|By Nick Woodside||Sunday, 30 Mar 2008|
Full disclosure: This has been on the internet before. But it was a blog so only….3 people read it. Anyway, I feel bad about slacking on this site so I want to give you guys *something* and I like it enough to want more people to read it.
When I was in middle school, I had 5 albums I would play constantly:
Fugazi – Steady Diet of Nothing
Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Primus – Sailing the Seas of Cheese
Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2
Now the first four are arguably considered some of the finest albums created by their respective artists. (I’m sure somewhere people are arguing about the quintessential Primus record. Wow, that’s depressing.) However, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2 (“KOT7KP2″) might possibly be the greatest album ever written.
“Excuse me Nick, you must be mistaken. You must mean it’s the greatest record created since white people stole the soul of music from black baby Jesus. Beethoven wrote some pretty big hits.”
Impossible. Music made by a bunch of deaf people banging on pianos in wigs cannot be the best music ever written. If we apply your thinking to modern music, The Kids of Widney High should be considered the apex of R&B. Plus I’m not willing to validate a piece of music written by someone who couldn’t be bothered to lay it down in the studio. Here are the facts:
- Guitarist Kai Hansen left the band shortly after KOT7KP2 was released for “troubles with the record company”, but really he quit because he knew he would never collaborate on anything that powerful ever again.
- Even though it written in the late 80′s, “Eagle Fly Free” is powerful, blunt look at the United States in the current century.
In the sky a mighty eagle/Doesn’t care about what’s illegal/On its wings the rainbows light/It’s flying to eternity
Clearly that’s a reference to the illegal wiretaps, secret prisons, and shady politics our government (the mighty eagle) employs to stay upon its perch overlooking the Universe. The rainbow reference seems out of place, but they are German so it probably means something heterosexual over there. Hey, we think so supersonic too.
- My friend Chris: “They wrote a song about a monster who grows up to be a rock musician/politician. ” Exactly.
- This photograph:
- Their tour behind KOT7KP2 was called the “Pumpkins Fly Free” tour which, when you think about it, is pretty true.
- In the video for “I Want Out”, the premise is that we’re all trapped by our own inhibitions and societal constraints (stunningly represented by “the viewer” repeatedly entering the “hallway” of singer Michael Kiske’s psyche through his mouth). Helloween use the medium of video to show their struggle to break out of these self-imposed asylums and ascend to a higher intellectual level. Albeit one brimming with scalding hot guitar licks and impossibly bold drum fills. They also could be foreshadowing original drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg’s battle against schizophrenia (a battle he would lose in 1995 when he jumped in front of a train) since it was well established at the time that they were psychics.
- In the time it takes to listen to the song “Keeper of the Seven Keys” 102 times in a row, you can drive from Minneapolis to Boston. It will be the best car ride of your life.
Drums, guitars, bass, keys, and a song about throwing keys into large bodies of water; that is what this record has that others don’t. I don’t know why anyone even bothers writing music anymore.