Piece of Mind is the fourth studio album by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, originally released in 1983 by EMI and then by Capitol in Canada and the US, where it was later reissued by Sanctuary/Columbia Records. It was the first album to feature drummer Nicko McBrain, who had recently left the Paris-based band Trust and has been Iron Maiden's drummer ever since.
Piece of Mind was a critical and commercial success, reaching No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart and achieving platinum certification in the UK and North America.
In December 1982, drummer Clive Burr ended his association with the band due to personal and tour schedule problems and was replaced by Nicko McBrain, previously of French band Trust, as well as Pat Travers, and Streetwalkers.
Soon afterwards, the band went to Jersey to compose the songs, taking over the hotel Le Chalet (as it was out of season) and rehearsing in its restaurant. In February, the band journeyed for the first time to the Bahamas to record the album at Nassau's Compass Point Studios.
Recordings were finished in March, and afterwards the album was mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Lyrically, the album largely reflects the group's literary interests, such as "To Tame a Land", inspired by Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction novel Dune; "Sun and Steel", based on Yukio Mishima's 1968 essay about samurai Miyamoto Musashi; "Still Life", influenced by Ramsey Campbell's 1964 short story "The Inhabitant of the Lake", and "The Trooper", inspired by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854). Film influences are also present, such as "Where Eagles Dare", based on the Brian G. Hutton 1968 film, scripted by Alistair MacLean, and "Quest for Fire", based on the 1981 film by Jean-Jacques Annaud. On top of this, "Revelations", written by Dickinson, includes lines from G. K. Chesterton's hymn O God of Earth and Altar, while the remainder of the song is influenced by Aleister Crowley. More exotic influences include Greek mythology, albeit slightly altered, for "Flight of Icarus". "To Tame a Land" was meant to be entitled "Dune" after the novel. But after seeking permission from Frank Herbert's agents, the band received a message which stated, "Frank Herbert doesn't like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially bands like Iron Maiden" and were forced to change the name.
Piece of Mind was released on 28 May 1983, peaking at No. 3 in the UK Albums Chart. It was preceded by the single "Flight of Icarus" on 28 April and its supporting tour, the World Piece Tour, opened at Hull City Hall on 2 May. Said tour concluded on 18 December, following 139 concerts in total, with a televised performance at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund.
Reviews for Piece of Mind were mostly positive. In 1983, Kerrang! magazine published a poll of the greatest metal albums of all time, with Piece of Mind ranking No. 1, and with The Number of the Beast at No. 2.
Fresh and timeless as few.
The album in which Iron Maiden finished forging sound and style.