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The Trooper - Iron Maiden - 1983

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Uploaded on Oct 7, 2008

"The Trooper" is a song written by Iron Maiden bass player Steve Harris. It is Iron Maiden's ninth single, and the second from their 1983 album Piece of Mind. The single was released on June 20, 1983. The song is about the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 during the Crimean War, and is at least partially based upon Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade", taking the viewpoint of one of the slain troopers, who, in the coverart, is perceived as a bald Eddie. It is known for the galloping triplet sound of its bass and electric guitar, as well as its catchy and memorable riff, and is a crowd favorite at concerts.

The music video features clips of the charge from the 1936 film The Charge of the Light Brigade, which was controversial due to the deaths of 200 horses and an actor during filming. On the Visions of the Beast DVD, a newer version of the video replaces the film footage with Flash animation by Camp Chaos. In the animation, Eddie - dressed in 19th Century British uniform and wielding two sabers - battles multiple caricatures of George W. Bush, Al Gore and Tipper Gore in a parody of the 2000 US presidential election. At one point, Tipper Gore paints 'RATED X' on a cannonball; this is a mocking reference to Tipper's involvement in the Parents Music Resource Center which successfully attempted to add warning labels to various records - many of them heavy metal - that they deemed inappropriate.

The first guitar solo in the studio version was performed by guitarist Adrian Smith and the second by guitarist Dave Murray. When Adrian Smith left the band in 1990, guitarist Janick Gers covered Adrian Smith's solo when the band played it live. Upon Smith's return to the band in 1999, both Smith and Gers perform the first solo in harmony, with Murray still performing the second alone (as can be heard on the live album rock In Rio).

Lead singer Bruce Dickinson introduced the song in the Rock in Rio (Brazil, 2001) concert by quoting some lines of the poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson: "Into the valley of death, rode the six hundred... Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, volleyed and thundered, 'The Trooper'". Usually, Dickinson waves a British flag during the song (sometimes a flag different from the British), but on the last few tours he has also worn an authentic-looking red tunic.

"The Trooper" was re-released as a single in 2005 to help promote The Early Days DVD retrospective which covers the band's first eight years together. The live version comes from the double-live album Death on the Road, recorded live in Germany in 2003 and released in late 2005. Additional tracks include live performances from Iron Maiden's very first concert in support of The Early Days - a headlining performance at Germany's Rock am Ring festival.

The song is referenced in the novel World War Z, by Max Brooks. During a battle between U.S. Army Soldiers and zombies, "The Trooper" was played over loudspeakers as a way to draw the zombies into an ambush and to increase the morale of the soldiers.

The single's cover art forms part of a Loyalist mural in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland.

The song was featured in the video game Carmageddon 2 and a covered version of the song is featured in the 2006 video game Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360.

The song is often covered by American band Coheed and Cambria as a part of medley incorporating the track in a number of their originals. Coheed and Cambria recently recorded their version on the tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden released by Kerrang! magazine.

It is ranked #24 in Martin Popoff book "The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs Of All Time". Popoff put together this book by requesting thousands of metal fans, musicians, and journalists to send in their favourite heavy metal songs. Almost 18,000 individual votes were tallied and entered into a database from which the final rankings were derived.

The opening riff to The Trooper is played at the end of the song "Violate" on Iced Earth's Alive in Athens album.

The opening riff to The Trooper is played at the end of the song "Wishmaster" on Nightwish's live DVD/Cd, End of an Era.

Sources:
Info- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trooper

Lyrics- http://www.elyrics.net/read/i/iron-ma...

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