“I was really in pain, but I pulled it off”: Adrian Smith recalls the iconic Iron Maiden solo he recorded “extremely hungover”

Despite being in the state he was, the guitarist still said that the solo in question was “his favourite”.

Adrian Smith

Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Power Trip

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It might be hard to tell that he was in anything but a fit state from the quality of the recording, but Adrian Smith has revealed that he was “extremely hungover” while recording the solo for Iron Maiden‘s iconic song Powerslave.

The guitarist appears in an interview in the latest issue of Guitar World, in which he discusses the album cycle for Iron Maiden’s landmark fifth record, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

“I remember doing the solo for Powerslave. I was extremely hungover. We were a bunch of young guys and we’d go out at night and party very hard. We were out until three in the morning and I went home thinking ‘We’re not working tomorrow, we’ve gone too hard.’

“But at 10 in the morning Martin – who partied harder than any of us – called me into the studio and he was sitting there with Robert Palmer, the Addicted To Love guy. He had me sit at the desk and do the solo. I was really in pain but I pulled it off. Funnily, it’s my favourite.”

Smith later elaborates on the gear he used for the solo for the 1984 track and his set-up is simpler than it sounds. “I was using Lado [Earth] guitars,” he says. “All I paired them with was a 100-watt Marshall and maybe an Ibanez  Tube Screamer. Believe it or not, that was it as far as the guitar sound of Powerslave goes.

“I just ploughed ahead and played my guitar,” he continues. “I didn’t think about it but I knew we had something I was too close to it. I knew it was good, but there was no being objective.”

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