“A lot of people might not see Piece Of Mind as being progressive, but I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it. I got into Maiden with The Number Of The Beast, but this is the record that I played to death.
“I think this is the first album where I was compelled to learn every song on the guitar. I had to know how to play every note of every solo on the entire album. And by doing that, I learned a lot about how the band wrote and arranged songs. They were also into storytelling. Whether that story was from a book or a movie or something original, there was a lot of vivid imagery going on.
“I love both guitarists, for different reasons. One of the biggest things I picked up from Adrian Smith was how to use vibrato well. I’d put Piece Of Mind on the turntable, slow down the speed, and when I heard a note being held out at half-speed – ‘rrraaaaahhhh, rrraaaaahhhh,’ you know, the wobbling? – that’s when I really figured out vibrato.
“And Dave Murray’s solos were so fun. He did a lot of legato and whammy bar stuff, and wah-wah stuff, too – that whole rock ‘n’ roll thing. A great player.”