IRON MAIDEN – No Prayer For The Dying (2015 Remaster for iTunes)
We’ve been covering the fresh IRON MAIDEN catalog albums Remastered for iTunes, encoded from 24-bit / 96 khz high resolution masters, and while we think the ’80s period of the band is what worth mostly, their first Nineties record “No Prayer For The Dying” deserve a revisit too.
The other Iron Maiden brand new 2015 iTunes remasters can be found HERE. All these albums have been freshly mastered from their original analog sources with iTunes in mind, delivering the music to listeners exactly the way the artist and recording engineer intended.
The album marks Iron Maiden’s first line-up change since 1983; guitarist Adrian Smith left the band during the pre-production phase unhappy with the musical direction it was taking. He was replaced by Janick Gers, who had previously worked with singer Bruce Dickinson on his first solo-album, with Ian Gillan, former Marillion singer Fish, and many others.
Released in 1990, “No Prayer For The Dying” departed from the keyboard / synthesiser direction of the band’s two previous studio outings in favour of a more ‘stripped down’, straightforward style reminiscent of Maiden’s earlier material, which ushered in a change of vocal style for Bruce Dickinson from the ’80s acrobatics to a raspier way of singing.
The album also departed from literary and historical lyrical themes in favour of more political content, with songs focusing on religious exploitation (such as in the record’s first single, “Holy Smoke”) and social concerns (“Public Enema Number One”). “No Prayer For The Dying” is the only Iron Maiden studio album to date without a song exceeding six minutes in length and the only one to contain profanity in the lyrics.
Despite the mixed reviews, “No Prayer for the Dying” charted well in most countries, particularly in the UK where it debuted at No. 2. Includes the hit single “Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter”, which, in spite of a ban by the BBC, remains Iron Maiden’s only UK No. 1 single to date.
“Bring Your Daughter… to the Slaughter” is a tongue-in-cheek song written by Dickinson and originally recorded with his solo band for the A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child film soundtrack. Bassist Steve Harris decided that the song would be great for Maiden and had the band re-record it.
The idea to make a more ‘street level’ release also inspired the band to record in a barn on Harris’s property in Essex, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. This means it is the first Iron Maiden album to be recorded in their home country since 1982’s The Number of the Beast.
Dickinson states that this idea was a mistake, commenting that “It was shit! It was a shit-sounding record and I wished we hadn’t done it that way”.
Truth is “No Prayer for the Dying” never sounded that bad. But this with this fresh mastering, the guitars are clearer, the drums more substantial and the overall tone is so very much improved, in my opinion.
Steve Harris said: “Tony Newton and Ade Emsley, who worked closely with me on the project, did a terrific job recapturing everything from the original masters, and together we’ve re-mastered them all digitally and I’m really happy with the results.”
Tony Newton adds: “The process started with locating all of the original album mix tapes (or whichever format they were mixed to). Then the choice of analogue to digital convertor was chosen for the most accurate capture to make it as close as possible to the sound of the mix as it was intended by the band.
When a lot of these tapes were last captured it was in the 1980s, early days of digital and only 44.1khz/16bit files were possible. On top of this, the new A/D convertors are far superior now, and, of course, it is possible to produce files of far higher resolution.
The result of this is that the songs now sound more defined with added depth and warmth.
Steve Harris ends; “I was very excited to be asked to be part of this project. I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums.”
All these new Iron Maiden’s remasters for iTunes sound great in the car and with headphones the sound is wider.
While not essential, “No Prayer For The Dying” is a really good record, more raw, hard rockin’ in approach ‘song format’ album including fine melodies and strong performances.
01 – Tail Gunner
02 – Holy Smoke
03 – No Prayer For The Dying
04 – Public Enema Number One
05 – Fates Warning
06 – The Assassin
07 – Run Silent Run Deep
08 – Hooks In You
09 – Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter
10 – Mother Russia
Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Steve Harris – bass
Nicko McBrain – drums
Michael Kenney – keyboards
BUY IT !