On September 2, 2003, "Dance of Death", the 13th studio album by "Iron Maiden" was released in Japan.
We want to tell you 17 interesting facts about it:
2. The album was recorded entirely on analog reel tape.
3. The album features the band's only song which is entirely acoustic - "Journeyman".
4. The song was "electric" originally, but the band members thought that after more than an hour of loud music it would not hurt the listener to enjoy something acoustic.
5. The electric version of the song can be found on the EP released by the band in March 2004 and is called "No More Lies". Link to listen to the electric version:
6. The album includes the song "New Frontier", which is the band's only song written by drummer Nicko McBrain. McBrain, who was "reborn" as a Christian, wrote the song as a protest against the cloning of animals and the fear that they would eventually reach humans.
7. It's also Iron Maiden's only album in which all six members of the band received writing credit.
8. The theme song from the album was written by Janick Gers inspired by a scene from Ingrid Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" movie, in which characters were seen performing the "Dance of Death". He wrote the music and told the subject to Steve Harris who wrote the lyrics and melody. During the tour that accompanied the album, Bruce Dickinson performed the song in a very theatrical way, changing several costumes. See here:
9. "Montségur" was written about the fall of the Cathares religious order on a Crusade in 1244. Bruce Dickinson noted that when he wrote the poem he thought that history was repeating itself and the story of the Cathares religious order reminds in one way or another similar cases in human history.
10. The epic piece "Paschendale" was written by Adrian Smith about a battle of the same name from the First World War. Smith noted that this time he tried to write a complex song with progressive influences and many rhythm changes, in contrast to most of his songs, which are shorter and more catchy.
11. "Face in the Sand" was written by Bruce Dickinson under the influence of media coverage of the Second Gulf War that broke out in Iraq when the album was recorded.
12. This is the only song from "Iron Maiden" in which Nicko McBrain uses a double bass pedal.
13. Two singles have been released from the album, the first, "Wildest Dreams", is the opening song of the album which was written by Adrian Smith and Steve Harris. The song reminds us how short life is and how to make the most of it. Smith noted that the song for him is a kind of combination of "Number of the Beast" and "Run to the Hills".
14. The clip for the song is a 3D computer animation that shows the band on an abandoned star fighting the character of Eddie. See here:
16. The B-side of the single included the song "More Tea Vicar" - a kind of Dickinson parody in the style of "rap", which completes a kind of parody sequence of b-sides, after "Pass the Jam", which was the b-side of "Wildest Dreams".
17. The album cover was created by David Patchett who asked for his name to be deleted from the credits, after the band chose (that is what he claimed) an unfinished version of the painting. Dickinson was later quoted as saying that the album cover was "embarrassing".