“Only at Best Buy“ — the words chill me to the bones.
I don’t know what the deal is with Best Buy exclusives in Canada. When Tenacious D’s movie Pick of Destiny came out, I found the Best Buy edition no problem, just up the street. Bonus disc and all, easy peasy. Didn’t even know such a thing existed until I found it at Best Buy.
Only a few years later, it became impossible to find Best Buy exclusives at Best Buy. Using Tenacious D as the example again, the Best Buy edition of Rize of the Fenix has two bonus tracks. I had to buy it on eBay, so you know it was an inflated price. Same thing with the last Black Sabbath album. Best Buy had a bonus track called “Naïveté in Black” which happened to be one of the best songs. Had to buy it on eBay. Paid too much.
A few weeks ago, Best Buy announced they were getting an exclusive on the new Iron Maiden single “Speed of Light” from the forthcoming double album The Book of Souls. It came with a T-shirt. But I wanted the single just as much. That’s where Stone from Metal Odyssey came in!
First of all, I’m gonna tell you to follow Stone in some way, shape, or form. (WordPress/Twitter) He read my plight regarding Best Buy items here and took pity. I called my closest Best Buy — all CDs have been removed from their inventory. So Stone bought two copies and sent me one, asking nothing in return. (I will return the favour — just name it man!) To say I appreciate this gesture is am understatement, which is why I’m being more long winded than usual for a one track CD single!
“Speed of Light”, written by the duo of Dickinson/Smith, is true to Iron Maiden, and it sounds fucking brilliant. We know all about the new double album, with plenty of long bombers. “Speed of Light” is just a hair over five minutes, a very concise song for any Maiden album. When Adrian and Bruce write together, you can count on a catchy riff and hooks. “Speed of Light” delivers, and Bruce’s singing is just as powerful as ever, cancer be damned. His voice is virtually unchanged since Brave New World, 15 years ago. The air raid siren is intact. And this album will be the fifth with this Maiden lineup, the longest lived in its history. Impressive.
A highlight of “Speed of Light” has to be Adrian’s solo. The three Maiden guitarists (Janick Gers and Dave Murray being the other two) all have their own distinct styles, which is a major boon to a band like Maiden. Adrian is the one who thoughtfully composes his solos, and then lets them rip. This one is brief but has his stamp all over it.
Sometimes Maiden take on a 70’s vibe. “The Angel and the Gambler” is one such moment, but I think “Speed of Light” also has one foot in the 70’s. Just a hint, an insinuation, at the beginning. Otherwise, “Speed of Light” is purely a modern Maiden metal moment. It would have fit comfortably on The Final Frontier, although I would caution against inferring the sound of the new album from just one single. It is probably one of the more straightforward moments on The Books of Souls, but we’ll find out for sure on September 4.
One last comment: fuck you, cancer! You just got beat by Bruce Dickinson!