Second re-release of the eighth single by the legendary British Heavy Metal band.
It's the first single from the band's fourth full-length studio album, "Piece of Mind" (1983) and the band's first release to feature Nicko McBrain, who replaced Clive Burr on drums in 1982.
"Flight of Icarus" is one of the better written songs by Iron Maiden. It was composed by Dickinson & Smith who had finally discovered how much fun it was for them to compose together. Unlike most of the other songs from the "Piece Of Mind", this one consists of simple riffs, vocal lines and had an easy accessible Pop song structure. A bad thing? Of course not! With musicians like these in their prime pretty much any song sounded great. And even in the hands of others ‘"Flight of Icarus" would still be a great song because of the catchy main riff and the strong chorus.
"Flight of Icarus" loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of Icarus who was imprisoned with his father Daedalus in the palace of Knossos on Crete. In an attempt to escape, the pair fabricated wings from feathers and wax so they could fly away. Unfortunately Icarus, not heeding the advice of his father, flew too close to the Sun, melting the wax that held the feathers and thus fell to his death in the sea. Vocalist Bruce Dickinson modified the original tale to make it an allegory of teenage rebellion against adult authority, which caused the death of Icarus in this case. There is a well performed solo towards the end, as well as some inviting lead melodies to listen to before the track is out. Dickinson's vocal performance sounds a bit like the late Ronnie James Dio in this one.
“Flight of Icarus” is one of the more memorable tracks off of Maiden’s classic "Piece Of Mind" album, a release relatively full of memorable tracks. Sort of a loose adaptation of the Icarus story, it’s nonetheless a strong romp through Maiden’s legendary songwriting and shows the band at a very solid point in their career. Awesome!
The B-side of the Single is a new studio rendition of the Montrose song "I Got the Fire" from the "Paper Money" album 1974. Iron Maiden originally released a live cover of this song during the Paul Di'Anno era, on 1980 single, "Sanctuary", however the "Flight Of Icarus" version features Bruce Dickinson on vocals and is a studio production rather than a live performance. The song ends up sounding like generic 70's Rock juiced up with some typical NWOBHM speed.
The single cover, in something of a parody of the original myth, portrays a winged Eddie killing Icarus with a flamethrower. Icarus resembles the figure in Evening: Fall of Day, by William Rimmer, which was used as a label logo by Led Zeppelin. According to the artist, Derek Riggs, this is a reference to Led Zeppelin's break-up a few years before.
It was the band's first single to be released in the United States, becoming one of their few songs to gain substantial airplay, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart - the highest position of any Iron Maiden single in the US. It was also a success in the UK, peaking at No. 11 on the UK Singles Chart.
Recorded from the original analogue master tapes.
Parlophone Records Ltd., A Warner Music Group Company, 1983/2014 (2564624879). Made in EU.
1. Flight of Icarus 3:51
2. I’ve Got the Fire 2:37
Total playing time: 6:28