I remember when this album first came out. I had just become a huge Maiden fan after the previous record Somewhere In Time. By this time, I had bought their back catalogue of studio albums and was swept up by the hype surrounding the release of Seventh Son. I remember Bruce Dickinson being interviewed on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball and stating this album would be “quite popular to people who have never seen this band before” because it was the best album they had made to date and it was going to take Maiden in new, exciting directions. Then I saw the video for “Can I Play With Madness,” and that whetted my appetite even more (O.K., many fans at the time thought the song was too commercial, but it is still awesome and one of their best singles ever!). I recall bugging the record store clerks many times with “Have you got the new Iron Maiden album in yet?” I don’t think I have ever been so excited about an album release before or since! When I finally bought it (I wanted it on cassette, but the store was out so I opted for vinyl because I couldn’t wait), I think I was slightly disappointed at first. My expectations were a bit too high. But the more I played it, the more I liked it. When I listen to it now, after all this time, I can really appreciate the genius of it. A true conceptual album about a child born with clairvoyant powers (the seventh son of a seventh son), who did not ask to be born this way and has problems dealing with the strange circumstances he finds himself in as well as the forces of good and evil battling for his soul. The music is brilliant, with accoustical guitar, keyboards and other additions to transform Maiden’s sound. In retrospect, Seventh Son was the last great Maiden album. Instead of being a stepping stone to more Maiden innovations, it proved to be Maiden’s peak. Things seemed to go down hill after this record, with Adrian Smith and Dickinson eventually leaving to work on their own projects.