Drum heroes week: Clive Burr on Iron Maiden's Run To The Hills

Clive Burr at his best

Iron Maiden s Run To The Hills
(Image: © Martyn Goddard/Corbis)

The late, great Clive Burr contributed a hell of a lot to Iron Maiden prior to leaving the band in 1982, and perhaps one of his finest moments is Run To The Hills. Here we delve into the Rhythm archive to get Clive's thoughts on this classic track.

Where was the track recorded? Set the scene for us.

"That song, and in fact the entire Number Of The Beast album was recorded in a studio in London. I can't remember what it was called (it was Battery Studios, sir!), but I remember that we went in there wanting to record the best album that we could.

"We weren't just kids messing around anymore, this was serious. But we didn't really feel any weight on our shoulders; we were just going in to record another album. Just like the other two though, we were determined to make it a great album. We were at that point in our lives and careers where nothing mattered but the music, and we were completely focussed because of that. I think all of that comes across."

What were your impressions on first hearing the track?

"I just thought, 'Wow'! Steve (Harris, bass) had written it, and the riff just sounded great. I went in to the studio and nailed my part, and that sounded great too.

"It was the first single from the album (it climbed to Number Seven in the UK charts), and so it introduced the public to Bruce Dickinson, who had just joined. He had replaced Paul Di'Anno, who sang on the previous two albums (Iron Maiden and Killers – Di'Anno abruptly quit in 1981 as the band were on the cusp of global success, paving the way for ex-Samson man Bruce to step in).

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysGdhiyjMNg&feature=kp

"Bruce did a great job too. There was probably some pressure on him, but we weren't really aware of any of that because we were trying our best anyway. People still love that song today, even young kids. That makes me feel very proud. I even stick it on now and again myself, just to remember old times."

What made you decide to play the part the way you did?

"I didn't really think about it too much, I just felt that this was really what the song required. It was just a feeling, you know? I didn't have any input from the rest of the band or anything like that. They just let me get in there and get on with it, so I just went in and whacked the part out. It turned out alright too!

"We really worked at the sound as a band. It was really important to us that the songs, and the album in general, sounded exactly how we wanted them to sound and 'Run To The Hills' was no exception. We spent some serious time on nailing the sound, and I think we got it right."

What set up were you using?

"The same white Tama kit that's just been inaugurated into the Hard Rock Cafe Hall Of Fame. That is the one that I played on the whole Number Of The Beast album and tour (Beast On The Road) and it's great that it is now on display for people to see. Just outrageous!"