Alexander The Great

Album: Somewhere In Time (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • This song chronicles the history of Alexander the Great. He was King of Macedonia from 356-323 B.C. The city of Alexandria, Egypt was founded in his name in 331 B.C., and he was known as one of the most feared conquerors of all time. He became King of Macedonia when he was 19 and died of fever in Babylon according to the song at age 33. The cause of his death has many different theories to this day.
  • This is one of Iron Maiden's longer songs at 8:35. It is an elaborate arrangement with a killer guitar solo in the middle. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Todd - Poynette, WI, for above 2

Comments: 8

  • Pete from Brisbane, AuAnother fantastic historical journey by the Irons. Incidentally Bengt, the majority of the guitar solo is in 12/8, with the 2 snare drum + bass breaks done in 15/8. I remember programming parts of this song into OctaMED on an Amiga 1200 in the early '90s and those were the time signatures that made it work. Typically eccentric but sounds brilliant.
  • Bengt from Leknes, NorwayThe guitar solo is in 7/8.
  • Stoyan from Jambol, BulgariaActually the solo resembles traditional Bulgarian music more precisely the Rachenitsa (ръченица). One of the characteristics of the Bulgarian folk music is that it have a different rhythm than most of the western music maybe that is the reason this computer cant figure out the time signature.
  • Jonah from Richmond, United KingdomAlexander the Great born in 356 B.C to Phillip II of Macedon in the city of Pella, and became king at the age of 19.
    Tutored by Aristotle, Alexander the Great earned his title during his conquests of the Asia Minor, and the Persian Empire by being undefeated in battle - ever.
    He conquered an area of 5,200,000sq km, with which spanned his empire - the 24th largest ever to have existed, and at the time was the largest to have ever been made.
    After founding some 20 cities bearing his name (Alexandria etc.), and conquering Persia, he arrived at the border with India, where his army DID in fact invade, but not very far until they revolted, fearing the prospect of facing other large armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, ("Marching on"...), whereupon Alexander finally turned around, and marched homeward.
    Upon hearing the news of his best friend, general and possible lover's death, Hephaestion, and already with a fever, Alexander the Great died, in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, in Babylon, at age 32.
    His empire split soon after his death, and ever since it declined, with modern day Macedon being a tiny fraction of the size.
  • Yan from Quebec City, QcTo all of you who believes Maiden don't play Alexander the Great because Smith might not remember the solo you're too naive and blind to see and understand! If you play guitar you'll know that nothing is impossible. Furthermore those guys are pros so 1 afternoon and Smith is back on track with the whole song. Search the reason why somewhere else! By the way, Will, you're right: amazing solos!
  • Emarkm from Cheshire, United KingdomIn a radio interview a few years ago, when asked why the band has never played the song live, Bruce answered, "because Adrian can't remember the guitar solo!" It might have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, but he went on to say that, when the song was originally written, they put the solo through a load of (then) very advanced music computer wizardry, and it just couldn't figure out the time signature.
  • Todd from Poynette, WiAlexander was ruler from 337 B.C. to 323 B.C.
    He was born in 356 B.C. My earlier dates stated were incorrect.
  • Will from San Diego, CaMy favorite guitar solo in all of music
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