Times have changed, and album art is less important. These days a teenage kid with a copy of Photoshop can come up with something album cover worthy anymore in 30 minutes or less. It's sad, but it's almost a lost art form, because in the 60s, 70s and 80s the album cover art is partially what sold the album.
First impressions meant a lot, and back then with only a handful of radio stations around, and no internet and the means to heist music without paying for it, all you really had to judge an album on was the cover art. If you were into heavy metal, there was pretty limited radio-play too, so the cover was pretty much what sold most albums in the early metal years.
I happened upon the Iron Maiden website earlier today, because I heard there's a new video out from their new album called The Final Frontier. There are some bands that can get away with making good music 20+-30+ years later, but sadly Iron Maiden isn't one of them. Granted I've heard and seen some recent concert footage, and when they play the old stuff they do sound great, but the new music just sucks, and it's sad to see that they don't have enough common sense to have walked away on a high note.
To me Iron Maiden would have ended on a high note had they walked away in the early 90s, because they just haven't released anything that's anything like the early stuff that put them on the map since then. As a touring band, if they simply toured and played the old stuff, I could see that doing well, but to keep releasing crap after crap alum as they have for the past 15+ years now is pointless, and quite frankly embarrassing.
I know it has to be hard to walk away for them, because there's all new fans too now thanks to the Internet. But after 15+ years of crap albums, and trying to recapture that style and thunder of the earlier albums, without success, maybe it's time to adapt, and try something different? I watched the new video earlier, and while the video was really kick-ass, it's too bad that the song it was made for wasn't.
I also hate what they did with Eddie too, it looks nothing like Eddie anymore. My point is, if you're going to change Eddie, maybe it's time to quite trying to sound like Maiden from the 80s in 2010 with the new stuff too, and grow a pair and try something new already. Go all the way, adapt and change the music to suit the time we live in now as well, because that sound they had before, can't be reproduced today outside of those old songs. That lightning isn't striking again.
They're yet to write new songs that have the impact of Aces High, The Trooper, Run to the Hills, Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter and all the classic Maiden stuff. I can't think of a single Modern Classic from Maiden either.
Sorry I'm ranting now, but this really bothered me, because some bands can still manage to write a song or two, and can be considered right up there with the stuff they did in the 70s or 80s, but Maiden just isn't one of them. And it's painful to see a band that meant so much to me at one time, now still at it, making asses out of themselves with such crap that isn't even Maiden-worthy. After watching the Anvil story on VH1, I just see Iron Maiden as the Anvil that made it, but doesn't realize how bad they really suck now, and don't have the common sense enough to give up.