We’re digging into the Far out vaults to look back at Iron Maiden’s 1982 hit ‘Run to the Hills’ via Bruce Dickinson’s isolated vocal.
When Bruce Dickinson joined Iron Maiden in 1981 he did so with the band just about clicking into gear and beginning to reach their potential. Pioneers of the new heavy metal scene, when the group ditched Paul Di’Anno in favour of Dickinson everything kicked up a notch.
Dickinson joined the group in September of that year touring almost instantly with the group before returning to lay down the vocals on the band’s third studio album The Number of the Beast in 1982. It was on this record that the band recorded quite possibly their most famous song of all time, ‘Run to the Hills.’
The band’s first single with Bruce Dickinson couldn’t have been more perfect as ‘Run to the Hills’ provided the former Samson singer with a chance to really show off his impressive pipes and let rip and untouchable vocal. The kind of vocal which reverberates around the room as soon as you put it on, it is simply that iconic.
‘Run to the Hills’ has its roots in political history as the song is written around the beginning of settle contact as Europeans began arriving at the shores of American indigenous territories and traditional lands. Looking from both perspectives, Iron Maiden use the track to highlight the continued issue of colonisation. They did so wrapped within one of the greatest metal songs ever written.
Heavy riffs and remarkable rhythm means this song nears the top of most people’s favourite metal lists but we’d say it is in Dickinson’s soaring vocal performance that the track really shines. Lifting in all the right places and sound like a bloodthirsty hellhound in others, the track remains a winner with Maiden’s fans and beyond.
Listen to Bruce Dickinson’s isolated vocal for Iron Maiden’s ‘Run to the Hills’ below.