-box stereo being carried by a passerby.

Subsequent releases

  • The 1995 re-release contains a bonus disc, which contains the B-sides of the original singles.
  • It was re-released in 1998 with an extra multimedia section, which featured the music videos for "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight".
  • Originally, "Back in the Village" and "Powerslave" had running times of 5:02 and 7:12 respectively,[2] but when remastered for the 1998 reissue, the introduction to "Powerslave" was merged with the end of "Back in the Village", resulting in "Powerslave"'s length being cut to 6:48 and "Back in the Village" being extended to 5:21. Also, in the remastered release, silences at the beginning and end of some tracks were cut, which caused the total length of the album to be cut down to 50:34.


Production and performance credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[2][18]

Iron Maiden
  • Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
  • Dave Murray – guitar
  • Adrian Smith – guitar
  • Steve Harris – bass guitar
  • Nicko McBrain – drums
Additional personnel
  • Martin Birch – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Frank Gibson – assistant engineer
  • Bruce Buchhalter – assistant engineer
  • George Marino – mastering
  • Derek Riggs – sleeve design, sleeve concept, sleeve illustration
  • Moshe Brakha – photography
  • Rod Smallwood – management, sleeve design, sleeve concept
  • Andy Taylor – management
  • Simon Heyworth – remastering (1998 edition)
  • Ross Halfin – photography (1998 edition)

Additional notes


  • (1984 LP) EMI POWER 1/EJ 2402001 [UK]
  • (1984 LP) Capitol ST-12321 [USA]
  • (1984 CD) EMI/Capitol CDP 7 46045 2 [Worldwide]
  • (1998 CD) EMI 7243 4 96920 0 8 [UK]
  • (1998 CD) Sanctuary/Metal Is/Columbia CK-86212 [USA]
  • (2002 CD) Sanctuary CK-86044 [Album Replica] [USA]


  1. ^ a b Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 124. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  2. ^ a b c Powerslave (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 3 September 1984. 
  3. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Powerslave – Iron Maiden > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Popoff, Martin (November 1, 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. pp. 171–172. ISBN 978-1-894959-31-5. 
  5. ^ Wall, Mick (6 September 1984). "Hero-Glyphics!". Kerrang!. 76. London, UK: Spotlight Publications Ltd. p. 8. 
  6. ^ Stagno, Mike (17 May 2006). "Iron Maiden – Powerslave". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 116. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  8. ^ Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  9. ^ a b c "The History of Iron Maiden part 2". Live After Death (DVD). EMI. 4 February 2008. 
  10. ^ a b Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 254. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  11. ^ "Rime Of the Ancient Mariner". Lyrics Freak. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Scot McFadyen, Sam Dunn (directors) (2009). Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (documentary). EMI. 
  13. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 125. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  14. ^ a b c d Wall, Mick (2004). Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills, the Authorised Biography (3rd ed.). Sanctuary Publishing. p. 253. ISBN 1-86074-542-3. 
  15. ^ Bushell, Garry; Halfin, Ross (1985). Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden (2nd ed.). Zomba Books. p. 130. ISBN 0-946391-84-X. 
  16. ^ a b c "Iron Maiden UK Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "1984 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive - 15 September 1984". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  18. ^ Powerslave Remastered (Media notes). Iron Maiden. EMI. 1998. 
  19. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave (Album)". Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 166. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  21. ^ "Iron Maiden, Powerslave". Media Control Charts (in German). Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave, Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave, New Zealand Charts". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c "Iron Maiden – Powerslave (Album)". VG-lista. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  25. ^ a b "Iron Maiden – Powerslave (Album)". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  26. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave" (in German). Swiss Hitparade. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  27. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave". Productores de Música de España (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  29. ^ "Iron Maiden – Powerslave (album)". The Official Finnish Charts. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Single – Iron Maiden, '2 Minutes to Midnight'". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  31. ^ a b "Irish Singles". IRMA. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 25 August 1984". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "UK Singles Archive- 10 November 1984". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  34. ^ "UK Albums Archive- 31 March 1990". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Iron Maiden – Powerslave". Music Canada. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Iron Maiden; 'Powerslave')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "British album certifications – Iron Maiden – Powerslave". British Phonographic Industry. 11 December 1984. Retrieved 28 August 2011.  Enter Powerslave in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  38. ^ "American album certifications – Iron Maiden – Powerslave". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 28 August 2011.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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