Years and years ago I had a copy of Piece of Mind by Iron Maiden (I think I did). I got it from Columbia House in a 5 CD Metal Pack. I also got a Hendrix disc, Mass Slaughter, a Metal Blade comp and one other one. Maybe Vargas. At the time, I listened to it, didn't like the vocals and pawned it. None of my friends were into classic metal (Black Sabbath excepted) so Maiden went forgotten for years. Then I got Guitar Hero and played "Run to the Hills" and "Wrath Child". I really liked it. Then my buddy gave a bunch of his old cassettes for me to listen to in my van. One was Piece of Mind. Months went by when it was over looked. Being usurped by Nirvana, Black Sabbath and Metallica. Back in February I found a pair of Iron Maiden "The Trooper" Vans high-tops at a clearance store. I bought them because they were wicked cool. (I still hadn't listened to the tape). Every time I wore them I felt like a bit of a hypocrite. Like I was only wearing them to look cool. It reminded me of the "Take off your t-shirt" video. But I COULD name a song, so I wasn't that big a poser. Then, this morning, when my wife borrowed my iPod dock from my van, I threw on Piece of Mind. Hells yeah!! What the hell was wrong with me back in '95?! Why did it take another 14 years for me to check it out?! (Granted, I did listen to A Matter of Life and Death several times and enjoyed it very much) It's awesome!! I think "To Tame a Land" is the best track. The B-side is just amazing. I doubt I will be buying their back cat tomorrow or anything, but if I see one, I'm snatching it. Steve Harris is incredible.
So, the moral of the story is: Sometimes awesomeness has to wait, but given enough time, the proverbial "palm slap to the forehead" moment will come.
N.B. I have been checking out older bands that I never gave a chance to over the last few years. Motorhead for example. Haven't been disappointed yet.
P.S. I bought Metal Health by Quiet Riot on cassette today. I doubt it will have the same effect on me as Piece of Mind. But it was only a buck.