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Ed Rivadavia How Iron Maiden Symbolically Rescued Heavy Metal From 1990s Purgatory And Decreed A Brave New World

It may be something of a stretch to state that, as Iron Maiden’s career flourished or floundered over these past 40 years, so has the overall commercial health of heavy metal music; but this certainly seemed plausible at the time of the English group’s victorious return via 2000’s Brave New World album.

After all, Maiden pretty much ruled the 1980s, just as metal had, then struggled through the 1990s, when changing musical fashions coincided with the departure of charismatic frontman Bruce Dickinson (replaced by ex-Wolfsbane screamer Blaze Bayley) to erode the band’s creative powers, their record sales, and even their once unassailable touring business, which saw them “demoted” from stadiums to arenas, to theaters.  

Looking back on his decision to embark on a solo career in a 2000 interview with Lollipop magazine, Dickinson said, 

“I hesitate to say it, but [Iron Maiden] became a little … comfortable. Complacent. One of the reasons why I quit the band was because I felt the other guys were pretty pleased with where we were, and we were no longer struggling or trying anymore. I wanted to keep trying. Not trying new things to be fashionable — because no one in this band gives a shit about being fashionable — but to “react” to the times. React, rather than trying to be significant for the sake of it.”

So, Bruce went off to “keep trying” via 1994’s Balls to Picasso and ‘95’s Skunkworks, while Maiden bassist and chief songwriter Steve Harris did his best to steer his bandmates down the metallic straight-and-narrow on 1995’s The X Factor and ‘97’s Virtual XI … yet something always seemed to be missing, for both parties.

And in his autobiography, What Does this Button Do?, Dickinson himself admitted that his late ‘90s solo albums, Accident of Birth (‘97) and The Chemical Wedding (‘98) had started sounding increasingly similar to his old band, concluding that “There were only a few options available to Maiden, and one of them was to ask me back.” Even more telling, when Bruce quizzed his solo band on the matter, their answer was, essentially, “The world needs Iron Maiden – you have to do it.” 

Steve Harris seemed to agree, so after handling the messy business of dispensing with Bayley’s services, the formal announcement was made in February of 1999: Dickinson was back, and so was beloved guitarist Adrian Smith, transforming Iron Maiden into a rare, triple-axe attack alongside Dave Murray and Janick Gers, rounded out by the one and only Nicko McBrain bashing the drums in the back, of course.

Eager to get reacquainted, both personally and musically, Maiden’s new sextet lineup hit the road that July on the Ed Hunter Tour (named for a video game that was totally overshadowed by the reunion excitement), which served to knock off any rust and honed the band’s focus for the challenge that followed: recording a brand-new Iron Maiden studio album – their 12th overall and first with producer Kevin Shirley.

It was Shirley who convinced the band to eschew the usual process of recording instruments separately and perform the new material live in their Paris studio, later telling Metal Hammer:

“I could see how there was this intangible energy you’d get, just from having musicians playing together. So, I was dead keen on Maiden doing that. Steve, in particular, was very hesitant about it … so I said, ‘If it doesn’t work then we’ll go back and do it as you’ve done previously, but let’s give it a try!’ Pretty much, as soon as they’d done one or two run-throughs, he said, ‘I never want to work another way again!’”

Said Harris succinctly to Kerrang! magazine, at the time: “All I care about is how it feels now, not how it was.”

This recording approach, aside from promoting band camaraderie, reflected a more collaborative songwriting process, described as follows by Dickinson to Lollipop: “We got to rehearsals and I said, ‘Well, Adrian and I have a few things;’ Janick says, ‘Steve and I have been working on some things too;’ and Davey says, ‘I’ve got a few things with Adrian and Steve as well.’ We all worked on those combinations. We only kept the good ideas, but all the stuff we kept had been the product of people working together.”

The end-results on Brave New World clearly reflected this unprecedented display of teamwork with ten songs that almost studiously checked off every sonic box that, in unison, comprised the classic Maiden formula – giving fans exactly what they wanted and nothing else, since this was hardly the time for getting cute!

The first song and single, “The Wicker Man” (a reworked leftover from Dickinson’s solo period), was the very picture of Maiden-esque economy, tracing its urgent brevity to prior opening barnstormers like “Prowler,” “Aces High” and “Be Quick or Be Dead,” but, beyond this point, the song lengths immediately started growing, as the band boldly revisited their quasi-progressive compositional style of old.

Harris, Gers, and Dickinson joined forces for the evocative “Ghost of the Navigator”; Murray, Harris and Dickinson handled the album’s anthemic title cut; then came the record’s only “solo” effort in Steve’s poignant “Blood Brothers,” which was dedicated to his father, but very much spoke for the spirit of Iron Maiden’s revitalized brotherhood.

Ensuing material like Gers’ and Harris’ “The Mercenary” and “Dream of Mirrors,” plus Murray’s and Harris’ “The Nomad,” had been salvaged from the waning days of the Blaze era, but one of Brave New World’s very best offerings, “The Fallen Angel,” resulted from Smith and Harris’ renewed collaboration.

Wrapping things up was another lyrically imaginative number in “Out of the Silent Planet,” composed by Gers, Dickinson, and Harris, and then the possibly self-referencing Murray/Harris partnership, “The Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” neither one of which would go down as long-term Iron Maiden standards, but hardly let down Brave New World’s clear-cut return to form.

And, best of all, fans seemed to agree, as the album shot to No. 7 in the UK Charts, No. 39 in the U.S. with over 300,000 units sold the first week (this being a time when physical records still shifted serious quantities), and immediately reversed Maiden’s decade-spanning decline – they were soon packing major arenas as if the 1990s had never even happened.

Looking back now, it’ safe to say that Iron Maiden has enjoyed a second golden era these past 20 years – creating a legitimate Brave New World by pooling together their considerable talents, respecting their shared historical legacy, and exerting sheer willpower upon their destiny.

Heavy metal thanks them very much.

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The post How Iron Maiden Symbolically Rescued Heavy Metal From 1990s Purgatory And Decreed A Brave New World appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Thrilled to announce the AT HOME WITH MICK ROCK COLLECTION! All of the previous and upcoming images…

via The Real Mick Rock

First listen: White Boy Scream

via The Wire: Home

Freya Parr The concert halls that are reopening following the coronavirus lockdown


Vienna Philharmonic

The Vienna Philharmomnic will return to the Musikverein on 5 June to resume live performances with audiences. Audiences will be restricted to a maximum of 100 guests, all of whom will be required to wear a mask.

Concerts will be no longer than 70 minutes without an interval.

The orchestra's first concert back in the hall will be Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, led and conducted by pianist Daniel Barenboim.

There will be no puiblic sale of tickets: all tickets will go to family members and supporters of the orchestra. Subscription concerts will resume in October.



BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

Although the first six weeks of this year's BBC Proms will be held online, with a series of archive concerts, the BBC is hoping to be able to move back into London's Royal Albert Hall for the final two weeks of the season from 28 August. 

More info here.



Ravenna Festival, Italy

The Italian festival will restart from 21 June, with its opening concert led by Riccardo Muti at the open-air 15th-century fortress, Rocca Brancaleone. Its programme has been amended since the coronavirus lockdown, and will be announced in due course. 



Basque National Orchestra

A short series of eight concerts will be performed by a smaller ensemble of around 50 musicians, all of whom will be following social distancing guidelines. Masks will be compulsory until musicians go on stage, and a 2m distance must be maintained at all times. The wind and percussion sections will be surrounded by protective screens.

Although there will still be no audiences, each concert will be recorded and broadcast on Saturday mornings at 11am from 30 May on ETB2. 

Works by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Mozart and Richard Strauss are on the programmes. 

It is the first orchestra in Spain to be returning to the stage.



This list will be regularly updated. If there are any we have missed, please contact



Shirley Collins announces new album Heart’s Ease and shares video

via The Wire: Home

CM von Hausswolff curates seven sound installations for the web

via The Wire: Home

falsepriest Database Review: Which Countries And Formats Are Dominating Discogs In 2020

So far, 2020, while a bummer in many regards, is shaping up pretty well when it comes to the archiving of music releases. As we’ve shared previously, submissions are up significantly on previous years, as well as edits, images added, YouTube clips added, and general improvements to the database by the diligent community of contributors. 

While the plethora of data on Discogs is interesting in its own right, we always love digging in a bit further to see where the data is coming from and what it is in more specifics. In this instance, we’re looking at which countries have been the most prolific contributors over the past few months, and which formats have been most favoured by our contributors in the past year compared the history of Discogs. 

Submissions By Country

Looking at the biggest contributors by country, this graph says it all. You Americans have been busy this year – especially over the past few months. That spike in submissions starts around week 11 of this year – or early March. We hardly need to remind you what was going on around that time. We see submissions from the UK, Germany, and Japan also start to creep up around this time. Not quite as dramatically, but still telling. And Japan looks like they’re just starting to get into the swing of it – keep it up!

This graph is a pretty good representation of how submissions are entered by country most of the time. Although the lines are generally a little flatter, the order of biggest contributing countries holds true. We’ve included the rest of Europe even though Germany and the UK (uh, do you guys still belong to a continent?) appear in their own right to demonstrate how significant the contributions from those top four countries compared to the next biggest contributing region.

Submissions By Format

Looking at the volume of submissions by format over most recent couple of years, it’s striking how many of those submissions have been CDs, especially since to many, Discogs has become synonymous with vinyl records.

In fact, this isn’t really anything new. While 12″ got an early leg up on the formats added to Discogs in the early 2000s, CD took over as most submitted format in 2006 and has held steady since then. The volume of 12″ submissions first started to wane around 2008, after reaching its peak volume of submissions, and in 2016 that volume fell below the number of format submissions we term ‘Other’ (this includes less commonly found/submitted formats like Shellac, 10″, Flexi-discs, etc). The margin of CD submissions compared to other formats has continued to grow over the years, continually accounting for a larger percentage of overall submissions year over year.

What Makes the Humble CD So Pervasive?

We have a few theories, and we’d welcome more if you have your own. For one thing it groups more types of releases – singles, albums, EPs – whereas vinyl is split across 12″, 7″, and LP (and it could be worth noting that when looking at April 2019-April 2020 submissions, the sum of these three formats eclipses CDs, 57,937 to 49,543).

CDs were inescapable in the 90s – they were relatively cheap to produce, they sound good, and they were extremely portable (shout out to my Discman). New releases came out on CD, and classic albums were remastered and reissued and widely available – maybe there’s just more of them out there compared to other formats.

And finally, maybe we just lost fewer. Shellac is notoriously fragile; tapes come unspooled and end up as litter; collections of vinyl records literally being thrown in dumpsters. CDs seem kind of indestructible by comparison (well, almost), and while they’ve been surpassed by newer technology, don’t quite have an air of obsolescence yet (although maybe we’re not the best people to ask).

Remember, you can impact this data. Submit your releases to Discogs and contribute to the biggest global database of physical music.

The post Database Review: Which Countries And Formats Are Dominating Discogs In 2020 appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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TUSK Virtual 2020

via The Wire: Home

falsepriest A Step-By-Step Guide To Setting Up Your Shipping Policies (With Video)

If you’re reading this, you probably already know about the benefits of having your Shipping Policies correctly set up. One of the best things about Shipping Policies is the convenience and time you’ll save on adding shipping prices to every order. One seller we spoke to was delighted to wake up to find orders having come in overnight, already completed and paid for without him having to lift a finger.

As with all admin, setting up Shipping Policies probably isn’t the most exciting thing you’ll do today, but it also doesn’t have to be a struggle. By putting in this time upfront you’ll save time in the long run. If you’ve been thinking about setting up but not sure how to get started, we’ve got you covered!

Things to consider before you set up your shipping policies:

Where you ship to

Your listings will only be shown to shoppers in countries you select in your Shipping Policies, so set them up wisely. Obviously the more countries you ship to, the bigger the pool of buyers – always good for order numbers.
If you think it’s not worth it to you to ship to the opposite hemisphere for an order below a certain amount, you can enter a minimum subtotal value in the Shipping Method. Your policy will only be added to orders over that amount.  

Gather information on shipping providers available in your country and the costs

As a seller on Discogs, you’re probably already pretty aware of shipping costs and may have your rates listed in your Seller Terms anyway. If not, we recommend starting by looking up your local postal service’s website for their rates, tariffs, and zones. It’s also worth looking into which courier services are available to you and their pricing. Sometimes their rates can be even cheaper, or they might offer more robust insurance options.

Shipping Rates Per Country
Check out our suggested shipping prices for several countries in North and South America, Europe (incl. UK), and Asia, with more countries to come.

That’s pretty much the hard part out of the way, now you just need to enter the information into your Shipping Policies in your Seller Settings. Follow along step-by-step as I set up Shipping Policies based on our price recommendations from Royal Mail in the UK.

Getting Started

Head over to your Shipping Policy editor.

This can be found in your Seller Settings

Or click the Marketplace dropdown in the main site navigation and under the ‘Sell Music’ column, click Inventory, then go to the Shipping Policies Tab. 

Select the first region you want to enter

Uncheck any countries you don’t want to ship to if necessary.

Set Shipping Policies on Weight, Format, or Quantity

You have three choices when you set up your Shipping Policies for how you want shipping to be measured and applied – by weight, format, or quantity of items. This all comes down to personal preference. Looking at how each of these is favored in current Shipping Policies, format is the most popular among sellers, followed by quantity. In the video loops below, I go with weight, based on suggested shipping prices from Royal Mail in our template (check it out if you’re in the UK).

Add your Shipping Prices by weight tier (or format or quantity, as applicable), and hit Save Changes.

Add additional shipping methods to give buyers more choice.

In this example, we’re offering Airmail and International Tracked & Signed. You might also like to offer Free Shipping over a certain amount by selecting it as a method and using the ‘Order subtotal must be at least X’ field, or Local Pickup for domestic orders.

Exclude Countries or Regions

If you can’t, or don’t want to ship to certain areas, excluding these countries from your Shipping Policies will ensure your listings aren’t available to buyers in those areas. (Sorry Oceania and Antarctica, it’s not you, it’s us).

And that about does it. Stay tuned for changes coming soon to how buyers can view your Shipping Policies on your Seller Profile and in the marketplace. We’ll add that here as soon as it’s live, along with other improvements slated for the Shipping Policy editor over the coming months.

If we missed part of setting up Shipping Policies or you need more clarity on any part of the process, let us know in the comments. Happy Shipping!

The post A Step-By-Step Guide To Setting Up Your Shipping Policies (With Video) appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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