- Somewhere in Time (Iron Maiden album)
Somewhere In Time Studio album by Iron Maiden Released 29 September 1986 Recorded 1985-1986
Compass Point Studios
Genre Heavy metal Length 51:24 Language English Label EMI Producer Martin Birch Iron Maiden chronology Powerslave
Somewhere in Time
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Singles from Somewhere in Time Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  Sputnikmusic  This table needs to be expanded using prose. See the guideline for more information.
Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 September 1986 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the US (it was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the US in 1998). The studio follow-up to the hugely successful Powerslave/Live After Death pair, it was the first Iron Maiden album to feature guitar synthesizers.
Somewhere On Tour was the release's supporting tour.
Somewhere in Time is notable for lacking any songwriting credits from lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band. Dickinson had written several "acoustic-based" songs, explaining that "I felt we had to come up with our Physical Graffiti or Led Zeppelin IV ... we had to get it onto another level or we'd stagnate and drift away," although Steve Harris "thought he'd lost the plot completely," surmising that "he was probably more burnt out than anyone at the end of that last tour." On the other hand, the record is also notable for the number of "fully formed" songs written by guitarist Adrian Smith, who wrote both of the album's singles; "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land".
Although "space and time" are common themes throughout the release, with songs such as "Wasted Years," "Caught Somewhere in Time" and "Deja-Vu," the band never intended for it to be a concept album, with Steve Harris stating, "We certainly never went in there and said, 'Right let's write a load of songs on the subject of time.'" While the majority of the release's songs have disappeared from the band's live shows shortly after its supporting tour, "Wasted Years" and "Heaven Can Wait" have often been played since. Performances of "Heaven Can Wait" have featured a group of local fans and celebrities invited onstage to sing along during the song's middle section.
The record also marked a change for Iron Maiden, as it was their first to use synth, although this style was expanded on with their next release, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which added keyboards. This was also their first studio album not to be released a year after their previous one, with the band insisting that they have more time "to get it right without hurrying for a change," comments Harris. It was also one of their most expensive records, with the bass and drums recorded in the Bahamas, the guitars and vocals recorded in Holland and the mixing taking place in New York.
The 2008 tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, released by Kerrang! magazine, features covers of two of the album's songs; "Wasted Years" by DevilDriver and "Caught Somewhere in Time" by Madina Lake.
All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted.
No. Title Writer(s) Length 1. "Caught Somewhere in Time" 7:26 2. "Wasted Years" Adrian Smith 5:08 3. "Sea of Madness" Adrian Smith 5:42 4. "Heaven Can Wait" 7:21 5. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" 6:31 6. "Stranger in a Strange Land" Adrian Smith 5:44 7. "Deja-Vu" Dave Murray, Steve Harris 4:56 8. "Alexander the Great" 8:36
- Bruce Dickinson – vocals
- Dave Murray – guitar, synthesized guitars
- Adrian Smith – guitar, synthesized guitars, backing vocals
- Steve Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals, bass synth
- Nicko McBrain – drums
- Martin Birch – producer, engineer, mixing, tape operator
- Albert Boekholt – engineer, assistant engineer
- Ronald Prent – engineer, assistant engineer
Year Chart Position 1986 Austrian Albums Chart 10 Norwegian Albums Chart 8 Swedish Albums Chart 6 Swiss Albums Chart 22 UK Albums Chart 3 U.S. Billboard Hot 200 11 1998 German Albums Chart 8
Year Single Chart Position Album 1986 "Wasted Years" Irish Singles Chart 11 Somewhere in Time UK Singles Chart 18 "Stranger in a Strange Land" Irish Singles Chart 18 UK Singles Chart 22 1990 "Wasted Years/ Stranger in a Strange Land" UK Albums Chart[note 1] 9 —
The cover for Somewhere in Time, created by the band's then regular artist, Derek Riggs, displays a cyborg-enhanced Eddie in a futuristic, Blade Runner-inspired environment. Much like the visual richness of the cover of Powerslave, the wrap-around album cover holds a plethora of references to earlier Iron Maiden albums and songs, such as:
- The street sign on the corner where Eddie is standing says Acacia (partially obscured), a reference to the song "22 Acacia Avenue" from The Number of the Beast album.
- Below "Acacia" is a poster of Eddie from the first album, with graffiti reading "Eddie lives" written on it. Torn posters are also featured on the Sanctuary and Women in Uniform singles.
- A banner with the words, "This is a very boring painting" is displayed backwards within the lobby of the Bradbury Towers Hotels International. This can be seen to the left of Eddie's right leg.
- In the very centre, just above the "Department" sign and behind the cable going to the cyborg's weapon, there is a small vertical phrase in red neon, which reads "Меня Рвёт" [Menya Rvyot], Russian for "I'm vomiting" — or more literally, "it's tearing me up", depending on the context.
- An Eye of Horus neon sign at the top of a building, a reference to the song, "Powerslave".
- Under Eddie's left leg there is a rubbish bin attached to a lamppost, identical to the one seen on the cover of the "Iron Maiden" album.
- The haloed black cat from the back cover of Live After Death is on the pavement behind Eddie.
- Below the the Eye of Horus is the name, "Websters," a tribute to Charlie Webster, EMI's art director.
- Derek Riggs' artistic signature symbol can be found on Eddie's chest.
References on the back include:
- A clock reading 23:58 ("2 Minutes to Midnight").
- Below the clock there is a sign which reads "Phantom Opera House," in reference to the song "Phantom of the Opera" from the first album.
- The words "Bollocks again & again" appear just below the "Phantom Opera House".
- A building on the left side carries the sign, "Aces High Bar," a reference to the song ("Aces High") of the same name.
- Flying over the "Aces High Bar" is a Spitfire from the "Aces High" cover.
- To the left of the "Aces High Bar" are four letters in yellow and green. These are Hebrew letters spelling out the name of God, namely יהוה, Jehovah/Yahweh.
- Below the "Aces High Bar", is a sign that says "Sand Dune" in reference to their song "To Tame a Land," from Piece of Mind, based on the novel Dune.
- Pyramids in the background , a reference to the Powerslave album.
- Among the pyramids, a grim reaper, similar to that which appears on the covers of "The Trooper" and Live After Death.
- The marquee for the cinema reads Blade Runner, the film which inspired the album's cover. It also reads "Live After Death", the name of their 1985 live album.
- The cinema is named "Philip K. Dick Cinema", named after the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book on which the film Blade Runner was based.
- More Blade Runner references include "Dekkers Department Stores" and a "Tyrell Corp" sign.
- In the background, "Bradbury Towers" can be seen, a likely reference to the Blade Runner prominent Bradbury Building located in Los Angeles.
- To the right of the clock is a neon sign which reads "Ancient Mariner Seafood Restaurant", a reference to the song "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" from the Powerslave album.
- On the bottom left hand side of the cover is "The Ruskin Arms", famous for being one of the first venues which Iron Maiden performed in.
- On the second floor of the "Ruskin Arms" building is a woman sitting in a red lit room which, a reference to "Charlotte", a repeated character in the band's songs.
- Just above "The Ruskin Arms" is a neon sign that reads "RAINBOW", another famous venue where Iron Maiden recorded a video in 1980.
- Above and to the left of the "Rainbow" sign is a neon sign reading "L'AMOURS Beer Gardens", a reference to the "L'Amours" rock venue Iron Maiden once played in Brooklyn, New York.
- On the roof of the same building is the TARDIS from the BBC TV series Doctor Who. The TARDIS is also featured on the cover of the "Wasted Years" single.
- Above the Bradbury Towers neon sign is Icarus in flames falling from the sky, in the same style of the cover for the band's 1983 single "Flight of Icarus". According to Riggs, Icarus is supposed to look like the logo used by Swan Song Records, a label founded by Led Zeppelin.
- On the walkway above the clock is an electronic sign that says "LATEST RESULTS.......WEST HAM 7........ARSENAL 3", a nod to bass guitarist Steve Harris who is a West Ham supporter.
- At the right edge below, just near the band, there is another sign in Russian - Кефир ("KEFIR"), which means "yoghurt".
- Just above the "KEFIR" sign is a street sign reading "Upton Park," which is where West Ham's football stadium is located.
- There is a sign which reads "Tonight: Gypsy's Kiss", a reference to the first band Steve Harris ever played in.
- On the right side, above the "Bradbury Towers" sign, is a sign in Japanese, "浅田 彰," which refers to a notable Japanese philosopher, economist and critic, Akira Asada.
- To the right of the pyramids is a sign reading "Long Beach Arena," which is where most of the Live After Death album was recorded.
- The Syncom sign refers to the 1961 NASA program of the same name.
- The neon sign above the band reads "Maggies Revenge" and refers to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who appears on the cover of the Sanctuary and Women in Uniform singles.
- One of the buildings is labelled "Asimov Foundation", a reference to the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.
- A character wearing a large cloak stands above the walkway's right side, which Riggs claims is Batman.
- Just below the cloaked character and just above the "Latest Results" sign is the bracket that holds Eddie's skull together from the Piece of Mind album onwards, which Riggs drew as a cartouche.
- In the bottom right hand corner all five members of the band are standing in a line. Bruce Dickinson is holding a brain, a reference to Piece of Mind, and Nicko is wearing aviator goggles (he had a pilot's license by this time, long before Dickinson) and a t-shirt that says "Iron What?". According to Riggs, the band complained because the pictures of themselves weren't accurate enough.
- To the right of "Long Beach Arena" is a sign which reads "Hammerjacks", a night club and concert hall in Baltimore frequented by the band.
- Below Hammerjacks is a sign that says "Tehe's Bar", which is where the choir vocals in the middle of "Heaven Can Wait" were recorded.
- To the left of the clock is a sign that says "Herbert Ails", a reference to the author Frank Herbert who wrote the book, "Dune," which the Iron Maiden song, "To Tame a Land," is based on. Herbert had also died that same year, explaining the word "Ails."
- Beneath the Phantom Opera House sign, there is a sign that reads "EMI REC.". All of the band's albums, outside North America, have been released by EMI Records.
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