Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son is Iron Maiden
th studio album, which was released in 1988
. The album was partially based on Orson Scott Card
's novel Seventh Son
The front cover shows Eddie
(who's missing everything from his waste down, and the top of his head) floating above an icy landscape, and holding his stomach
The album contains the following eight songs:
Written by Adrian Smith and Bruce Dickinson. Moonchild is a magically inspired song, based on the Liber Samekh ritual by Aleister Crowley. The ritual is described as being a ritual employed by the Beast (Crowley) for the attainment of knowledge and conversation of his holy Guardian. Some of the song's lyrics are extremely similar to those in the ritual.
2. Infinite Dreams
Written by Steve Harris. This song continues the mystical theme of the album, detailing someone who is tormented by paranormal dreams and nightmares. The lyrics explore the theme of ultimate reality and what exists beyond death, in much the same way as the last verse of "Hallowed Be Thy Name". But unlike "Hallowed Be Thy Name", the possible answer of reincarnation is suggested.
3. Can I Play With Madness
Written by Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris. As the album's first single, "Can I Play With Madness" is probably the album's most well known song, describing a young man who tries to learn the future from an old prophet with a crystal ball.
4. The Evil That Men Do
Written by Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris. The title of this song is taken from a quote in William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". The song however is unrelated, with lyrics that are extremely well-written, quite poetic, and difficult to understand. It's topic is similar to Infinite Dreams in that it also seems to relate to whatever is beyond death.
5. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Written by Steve Harris. Based on the the Orson Scott Card fantasy novel "Seventh Son", this song begins the concept portion of the album. The story is begins with the birth of the child, who is a seventh son of a seventh son, and heir to special paranormal powers.
6. The Prophecy
Written by Dave Murray and Steve Harris. The Prophecy continues the "Seventh Son" story, where the boy Alvin pleads with the village to heed his warnings of coming disaster, but is not heeded.
7. The Clairvoyant
Written by Steve Harris. This is the last song of the album that can be directly related to the "Seventh Son" story. It is sort of a reflection on the boy's growing power and preparation to meet the Maker. And like Infinite Dreams, there is another reference to reincarnation at the end of the song.
8. Only The Good Die Young
Written by Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson. This song continues and finishes the album's exploration of the meaning of life and death.