Album cover
Studio album by Iron Maiden
Released 29 September 1986
Recorded 1986, Compass Point Studios, (Nassau, Bahamas), Wisseloord Studios, (Hilversum, Netherlands)
Genre Heavy metal
Length 51:24
Language English
Label EMI
Producer Martin Birch
Singles from Somewhere in Time
  1. "Wasted Years" Released: 6 September 1986
  2. "Stranger in a Strange Land" Released: 22 November 1986

Somewhere in Time (1986)

Somewhere in Time is the sixth studio album by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 September 1986 on EMI in Europe and its sister label Capitol Records in the U.S. (it was re-released by Sanctuary/Columbia Records in the U.S. in 1998). The studio follow-up to the hugely successful Powerslave/Live After Death pair, it was the first Iron Maiden album to feature guitar synthesizers.

Since its release, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA, having sold over 1,000,000 copies in the US alone.

Somewhere On Tour was the release's supporting tour.


Somewhere in Time is notable for lacking any songwriting credits from lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, whose material was rejected by the rest of the band. Dickinson had written several "acoustic-based" songs, explaining that "I felt we had to come up with our Physical Graffiti or Led Zeppelin IV ... we had to get it onto another level or we'd stagnate and drift away," although Steve Harris "thought he'd lost the plot completely," surmising that "he was probably more burnt out than anyone at the end of that last tour." On the other hand, the record is also notable for the number of "fully formed" songs written by guitarist Adrian Smith, who wrote both of the album's singles; "Wasted Years" and "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Although "space and time" are common themes throughout the release, with songs such as "Wasted Years," "Caught Somewhere in Time" and "Deja-Vu," the band never intended for it to be a concept album, with Steve Harris stating, "We certainly never went in there and said, 'Right let's write a load of songs on the subject of time.'" While the majority of the release's songs have disappeared from the band's live shows shortly after its supporting tour, "Wasted Years" and "Heaven Can Wait" have often been played since. Performances of "Heaven Can Wait" have featured a group of local fans and celebrities invited onstage to sing along during the song's middle section.

The record also marked a change for Iron Maiden, as it was their first to use synth, although this style was expanded on with their next release, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, which added keyboards. This was also their first studio album not to be released a year after their previous one, with the band insisting that they have more time "to get it right without hurrying for a change," comments Harris. It was also one of their most expensive records, with the bass and drums recorded in the Bahamas, the guitars and vocals recorded in Holland and the mixing taking place in New York.

The 2008 tribute CD Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden, released by Kerrang! magazine, features covers of two of the album's songs; "Wasted Years" by DevilDriver and "Caught Somewhere in Time" by Madina Lake.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Steve Harris, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Caught Somewhere in Time"   7:26
2. "Wasted Years" Adrian Smith 5:08
3. "Sea of Madness" Smith 5:42
4. "Heaven Can Wait"   7:21
5. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"   6:31
6. "Stranger in a Strange Land" Smith 5:45
7. "Deja-Vu" Harris, Dave Murray 4:56
8. "Alexander the Great"   8:36
Total length:
1995 reissue bonus CD
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Reach Out" Dave Colwell 3:31
2. "Sheriff of Huddersfield" (Based on an old Urchin song called "Life in the City") Iron Maiden 3:35
3. "Juanita" (Originally recorded by Marshall Fury) Steve Barnacle, Derek O'Neil 3:47
4. "That Girl" (Originally recorded by FM) Merv Goldsworthy, Pete Jupp, Andy Barnett 5:07


  • Bruce Dickinson - vocals
  • Dave Murray - guitar, synthesized guitars
  • Adrian Smith - guitar, synthesized guitars, backing vocals
  • Steve Harris - bass guitar, backing vocals, bass synth
  • Nicko McBrain - drums
  • Martin Birch - producer, engineer, mixing, tape operator
  • Albert Boekholt - engineer, assistant engineer
  • Ronald Prent - engineer, assistant engineer