I'm back from my European vacation. More details to follow on that. In the meantime, let's jump into a Retro Video of the Week. Monday marked a milestone in the history of heavy metal music. On September 26, 1981, Iron Maiden hired Bruce Dickinson to replace recently fired frontman Paul Di'Anno. With the change, Maiden was propelled into the metal stratospheres, using Dickinson's wailing and magnificent vocal chords to help guide it there. To honor this momentous occasion, I'm going with an iconic Iron Maiden song, "The Trooper." One of the things I find so fascinating about Iron Maiden is that the subjects of their songs are often rooted in history, and "The Trooper" is a shining example. The song is inspired by the Charge of the Light Brigade, an ill-fated British cavalry charge during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. The British troops, based on a miscommunicated order, charged a Russian artillery battery, resulting in massive fatalities and inspiring the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem "Charge of the Light Brigade," which emphasized the bravery of the soldiers who were accidentally ordered to their deaths.
"The Trooper" is a first-person narrative from the perspective of a soldier who is shot and killed during the charge. It is a quintessential Maiden song, with a predictably fantastic galloping bassline, ridiculous twin lead guitars (combining for that great riff), and, of course, Dickinson's soaring vocals. It's just a shame so many people had to die to make it possible.