The Soundhouse Tapes
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3.58 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews
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EP · 1979

Filed under NWoBHM


1. Iron Maiden (4:03)
2. Invasion (3:10)
3. Prowler (4:19)

Total Time 11:33


- Paul Di'Anno / vocals
- Dave Murray / guitar
- Steve Harris / bass guitar
- Doug Sampson / drums

About this release

9 November 1979
Rock Hard

Thanks to Certif1ed, Pekka, Lynx33, adg211288 for the updates

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"The Soundhouse Tapes" is the first EP release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The EP was released through the band´s own label Rock Hard Records in November 1979. The original vinyl version of "The Soundhouse Tapes" was limited to 5000 copies, which were sold by mail order alone. The three tracks featured on the 11:28 minutes long EP ("Iron Maiden", "Invasion" and "Prowler") were originally recorded on New Years Eve of 1978 along with "Strange World" for a demo tape the band used to send to venues to book gigs. Before recording the demo Iron Maiden had a hard time finding gigs, but 1979 proved to be a fruitful year for the band, who played lots of shows and received great responses from the audience. The band were often met with a demand for recorded material by the fans after the shows, and that´s how the idea to release "The Soundhouse Tapes" was born. So the three tracks ("Strange World" was left off the EP, because the band weren´t satisfied with the production values on that particular track) featured on "The Soundhouse Tapes" are actually demos.

"Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" were both re-recorded and included on the band´s 1980 self-titled debut album while "Invasion" was re-recorded and included as a B-side on the "Women in Uniform (1980)" single. Both "Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" appear here in more or less the versions that you´ll hear on the debut album, albeit in more raw sounding and slower paced versions. "Invasion" is slightly less heavy metal oriented and reminds me a bit of early Rush. It´s not as catchy or infectiously aggressive as the other two tracks and it´s obvious why it wasn´t included on the debut album, but chosen as a B-side track on a single instead.

"The Soundhouse Tapes" is ultimately a pretty decent first recording by Iron Maiden although the later more professional studio versions of the tracks sound much better and are also more aggressive due to the higher pace and the more distorted guitar sound. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
An already good sound

Iron Maiden demos from the seventies! The "Iron Maiden" song is interpreted by Harris and delivers a more 70's feel with its downtempo. But it still rocks. The main novelty here is the track "Invasion" which carries well its name. Agressive and catchy mini-epic song with great solos and lots of changes in only 3 minutes. You could easily imagine invaders and knights while listening to it. The last song is "Prowler", which, as for "Iron Maiden", is slower than in the album version, but still interesting as it sounds 70's.

Although I prefer the album versions, these demos are worth a try, especially for early IRON MAIDEN and heavy metal fans.
siLLy puPPy
THE SOUNDHOUSE TAPES is an EP and very first release by IRON MAIDEN which came out in 1979 before their eponymous debut was released the following year. This is basically a bunch of demos that were recorded in one 24-hour session on December 31st, 1978 and recorded on that particular day because of the recording studio’s discount prices over the New Year’s holiday. Only 5000 copies of the original 7” vinyl LP were manufactured and the original pressing has become one pricey collectible for completists. This EP is notable as well for being the only release that features MAIDEN’s first drummer Doug Sampson who was replaced by Clive Burr due to health problems.

The original release contains only three tracks. Two primitive versions of “Iron Maiden” and “Prowler” which would be re-recorded in better forms and appear on the full debut album. The third track “Invasion” is a song about a Viking invasion and never found a home on any future IRON MAIDEN album but was released as the b-side on the “Women In Uniform” single. The track would be reworked and eventually become “Invaders” on “The Number Of The Beast.”

This short but sweet EP is by no means essential but it does show a glimpse into the nascency of one of the greatest and best selling metal bands in history. These rough and raw demo quality tracks are inferior to the re-recorded versions but even here they sound like the first version of the band with Paul Di’Anno as vocalist. The punk influences are more obvious on these tracks but this is clearly within the realms of fully formed NWOBHM. This EP was also pivotable for the band in that it got the attention of EMI records who snatched them up and offered a contract.

We all know what happens next. While these tracks are all early kick ass metal i find no need to shell out the dough to find this because all of these tracks would eventually find themselves on various compilations. Musically, however, despite the primitive feel heard here, this is quality IRON MAIDEN material and i love hearing these rough drafts in their hasty lo-fi splendor. While the band would go on to greatness it is a fun little dip into their early years to hear that they were masters of their game even at this early stage.

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  • powermetal2000
  • zappino
  • Lynx33
  • eduardofoxx13
  • 666sharon666
  • miguellangell
  • adg211288
  • kalacho
  • Colt

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