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Somewhere In Time – Cover Details
 
Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time

29th September 1986

 

Album Commentary

 

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gnitniaP gniroB
Boring Painting

This is a very boring painting. It took Derek Riggs about three months to complete this illustration for the cover sleeve. He might have thought that it was boring to paint, but it's absolutely fascinating to look at.

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The Ruskin Arms

The Ruskin Arms Public House. The Ruskin Arms is one of the East End pubs where Iron Maiden debuted their career in the mid- and late 1970s. It's nice to see that it's still standing in this futuristic London despite all the changes in the surroundings. (Address: 386 High Street North, Manor Park, London, E12 6PH.)

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23:58

 
23:58. The clock is an obvious reference to the song '2 Minutes To Midnight' on the Powerslave album. This song was also released as a single.

Football Score

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West Ham 7 – Arsenal 3. Football results showing Steve Harris's favorite team well in the lead. Incidentally, West Ham are also known as 'The Irons'.

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Upton Park

Upton Park. Officially called Boleyn Ground (although nobody calls it that), this is the home ground of West Ham United.

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Aces High Bar

Aces High Bar. This is a reference to the song 'Aces High' on the Powerslave album that was also released as a single, including a Spitfire flying above the sign.

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The Rainbow

    The Rainbow. This is another club Iron Maiden played at in the early days, a prestigious venue at the time.

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Cinema

Cinema

Live After Death. The local cinema is playing Iron Maiden's Live After Death, as well as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, which inspired the cover illustration. Also note that it is the "Philip K. Dick Cinema", named after the famous Science-Fiction author who wrote the novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep on which Scott's film is based.

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The Marquee Club

    The Marquee Club. Yet another prestigious club where Iron Maiden played in the early days. (Address: 16 Parkfield Street, London N10PS.)

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Phantom Opera House

Phantom Opera House. This is a reference to the song 'Phantom Of The Opera' on the 1980 Iron Maiden album.

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Cloaked Character

Cloaked character. This character has been tentatively identified as Batman by the Iron Maiden FAQ. It is actually more reminiscent of Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, which makes more sense as it is in this case a direct reference to Maiden's song.

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Bollocks again & again

Bollocks again & again. This is hard to read and can be found just under the "Phantom Opera House" sign. Riggs seems to like this word, as it can also be found hidden among the hieroglyphs of the Powerslave cover illustration.

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Ancient Mariner Seafood Restaurant

Ancient Mariner Seafood Restaurant. This is a reference to the epic masterpiece 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' on the Powerslave album. Maybe they also serve albatross stew as a speciality!

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Herbert Ails

Herbert Ails. This is a clear reference to Frank Herbert, author of Dune, the novel that inspired 'To Tame A Land' on the Piece Of Mind album. Herbert didn't allow Iron Maiden to use the title of his novel for their song and even theatened to sue. For those who are not so familiar with the English langage, there seems to be a pun on the word "ails", as it could be the misspelling of "ales" (beers) or mean some kind of pain or affliction (Herbert had died in February of the year of release of Somewhere In Time).

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Sand Dunes Night Club

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Herbert Ails

Tonight GYPSY'S KISS. This reference to Steve Harris's very first band is located just under the 23:58 sign and is pretty hard to see.

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Hammerjacks

    Hammerjacks. According to the Iron Maiden FAQ, this is one of the band's favourite bars in the US: the Hammerjacks Night Club in Baltimore, Maryland. The Night Club had closed on 1st January 1994, but the concert hall was still open. The club is nowadays once more open, although slightly different to what it used to be. This is what John Dugan, of the Baltimore Citysearch, says about it:

    Winds of change turned this former rock club into a dance destination.
    In Short:
    Once famous as Charm City's ultimate hard rock venue, the reincarnated Hammerjacks rarely hosts a Stratoscaster-toting long-haired rocker on stage anymore. Instead, the relocated club packs 'em in as a dance cavern. Expect to hear DJs spin mainstream sounds that are easy to move bodies to: hip-hop, R&B and pop. Thursday's 18-and-up college night is cheap and particularly popular, while Fridays are usually 21 and up.

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Long Beach Arena

    Long Beach Arena. The famous venue in Southern California where Iron Maiden recorded the monumental Live After Death album and video. The arena is a 13,500-seater that the band filled four nights in a row in March 1985.

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Nicko's Face

Nicko's T-shirt

Nicko. Nicko is wearing old aviator goggles as a reference to his flying lessons and to his then recently-acquired flying license (this may have inspired Steve Harris to write 'Aces High'). He is also wearing a t-shirt with the question "Iron What?", to which the answer is, of course, "Iron Fuckin' Maiden, that's what!"

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Icarus

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Bradbury Towers

Bradbury Towers Hotel International. This is a reference to the popular Science-Fiction author Ray Bradbury, who wrote classic books such as The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451.

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The Reaper

The Grim Reaper. This character appears in many of Riggs's paintings for Iron Maiden.

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Pyramid

    Pyramid. This is a reference to the Powerslave album cover sleeve.

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Japanese ideogrammes

    Japanese ideogrammes. All the Japanese letters that can be found all over the cover could be connected to the Maiden Japan EP or to the fact that Iron Maiden have played a lot there.

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Maggie's Revenge

Maggie's Revenge. This is of course a reference to Margareth Thatcher, who appears on the covers of the Sanctuary and Women In Uniform singles.

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Acacia Avenue

Acacia Avenue. Eddie is standing on Acacia Avenue, as a reference to the songs 'Charlotte The Harlot' and '22 Acacia Avenue', which appear on the Iron Maiden and Number Of The Beast albums, respectively.

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Woman in window

Woman in window. A woman can be seen sitting in front a window in a red-lit room, presumably Charlotte of the 'Charlotte The Harlot' fame.

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Bruce

    Bruce. Bruce Dickinson is holding a brain as a reference to the Piece Of Mind album.

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Tehe's Bar

Tehe's Bar. This bar is where Iron Maiden found the guys to sing the backup vocals in the sing-along part of 'Heaven Can Wait'.

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Tardis

Tardis. The Iron Maiden FAQ identifies this funny construction as a Tardis (from the Dr. Who series). This is a bit dubious, although a Tardis does appear in the distance on the cover illustration of the Wasted Years single.

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Asimov Foundation

Asimov Foundation. This is a reference to yet another great author of Science-Fiction novels, Isaac Asimov, who wrote a particularly brilliant series of books called Foundation.

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Tyrell Corp.

Tyrell Corp. This is another reference to Blade Runner. The Tyrell Corporation was making the replicants (a.k.a. skin jobs), the biomechanoid androids that were not allowed on Earth and who were the targets of the Blade Runners. Above the sign is another one that says, "Dekker's Department Store", Dekker being the name of the hero of the film, played brilliantly by Harrison Ford.

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Cat with a halo

Cat with a halo. This strange little creature is, along with the Reaper, a character that can often be found in Riggs's paintings for Iron Maiden.

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Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus. This is a reference to the song 'Powerslave' on the album of the same name.

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Eddie's eye

    Eddie's eye. One of Eddie's eyes is some kind of laser similar to the eye of the Terminator. This is the same eye as the one that is occulted on the 2 Minutes To Midnight single. This "bionic" left eye can be seen on many subsequent covers.

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Litter Box

Litter box. There is a litter box attached to the lamp post right under Eddie's left leg. This is exactly the same type as the one that can be found tied to the light post on the cover of the Iron Maiden debut album. Nothing much to it, though, as these public bins are pretty common in the UK (or were at the time anyway).

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Metal Plate

Metal Plate. On the wall to the right of sign that has the football score on it, there is a metal plate with two screws carved in it. This is the plate that Eddie has on his forehead since the Piece Of Mind album, after his trepanation and the removal of his brain.

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Hebrew sign

    Hebrew sign. This neon sign is in Hebrew and represent the name of God, reading "yhvh" from top to bottom. The old Hebrew spelling doesn't have any vowels, but the word is pronounced "Yahveh".

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Russian sign

Russian sign. This neon sign in Russian means Kephir, which is a kind of yoghurt. This is (or rather was) a rather common sign on shops selling dairy products in Russia.

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EMI

EMI. This is a reference to the EMI Group, the record company with which Iron Maiden signed back in 1979.

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Sanctuary Music Shop

Sanctuary Music Shop. Next to the EMI sign and very difficult to see, this is a reference to the Sanctuary Group, founded in 1976 by Andy Taylor and Rod Smallwood, and which manages Iron Maiden since the beginning.

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L'Amours

L'Amours Beer garden. A Metal venue in Brooklyn, New York. The connection with Iron Maiden is not clear, although there are pictures of Adrian Smith wearing one of their t-shirts at that time.

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Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut. Apparently, junk food is likely to exist for a long time – even in this distant future depicted here! The North American cover has the spelling changed into "Pizza Hot" for legal reasons.

 

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