With such superb albums as Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave, Iron Maiden had forged a completely original heavy metal sound. Feeling that they'd taken it as far it could go, the band decided to broaden their sound with the use of synthesizers for their sixth studio album, 1986's Somewhere in Time.
While many other metal bands used synths in the '80s to appeal to the pop audience, Maiden wisely did not overindulge. Instead, they used them to create textures, and were rewarded with one of their most commercially successful releases. And although Maiden's next album, 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, would perfect this new approach, Somewhere contains many a highlight.
Both the "do it now" rocker "Wasted Years" and the more melodic "Stranger in a Strange Land" were successful singles/videos, while other prominent tracks included the album-closing epic, "Alexander the Great," the frenzied opener, "Caught Somewhere in Time," and the singalong concert fave, "Heaven Can Wait."
Although not quite as substantial as its predecessors (filler crops up here and there), Somewhere in Time succeeded in broadening Maiden's sound without alienating their longtime metal fans.
LP Track Listing:
1. Caught Somewhere in Time
2. Wasted Years
3. Sea of Madness
4. Heaven Can Wait
5. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
6. Stranger in a Strange Land
8. Alexander the Great