IRON MAIDEN: RUN TO THE HILLS-The Official Biography (Book Review)
Released: 1998, Sanctuary Music Library
I figured with the release of Maiden’s new Live CD and DVD I would tackle a couple of Maiden related books for my monthly book reviews. Check out my Iron Maiden companion review as well.
Having grown up listening to the band I found this to be a fascinating read. Well written by longtime Maiden insider Mick Wall the book details the earliest years of the band and follows them up to modern day. The book is not a tell all expose of the seedy underbelly of rock’n’roll like Motley Crue’s “The Dirt”, but a more sophisticated look at the band and it’s history. That’s not to say the lads didn’t get into trouble and there are a few inside stories that are delightful, but the band does not run around bragging about how many chicks they banged each night.
I found some of the most interesting parts the details about the band members young lives, their desire to be soccer players and get out of the economically depressed areas of England. The adversity the band faced in the early days is a testament to the bands (Steve’s) perseverance to make the band become what they are today.
Two complaints. The style Mr. Wall picked to chronicle these events is choppy and uneven. He choose to break it down into chapters based on each member and a few extras thrown in. I would have preferred a more chronological style. Second complaint, the content is uneven as well with the book being heavily dedicated to the first early years of the band. For example, Wall spends 250 pages describing the bands early days up to Piece of Mind. But then he spends a mere 20 pages describing the entire period from 1983 to 1987, considered the classic years and line-up by many. This is a serious short coming to virtually skip the five most successful years in the bands history.
Aside from those gripes, there are many neat anecdotes and tales of the band rubbing shoulders with other rock royalty on their tours across the globe.
Good times, bad times, it is all hear in muted detail. The book itself has a few dozen photos some rare, some not so rare, has a nice glossy cover and is about 350 pages long. I have the first printing I do not have the update with the details of Bruce’s return. You can order it from most major retailers. I seriously recommend this book for not only Maiden fans but people who are interesting in the inner workings of one the largest metal bands on the planet.